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VM Labs' Project X - NG articles before it was known as Nuon


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I had the Next Gen issue with the first article you posted. I was really looking forward to the platform at the time. It was.. mysterious, to say the least.

 

Ars Technica did an interesting write up on the platform just a few weeks back. Link: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/06/before-the-ps2-nuon-famously-tried-and-failed-to-combine-dvd-and-game-consoles/

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Back when High Voltage was kindly putting up the various Edge etc mag scan's i'd had done to go up on here, i had several pages from Edge magazines coverage of the NUON and Minter chatting about it etc.

 

But seems my mate scanned the images at too high a resolution or something along those lines as file sizes too big to forward to him via Gmail, even 1 page at a time.

 

I still have them somewhere...

 

 

It's Edge#95 and a 10-page feature if anyone knows of scans online.

Edited by Lost Dragon
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Update:

By splitting the files across numerous emails and ditching the pages that are just images (ie opening page just the Nuon Logo, another page just a big photo of Jeff sat out in a chair) along with the 2-page T3K Nuon review....
I have forwarded the Edge feature on the Nuon to High Voltage.
Hopefully it can join images above before too long.
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Interesting readings.

 

I'm surprised no one in any article tried to draw a line with the Philips CD-i - or I missed it - as it's exactly what the Nuon aimed to be... A CD-i, with DVD.

The CD-i was meant to be a multimadia platform, bringing the ease of use of a CD player into what was meant to be a computer - reading videos, texts, images, etc.

And they made the same mistake... claiming they could play games on their hardware.

Ars Technica is right : at the time, for people, a DVD player was a DVD player - They should have focused more on the media interaction possibilities of the Nuon. I personally recall people around me buying video DVD because they had a Playstation 2 - no one ever bough a PS2 to play DVD, but because we had the possibility, then we got into buying DVD. Exactly like how so many people got into buying BR because they have a PS3.

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no one ever bough a PS2 to play DVD, but because we had the possibility, then we got into buying DVD. Exactly like how so many people got into buying BR because they have a PS3.

I wouldn't say no one. I bought a Nuon because it was the cheapest progressive scan DVD player I could find at the time. Of course, playing Tempest was a great bonus. I also used the BD capabilities of the PS3 to justify the cost as it was too expensive for me if it was just another games machine. Edited by adolescent
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Well there was more reasons to buy a Nuon as it was a multimedia machine. I mean that the PS2 claimed to play games - and was compatible with video DVD. Not that is was reading DVD and able to play games.

 

I'm sure that in a world where most people would buy technologies based on their needs and on a will to get the best out of existing technology, we probably would have thrifts stores shockfull of Betamax tapes in the US and Philips Video2000 tapes in Europe, and Laserdiscs; Europe would had got semi-analog HD back in 1992 with the HD-Mac standard, etc etc...

 

And American TV would have SCART inputs since the mid 80's :D

 

But this is not how thing goes; I'm not saying that the Nuon was doomed to fail or was uninteresting. It's just that the average consumer just want a thing to see videos and that all the fancy stuff the Nuon offered was simply useless for them.

 

And you're right, when the PS3 was out, arguing about it being able to read BR was a real selling point, I remember it. But the main motive to buy a PS3 was to play games, not to play BR.

Maybe it was the same with the PS2, but I more recall that at home, even my parents were schocked when they offered me the PS2 for X-Mas 2001 - not because it was so expensive, but because it was able to play DVD... and it was CHEAPER than the DVD player they offered themselves the same X-Mas!!

Edited by CatPix
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I owned a PS2 for a short while and used it like once for DVD playback. I just remember, for whatever reason, that the black was completely washed out and looked like garbage compared to my dedicated standalone DVD player. The Nuon was really feature rich and I loved exploring the options/capabilities at the time and definitely remember how amazingly crisp/vibrant the video output was. With that said, whatever happened to Nuon as a whole? Did they just go bankrupt? I can't remember I just know it failed.

 

It would only make sense to sell their technologies off and/or merge with some company. I know one of them ended up at Nvidia but that's about it.. should have been one of those things that continued on for many years. It wouldn't have been a Sony/Nintendo killer but I think having the chip inside dozens of DVD players would've certainly help extend the life and potentially open up other possiblities for the longterm. Instead we got stuck with shitty interative DVD menus for games that were nothing more than button presses to just more video.

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I remember my PS2 playing DVD fine. But I used SCART right on so maybe the composite video was of poor quality. Even if I did saw some PS2 working on composite and it looked excellent to me (and I pay attention to contrast, black levels and all - I always have TV tests cards - B&W and color - to tune my video hardware).

On the other hand, I don't recall hearing of the Nuon at the time. In fact, I don't recall anyone even knowing about Samsung at the time. Which is kinda sad as to my knowledge, they are the only ones to ever made a DVD player able to output SECAM analog video :D

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We heard about Nuon here in the DC area. Beyond gaming mags mall chains like Suncoast, Sam Goody, Tower Records, and especially FYE (ours was still a Record Town) had clerks who talked about it. One Electronics Boutique also said they planned to sell the games. My folks went to get a Nuon player at Best Buy when they came out, but they were sold out and they got something else. 15+ years later they still use that DVD player. I did manage to get several of the games and eventually a player, but only recently got a full US set of games. Nuon only seems like an easy system to collect for, but it's not. Iron Soldier 3 and The Next Tetris are vanishingly rare, and Space Invaders XL doesn't show up much any more. The controllers seem to have either sold out of NOS, or been deliberately bought up. They don't come cheap anymore.

 

On the plus side, Nuon systems are one of the rarest you could expect to find at a good price. Keep an eye out at thrift stores and whatnot for DVD players with the Nuon logo. They're out there, and most who bought them originally likely had little to no idea their DVD player could play videogames.

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You also have EDGE (Issue 57) covering the NUON in the news section (P10 if your after the scan) with:

 

VM Labs Courts Global Developers.

 

Nice group photo of VM Labs team and sound bites from likes of:

 

Bill Rehbock and Richard Miller

 

 

Just thought i'd add to the above, in case anyone's interested in looking at all the UK mainstream press coverage....

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  • 2 weeks later...

:-) That'll teach me for scan reading and posting.

 

It's a nice article and it made note of Bill Rehbock's departure from SCEA to go and work with VM Labs on Project X, despite his knowledge of what the PS2 hardware was going to be like...

 

 

Total Control was a nice magazine that i sadly only ever managed to read a few issues of.

 

It was Edge, but without the arrogance, which was no bad thing.

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  • 2 months later...

A few developer comments on it from Nov'98:

 

Jez San: 'I don't know about Project X.It's a bit of interactivity on a DVD player.If they suddenly become a dominant DVD platform, then there's an opportunity for us all.But if they want it to be viewed as an interactive platform, then it's competing with people who are dedicating much more hardware to interactivity'.

 

Alex Garden: 'It's neat though, because they're not talking about polygons'.

 

Jez San: (in response)'Having a lot of CPU power is difficult if it's fragmented'

 

 

Peter Molneux: 'I bet we are going to end up with some very simple games, which will be really interesting, because it is a DVD player people might play it that have never played games before'

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