Concept

Panasonic M2

Summary
The Panasonic M2 is a video game console platform developed by 3DO and then sold to Matsushita, a company known outside Japan by the brand Panasonic. Initially announced as a peripheral chip for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, it was later unveiled as a standalone console. The console was cancelled in 1997, but the M2 technology was incorporated into other devices. Development kits and prototypes of the machine became very valuable pieces among collectors. M2's technology was integrated in the multimedia players FZ-21S and FZ-35S, both released in 1998. Both products were aimed at professionals working in medicine, architecture, and sales, not home users. The M2 also became a short-lived arcade board by Konami. The agreement to develop the board was made well in advance of the M2 console's planned release date, with the understanding that games using the arcade board would be ported to the home console, similar to the relationship between the PlayStation and Namco System 11. Because games ran straight from the CD-ROM drive, it suffered from long load times and a high failure rate, so only five games were developed for it. The M2 technology was later used in automated teller machines, and in Japan in coffee vending machines. In the late 1990s and from 2000 on, the system was also sold in the interactive kiosk market. In 2000, PlanetWeb, Inc. began offering software to allow the M2 to be used as an Internet appliance. All of the software released for the M2 kiosks was developed with the "CDMotion for M2/M2X" software, which was a point and click "codeless" SDK for M2. None of the applications utilized the Macintosh based SDK in conjunction with Macintosh Programmers Workbench. As with the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, the M2 hardware was co-designed by Dave Needle and R. J. Mical. First announced as a peripheral chip for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer with a custom PowerPC microprocessor, the M2 eventually became a standalone console and was exhibited and demonstrated at the 1995 Electronic Entertainment Expo.
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