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Created by: 3DO (later sold to Panasonic/ Matsushita)
Intended for release: 1995
The hope: The successor to the awful 3DO Multiplayer, the M2 was - like so many other consoles on this list - an impressive piece of hardware for its time. Originally conceived as an add-on for existing 3DOs, it would turn the consoles into 64-bit powerhouses with 10 times the power of the PlayStation. Sporting 10 custom processors under its lid, the M2 would be capable of pumping out visuals then seen only in arcades, and would also feature high-quality full-screen video.
The reality: After months of touting the stupid thing as a juggernaut of home entertainment, 3DO lost interest in the M2 and sold the technology to Panasonic's parent company, Matsushita, for a whopping $100 million. Eventually revealed to be a little less impressive than 3DO had led the world to believe - about two to three times more powerful than the Nintendo 64, by some estimates - the M2 was slated for release in 1997. By then, however, the console market was already a three-way dogfight between Sega, Sony and Nintendo, and Matsushita decided it didn't want to get involved. The M2 was killed close to its intended release in '97, only to be repackaged and resurface the following year as an industrial multimedia tool.
Above: Yeah, the M2 was never quite powerful enough to pull off games that looked like this - they just wanted you to think it was
Why it never saw life: By the time Matsushita finally got around to prepping the M2 for launch, the machine ran a high risk of being irrelevant right out the gate - and after the slow failure of Panasonic's 3DO Multiplayer, Matsushita had no desire to get burned again. Rather than risk millions on a failed gamble to take the console market from three industry stalwarts, it decided to can its entire console division and pull out of the games market entirely.
But while the M2's long gone, it wasn't a complete loss; here, check out this clip of what D2 might have looked like running on it:
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