Sega Model 3
From Sega Retro
The Model 3 hardware is very different to the Model 1 and Model 2 boards which preceeded it. It was desinged with one purpose in mind - to push as many textured polygons as possible for as least money as possible. Upon release, the Model 3 board was more powerful than any other arcade platform on the market, as well as any home console or computer.
The Model 3 board went through a series of delays which frustrated Sega. Despite success with the previous generations of arcade harwdare, Lockheed Martin, mainly responsible for the graphics processors, were unable to finalise the specifications of the board until mid-way into 1996 - Sega had planned to release the board in late 1995 along with three games, one of which, Indy 500, was reportedly downgraded to Model 2 hardware thanks to the troubles. Scud Race and Virtua Fighter 3 debuted as the first two Model 3 games, and the board was officially supported until 1999 to make room for the Sega NAOMI and its successors.
From the early 1970s arcade had been at the forefront of graphical technology in video games, but the Model 3 hardware as well as competitors from this era stand as the last generation of arcade boards to lead the industry from a graphical perspective. PCs would begin to benefit from hardware accelerated graphics towards the end of the decade, and beginning with the Sega Dreamcast, consoles would become the basis for arcade systems, rather than the reverse as it had been up until this point. Today arcade games are built primarily around controls and the experience one gets from a game as opposed to graphics potential. Complex motion cabinets, and large, unique forms of control unsuitable for households is what drives the arcade industry in the present day.
The Model 3 went through a number of revisions (steps) in which improvements were made the system and board architecture was changed. Though there was much talk of Model 3 games being ported to the Sega Saturn, all home ports of Model 3 games were seen on the Sega Dreamcast, including the likes of Sega Rally 2, Virtua Fighter 3tb, Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram and Virtua Striker 2.
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