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The Philips
Philips
CD-i (an abbreviation of Compact Disc
Compact Disc
Interactive) is an interactive multimedia CD player
CD player
developed and marketed by Royal Philips
Philips
Electronics N.V., who supported it from December 1991 into the late 1990s. It was created to provide more functionality than an audio CD player
CD player
or game console, but at a lower price than a personal computer with a CD-ROM
CD-ROM
drive at the time. The cost savings were due to the lack of a floppy drive, keyboard, mouse, and monitor (a standard television is used), and less operating system software. "CD-i" also refers to the multimedia Compact Disc
Compact Disc
standard used by the CD-i console, also known as Green Book, which was developed by Philips
Philips
and Sony. In addition to games, educational and multimedia reference titles were produced, such as interactive encyclopedias and museum tours, which were popular before public Internet
Internet
access was widespread. The CD-i was also one of the earliest game systems to implement Internet features, including subscriptions, web browsing, downloading, e-mail, and online play.[2] This was facilitated by the use of an additional hardware modem that Philips
Philips
initially released in Britain in 1995 for $150 US.[3] Competitors included the Tandy VIS and Commodore CDTV. Work on the CD-i began in 1984 and it was first publicly announced in 1986.[4] The first Philips
Philips
CD-i player, released in 1991 and initially priced around US$700,[5] was capable of playing interactive CD-i discs, Audio CDs, CD+G
CD+G
(CD+Graphics), Karaoke
Karaoke
CDs, Photo CDs and Video CDs (VCDs), though the latter required an optional "Digital Video Card" to provide MPEG-1
MPEG-1
decoding. The CD-i was a commercial failure, losing Philips
Philips
$1 billion.[6]

Contents

1 Applications 2 Player models

2.1 Philips
Philips
models 2.2 Other manufacturers

3 TeleCD-i and CD-MATICS 4 Technical specifications 5 Market competition 6 Reception 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Applications[edit] See also: List of CD-i games Philips
Philips
at first marketed CD-i as a family entertainment product, and avoided mentioning video games to not compete against game consoles.[7] Early software releases focused heavily on educational, music, and self-improvement titles, with only a few games, many of them adaptations of board games such as Connect Four. However, the system was handily beaten in the market for multimedia devices by cheap low-end PCs,[8] and the games were the best-selling software. By 1993 Philips
Philips
encouraged MS-DOS and console developers to create games, introduced a $250 peripheral with more memory and support for full-motion video, and added to new consoles a second controller port for multiplayer games.[7] The attempts to develop a foothold in the games market were unsuccessful, as the system was designed strictly as a multimedia player and thus was under-powered compared to other gaming platforms on the market in most respects.[9] Earlier CD-i games included entries in popular Nintendo
Nintendo
franchises, although those games were not developed by Nintendo. Specifically, a Mario game (titled Hotel Mario), and three Legend of Zelda games were released: Zelda's Adventure, Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon. Nintendo
Nintendo
and Philips
Philips
had established an agreement to co-develop a CD-ROM
CD-ROM
enhancement for the Super Nintendo
Nintendo
Entertainment System due to licensing disagreements with Nintendo's previous partner Sony
Sony
(an agreement that produced a prototype console called the SNES-CD).[10] While Philips
Philips
and Nintendo
Nintendo
never released such a CD-ROM
CD-ROM
add-on, Philips
Philips
was still contractually allowed to continue using Nintendo characters. Applications were developed using authoring software produced by OptImage. This included OptImage's Balboa Runtime Libraries and MediaMogul. The second company that produced authoring software was Script Systems; they produced ABCD-I. Philips
Philips
also released several versions of popular TV game shows for the CD-i, including versions of Jeopardy!
Jeopardy!
(hosted by Alex Trebek), Name That Tune
Name That Tune
(hosted by Bob Goen), and two versions of The Joker's Wild (one for adults hosted by Wink Martindale
Wink Martindale
and one for kids hosted by Marc Summers). All CD-i games in North America
North America
(with the exception of Name That Tune) had Charlie O'Donnell
Charlie O'Donnell
as announcer. The Netherlands also released its version of Lingo on the CD-i in 1994. In 1993, American musician Todd Rundgren
Todd Rundgren
created the first music-only fully interactive CD, No World Order, for the CD-i. This application allows the user to completely arrange the whole album in their own personal way with over 15,000 points of customization. CD-i has a series of learning games ("edutainment") targeted at children from infancy to adolescence. Those intended for a younger audience included Busytown, The Berenstain Bears
The Berenstain Bears
and various others which usually had vivid cartoon-like settings accompanied by music and logic puzzles. Although extensively marketed by Philips, notably via infomercial,[11] consumer interest in CD-i titles remained low. By 1994, sales of CD-i systems had begun to slow, and in 1998 the product line was dropped. Philips
Philips
had by then already sold its gaming subsidiary, Philips
Philips
Media BV, to French publisher Infogrames
Infogrames
in 1997.[12] A large number of full motion video titles such as Dragon's Lair and Mad Dog McCree
Mad Dog McCree
appeared on the system. One of these, Burn:Cycle, is considered one of the stronger CD-i titles and was later ported to PC. The February 1994 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly
Electronic Gaming Monthly
remarked that the CD-i's full motion video capabilities were its strongest point, and that nearly all of its best software required the MPEG upgrade card.[13] In 1995 Philips
Philips
introduced CD-Online, a system which provided the CD-i with full internet access, including online shopping, email, and support for networked multiplayer gaming on select CD-i games.[14] Australia Andy Stout, a writer for the official CD-i magazine, explained CD-Online:

