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The 3DO Blaster is an add-on produced by Creative Labs and designed to allow compatible Windows-based PCs to play games for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer. It is a full-sized ISA compatibility card, and unlike other such add-ons, it does not emulate a 3DO system, but rather the whole system's logic board is included, with the input (controllers) and output (video & audio) redirected to the PC.
The product was marketed as a single board for CD-ROM drive owners (but only of a particular CD-ROM drive model, see below) or bundled with the necessary CD-ROM drive. The software drivers allowed for DOS or Windows (3.1) based gameplay, although Windows based gaming featured real-time stretching of the game window and screenshot capturing. As graphics boards of the time (1994) were not up to par with the system's needs, a pass-through using a VGA feature connector link was used, thus reserving an area on screen to be used by the 3DO Blaster card's output (on the Windows environment - running under DOS, full-screen was the only option). Thus, there was no impact on the CPU. As with the first 3DO system from Panasonic (REAL FZ-1) an FMV daughter-card enabling Video CD playback was planned, but since the 3DO Blaster failed to achieve momentum, it was never released. Saved games were stored in NVRAM on the card, supposedly not using resources on the PC to prevent hacking.
Required CD-ROM drive
The only CD-ROM drive that worked with the card was the Creative CR-563 (a Panasonic model, re-branded by Creative).
The card was sold with the cables needed, a 3DO controller by Logitech, and two 3DO games on CD: "Shock Wave" from Electronic Arts and "Gridders" from Tetragon. Despite showing the 'long boxes' of the two games on the back of the packing box, they were included in jewel cases only. A third CD, containing demos of popular 3DO games was also included. Not included was software from Aldus; Aldus Photostyler SE and Aldus Gallery Effects Vol. 1, but pictures of both titles can be seen on the back of the 3DO Blaster packing box.
- Intel or compatible PC with 80386 CPU and Microsoft Windows
- Any of these Sound Blaster cards: Sound Blaster Pro, Sound Blaster 16 or Sound Blaster AWE32
- A Creative CR-563 CD-ROM drive
- A free ISA slot
- A VGA graphics card with VGA feature connector
- CREATIVE LABS. 3DO BLASTER CARD, The Strange (and Rare) Videogame Pics Page, 1998-2001 of Fabrizio Pedrazzini