The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer console was released worldwide in 1994. It was one of several cd-based consoles released in the mid-1990s that failed to gain large market shares and could not compete with Sony’s Playstation. Nevertheless, 3DO owners can enjoy a good mix of decent games, combined with some silly FMV-titles typical for the time.
Today those titles are rather expensive, but for those lucky enough to own a 3DO, the internet is filled with ISO-files waiting to be burned to CDR:s, and played in a 3DO console. Since noone owned a cd-burner at the time the console was released, the 3DO has no protection against playing burned games. In this post, I will sum up some tips on how to burn games for the 3DO. I wrote a similar post about the Dreamcast a while ago, see: How to burn games for Dreamcast.
Burn settings for 3DO games
First, a couple of foundational tips for burning a 3DO game:
- Burn at lowest possible speed on your cd-burner. 1x speed is preferably, but many modern cd-burners does not support such slow speeds. My burner cannot go lower than 16x speed.
- Use high quality (branded) discs. This is trial and error. Some brands work, some don’t. Many people recommend the Taiyo Yuden brand. Some posts suggest that cd-r works better than cd+r. Use 650 mb discs.
Against these pieces of Internet wisdom, I have burned several games on no-name discs, at 16x speed, with success. It mostly depends on the status of your machine’s laser. An old laser will have problems reading burned discs, and some lasers seem to have more problems than others, and users report various success with different brands. In my FZ-10, the games stutter a little in games where the laser has to read a lot of information from the disc, such as in FMV-games. The only way to permanently fix this is to replace the laser. Also: original games will always read better than burned discs.
When you download a game for 3DO, it is usually a bin (or img) + cue file in a compressed archive. Unpack these two files, and open the cue file in your favorite burner. I use IMGburn. The cue-file points at the bin file with some extra information. If the cue file for some reason does not point at the bin-file, edit the cue file and check if there is any path given to the bin-file. Remove this part. The link to the bin/img-file should look something like below, given that the two files are in the same directory:
FILE "Another World (EU).img" BINARY
In IMG-burn, select “Write image file to disc”:
Browse for your cue-file, and choose a low burn-speed, and press the burn icon!
Now, test your disc in your 3DO console, and have fun! If the game does not work, try:
- Switch to a disc from another brand.
- Try another burning software.
- Try using a different cd-burner drive.