Video clip of the Summer 1993 Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago. Wow has technology come along way in a quarter of a century. 2016
By Brenda Herrmann You Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO — As in recent years, video game systems and video games were among the main attractions at the 1993 Consumer Electronics Show, which began Thursday and ended Sunday.
Nintendo Entertainment Systems of America, Turbo Technologies, Sega of America, Phillips Interactive Media of America, 3DO and others exhibited new games for cartridge, compact disc and personal computer systems.
The most highly anticipated new hardware of the show was the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, a system that resembles a thick VCR and has powerful processing hardware that allows the machine to perform graphic functions better and faster than most PCs. Although 3DO is more of an interactive media system than a game system, the company is aiming to make 3DO the one package needed for either application. By 1994, 3DO is planning to offer a cable service that allows users to download programs on a pay-per-view basis. It is costly, however: The price will be about $700.
CD-driven games, which last year were called ''the wave of the future,'' dominated this year's show.
''CD-ROM is the big news, the big hubbub,'' noted Alan Haber, director of communications for the Electronic Industries Association in Washington.
Sega CD has met with considerable success on the home video game market, thanks to strong, popular games and characters, with Turbo Technologies' TurboDuo following, he said. The Sega and Turbo Technologies CDs show just a fraction of what CD games can do. Phillips CD-I, a $600 CD system, can play music and photo CDs as well as its own game discs.
''Disc video games offer life-size, animated figures rather than the stick figures of traditional cartridge video games,'' said Carl Wegener, marketing manager for Phillips Consumer Electronics Co.
''Game players are looking to CD for greater performance than a cartridge can offer: digital sound and sound effects, thousands of colors and shadings, live actors, motion video and multiple planes of imagery that can even move against each other to give the player the feeling of live action.''
Phillips revealed several major moves into the CD video game market at the electronics show, including a new arrangement that brings Nintendo characters and LucasArts games to CD-I. Along with educational programs, several CD games were introduced for CD-I. The games include:
LucasArts Entertainment Co.'s Rebel Assault game for CD-I. The game includes 3-D rendered graphics, live action video clips adapted from the original Star Wars film, and extensive digitized speech and sound effects.
Video game versions of TV game shows Wheel of Fortune, Name That Tune and Jeopardy! for CD-I.
Introductions from Sega included several games for both the Sega CD and the original, 16-bit cartridge Sega Genesis game system:
The Jurassic Park game cartridge for Genesis and for the portable Game Gear system is shooting for a co-release with the Steven Spielberg film of the same name, due out Friday. Players can choose to be either a dinosaur on the rampage or the movie's bold paleontologist Dr. Grant. Jurassic Park for Sega CD is more complex, with live-motion video sequences and animation. The one-player game is expected in stores in the fall.
Sega's most famous character, Sonic the Hedgehog, stars in several new projects - including a Saturday morning cartoon and fall releases of Sonic Spinball for Genesis and Sonic Chaos for Game Gear.
Sega of America previewed sports games, including World Series Baseball for Genesis due out this fall, a Christmas release of NFL Football '94 Starring Joe Montana for Genesis, the Greatest Heavyweights boxing fame for Genesis and the fighting game Eternal Champions for Genesis, both due for Christmas, and, for Game Gear, the martial arts action game Surf Ninjas, due out this summer.
Turbo Technologies previewed 35 games at the show, all which will be sold under the trade name DuoSoft, whether they are for cartridge, CD or SuperCD systems. The four major titles displayed were:
Macross 2036 and Macross SLG are CD-driven games of space shooting and strategy, respectively, based on the popular Japanese comic book and cartoon of the same name. The cartoon shows in the U.S. under the name Robotech. John Madden Championship CD Football, which incorporates 3-D game play with digitized ''live-motion'' video. Godzilla, a two-player, chip-based fighting game starring the monstrous reptile.
Nintendo is keeping mum on when the company will preview the 32-bit Super NES CD-ROM Drive, which is expected to be released in Japan by early next year. In the U.S., and at the Consumer Electronics Show, Nintendo is concentrating only on new games for the 8-bit and 16-bit cartridge systems, especially the 16-bit, which made its debut two years ago at the show. Several new Nintendo games were introduced there this year