Which classic consoles were ahead of their time and why?

I'm a firm believer the 3DO was really "Xbox 180." It had a visualizer, played Video CDs, allowed for 8-player matches and looked like a sturdy Home Theater component -- with an SVIDEO connection to boot.

What about you? Which consoles showed the way of the future, way before this future was possible?

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I completely agree, there was a reason it was so expensive back then. It was technologically ahead of its time, which unfortunately was part of the reason for its demise. I mean, who could justify spending $699 for a system back then. Heck, I wouldn't spend that much now, no matter how advance the system.

Terry
The 3DO is a treasured possession of ours. The system is kind of rare and thus expensive still. On the plus side, there's absolutely no copy-protection so it's fairly easy to download ISOs over the internet and burn them to disc.

I also would put the Atari 7800 in the same category (excluding sound. It sounded like a 2600). The console, released in 1986 but ready for launch in 1984, could handle almost 100 sprites at the same time. It would take YEARS before another machine could do the same -- in 1991, the SNES finally was able to move 128 sprites at the same time.

(The Genesis could only do 80!)
I never had the chance to play a 3DO or hear of it back then (was a bit too young), but I certainly agree after learning about it in courses and through my understanding of all console systems. Also kind of related the Dream Cast had a lot of great games and a unique even if bulky controller, but somehow never really came to light in the casual gamer home during it's retail lifespan. I am not so sure it's ahead of it's time though.

Also speaking of ISOs.. is there an emulator for 3DO does anyone know by chance?

Since there are not really that many consoles to choose from in comparison to the amount of games produced for each I would enjoy seeing discussion on a similar note: What games were ahead of their time? Visuals? Mechanics? What put them ahead of their time?
What I find is the most interesting topic in game development is...

What games really pushed the envelope on each platform? RacketBoy has an amazing post about it:

http://www.racketboy.com/retro/2006/02/games-that-pushed-limits-par...
http://www.racketboy.com/retro/2006/02/games-that-pushed-limits-par...
http://www.racketboy.com/retro/2006/02/games-that-pushed-limits-par...

Luis

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