The following is a list of models and hardware revisions of 3DO consoles and how to identify them. This page is a work in progress. This is also not comprehensive and there are certainly more minor variations than are listed here.
The top part of the case consists of two pieces. The center is held with snaps to the outer ring and has a matte, printed surface. The printing sort of looks like gravel, but it is smooth to the touch.
Similar to the other three piece, the top half of the shell is two pieces. This version has a molded texture with no printing. The Panasonic logo and the pebbled texture are all part of the plastic's texture.
Visually similar to the previous version, but the top case is a single piece of plastic.
A 3DO Testing Station is a device that was used to test games by a game developer. These usually have a switch on the back labeled “Encrypted/Unencrypted” to switch between modes. Encrypted means that the system is using the retail BIOS that requires the inserted media to be RSA signed. At the time, only 3DO was able to sign 3DO media. Unencrypted mode switches to a customized BIOS that ignores the RSA check and so the developer can test their build without sending it to the 3DO company first. 3DO Testing Stations are possible in all three case variants as well as all regions.
This testing station used a retail PAL BIOS without an RSA switch, but featured an NTSC power supply. It was created by 3DO by taking a PAL console and installing an North American power transformer and cord. One can surmise that its use was for North American developers to test their software on PAL displays without requiring the use of a step down transformer. Multiple are known to have been completely converted to NTSC testing stations, including a switch to change RSA modes. The only way currently known to tell if a system is a 3DO created original and not a home-made mod is to reference the serial number against other known PAL Testing Stations.
This is an early pre-production model featuring a motherboard intended for only 1MB of system RAM. This was later increased to 2MB before release. So far, all discovered 0.5 revision motherboards have been converted to later revision BIOS testing stations. Externally, they can sometimes be identified by the CD drive door not matching the color and texture of the rest of the console. Additionally, even with the updated BIOS, they will crash or have graphical issues in some games like Need For Speed. The Madam and Clio ASICs are labeled with the AT&T logo, though this is not specific to the 0.5 rev system.
This system was used in American Laser Games (ALG) arcade cabinets and features a BIOS the requires the inserted game to be signed with the correct arcade-specific RSA keys. It cannot play retail games. Similarly, games signed for use on the ALG arcade systems will not work in a retail 3DO. The keys for both systems are now known and it is possible to resign any piece of 3DO software for use on arcade or retail. This system can be identified by the additional serial number on the back as well as an inked stamp, usually covering the ALG serial number and the 3DO serial number next to the power cord. They also frequently feature a red-orange sticker reading “” indicating that the motor has been replaced.
Sometimes referred to as the "240p" variant, this is a Japanese exclusive version that has a mode switch in place of the RF switch. In mode A, the console functions as any other 3DO. In mode B, the 3DO's video processing chip is placed into a non-standard 240 line mode that can reduce flicker or increase sharpness on some displays, capture cards, or upscaling devices. Mode B can cause speed up in some games.