Click on image to visit site
The 3DO Blaster from Creative Labs is the latest add-on available for the PC that gives you access to the famous world of 3DO games. Two versions of the card are already available, one in NTSC distributed in North America and the other one, a NTSC/PAL product available in Europe.
This new card delivers a complete interactivity with high quality graphics, astonishing sounds and special effects.
Using a powerful 32-bit RISC CPU and two graphic processors, the 3DO Blaster delivers 64 million pixels per second animations. This is about 50 times the performance of typical personal computers and video game systems! The on-board 16-bit DSP (Digital Signal Processor) provides users with CD quality sound. In addition, as the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer System, the 3DO Blaster uses a technique called 3D Audio Imaging that not only makes sound seem to come from the left and right, but also from the front and back to provide the player with a sound immersion.
The installation isn't really a "plug-and-play", as you have to install the hardware and the software. First, you will have to start with a system that already includes a Sound Blaster card (Sound Blaster Pro, Sound Blaster 16 or Sound Blaster AWE32) with a very specific CD-ROM drive (Panasonic CR-563).
Creative Labs told us they have plans to release other versions of the 3DO Blaster that will allow use of other CD-ROM models available on the market.
Once your system is ready, you can put the 3DO Blaster in an ISA slot of your PC (there are no VLB, MCA, PCI or even EISA versions of the card). You will have to connect your CD-ROM drive to the 3DO Blaster, and the audio cable that links your CD-ROM to your Sound Blaster will have to be disconnected from the sound card, to be placed on the 3DO Blaster. Another audio cable will go from your 3DO Blaster to the sound card where the speakers will be attached.
One other system requirement is to own a VGA card with a VESA compatible feature connector. This will be attached with a VGA feature connector cable to the 3DO Blaster. Yet, another cable will be connected from the VGA output of the VGA card to the VGA input of the 3DO Blaster. The only thing that now remains is to plug in the 3DO Control Pad and install the 3DO Blaster drivers.
This is not a surprise that Creative Labs chose the Windows environment because it's just a point-and-click interface and you don't have to deal with DOS commands. Therefore, not only is the software installation running under Windows, but the whole 3DO game you are playing with. You also have the possibility to size your windows in real time as you desire! In fact, to achieve this, the card works like a Genlock, a device used to superimpose two video images.
But before playing with the 3DO Blaster, you will have to configure the whole thing using a 3DO Configuration program (usually at the beginning) and the 3DO Overlay. The last one is merely for adjusting video overlay settings of the 3DO Blaster so that it can synchronize with the VGA card. The only trouble you could have during the installation is a base I/O address conflict of your CD-ROM drive. In that case, you would have to select another base address for the Panasonic CD-ROM drive.
Now, you are ready to play with the 3DO games packed with the 3DO Blaster. Two games are provided, one from Electronic Arts called "Shock Wave" and another from Tetragon named "Gridders". There is also a sampler disc that contains samples of ten 3DO products (Road Rash, Way of the Warrior, Toon Time, etc..) to give you an idea of what the 3DO products are about.
We tried two PAL and six NTSC games with the 3DO Blaster and did not encounter any problems at all. The european version of the card which supports both NTSC and PAL formats, allows any 3DO products available on the market to be played on the card.
Aldus Photostyler SE and Aldus Gallery Effects Vol. I are also included on a CD packed with the card and although the CD is not compatible with the 3DO itself, it is a good thing for PC users to receive this handy photo editing software with a library of artistic effects.
The 3DO Blaster is a unique add-on for gamers who do not want to leave their PC's for Consoles. Using the keyboard or your mouse, you can switch between a boring application and an entertaining 3DO Game in a fraction of time.
The 3DO console is the first to be available in the PC world through this card and we hope this is only the beginning. Soon, a FMV(Full Motion Video) daughterboard will be available for the 3DO Blaster that will use MPEG data compression technology to play VHS-quality digital movies.
Creative Labs Inc.
1901 McCarthy Blvd.,
Milpitas, CA 95035
Tel: 408-428-6600 or 800-998-5227
Creative Labs Technical Support
1523 Cimarron Plaza
Stillwater, OK 74075
European readers can contact Creative Labs Technical Support at:
Asian readers can contact Creative Labs at:
Creative Technology Ltd.
Blk 75, #01-04