It is very much Internet-lite. The main advantages are that it's cheap - probably working out at a third of the cost of a PC or Mac solution - and incredibly user-friendly. The downside though is using a browser that doesn't support Netscape, and coping with all the drawbacks of the machine's minuscule memory - you can only ever access 10 articles on Usenet
Usenet
at a time, it'll only support 80 bookmarks maximum and for all that trouble all your saved games, preferences, and high scores will have been written over in RAM. ... It's got the full access right now but with only about 40% of the functionality, which will probably be fine for people who don't know what they're missing. But the virtual keyboard is a complete nightmare to use ...[15]

By mid-1996 the U.S. market for CD-i software had dried up and Philips had given up on releasing titles there, but continued to publish CD-i games in Europe, where the console still held some popularity.[16] With the home market exhausted, Philips
Philips
tried with some success to position the technology as a solution for kiosk applications and industrial multimedia.[citation needed] Player models[edit] Philips
Philips
models[edit]

The Philips
Philips
CD-i 910

Philips
Philips
CD-i 400 series

In addition to consumer models, professional and development players were sold by Philips
Philips
Interactive Media Systems and their VARs. Philips marketed several CD-i player models.

The CD-i player 200 series, which includes the 205, 210, and 220 models. Models in the 200 series are designed for general consumption, and were available at major home electronics outlets around the world. The Philips
Philips
CD-i 910 is the American version of the CD-i 205, the most basic model in the series. The CD-i player 300 series, which includes the 310, 350, 360, and 370 models. The 300 series consists of portable players designed for the professional market and not available to home consumers.[clarification needed (not available?)] A popular use was multimedia sales presentations such as those used by pharmaceutical companies to provide product information to physicians, as the devices could be easily transported by sales representatives. The CD-i player 400 series, which includes the 450, 470, 490 models. The 400 models are slimmed-down units aimed at console and educational markets. The CD-i 450 player, for instance, is a budget model designed to compete with game consoles. In this version, an infrared remote controller is not standard but optional. The CD-i player 500 series, which includes the 550 model, which was essentially the same as the 450 with an installed digital video cartridge. The CD-i player 600 series, which includes the 601, 602, 604, 605, 615, 660, and 670 models. The 600 series is designed for professional applications and software development. Units in this line generally include support for floppy disk drives, keyboards and other computer peripherals. Some models can also be connected to an emulator and have software testing and debugging features.

There also exist a number of hard-to-categorize models, such as the FW380i, an integrated mini-stereo and CD-i player; the 21TCDi30, a television with a built-in CD-i device; and the CD-i 180/181/182 modular system, the first CD-i system produced. Other manufacturers[edit] In addition to Philips, several manufacturers produced CD-i players, including Magnavox,[13] GoldStar
GoldStar
/ LG Electronics, Digital Video Systems, Memorex, Grundig, Saab Electric, Sony
Sony
(Intelligent Discman, a portable CD-i player), Kyocera, NBS, Highscreen, and Bang & Olufsen, who produced a television with a built-in CD-i device (Beocenter AV5). TeleCD-i and CD-MATICS[edit] Recognizing the growing need among marketers for networked multimedia, Philips
Philips
partnered in 1992 with Amsterdam-based CDMATICS to develop TeleCD-i (also TeleCD). In this concept, the CD-i player is connected to a network such as PSTN or Internet, enabling data-communication and rich media presentation. Dutch grocery chain Albert Heijn
Albert Heijn
and mail-order company Neckermann were early adopters and introduced award-winning TeleCD-i applications for their home-shopping and home-delivery services. CDMATICS also developed the special Philips TeleCD-i Assistant and a set of software tools to help the worldwide multimedia industry to develop and implement TeleCD-i. TeleCD-i is the world's first networked multimedia application at the time of its introduction. In 1996, Philips
Philips
acquired source code rights from CDMATICS. Technical specifications[edit]

A presentation controller for the Philips
Philips
CD-i. The CD-i's controllers were heavily criticized.

CD-i Mouse

CPU

16/32-bit 68070 CISC Chip[17] Clock Speed of 15.5 MHz[1][11]

Display

Graphics Chip: SCC66470, later MCD 212[17] Resolution: 384×280 to 768×560[11] Colors: 16.7 million w/ 32,768 on screen MPEG 1 Cartridge Plug-In for VideoCD and Digital Video[11]

Audio

Sound Chip: MCD 221[17] ADPCM
ADPCM
eight channel sound[11] 16-bit stereo sound Digital Out [18]

Operating System

CD-RTOS (based on Microware's OS-9)

Other

1 MB of main RAM[17] Single speed CD-ROM
CD-ROM
drive[11]

CD-i accessories

CD-i mouse CD-I KeyControl (keyboard) Roller controller CD-i trackball I/O port splitter Touchpad controller Gamepad controller (Gravis PC GamePad) IR wireless controller RAM
RAM
expansion and Video-CD (MPEG-1) support with DV Cart Peacekeeper Revolver

Market competition[edit] Panasonic M2
Panasonic M2
is an interactive kiosk.[19] Multimedia/video game systems include Commodore CDTV, Pioneer LaserActive, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, and Tandy Video Information System. Dedicated video game consoles based on CD-ROM
CD-ROM
media include Sega
Sega
Mega Drive/Genesis with Sega
Sega
Mega-CD/ Sega
Sega
CD expansion, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, and NEC TurboDuo. Reception[edit] Although Philips
Philips
had aggressively promoted CD-i, by August 1993 Computer Gaming World
Computer Gaming World
reported that "skepticism persists about its long-term prospects" compared to other platforms like IBM PC compatibles, Apple Macintosh, and Sega
Sega
Genesis.[20] The magazine stated in January 1994 that despite Philips' new emphasis on games "CD-i is still not the answer for hardcore gamers", but the console "may yet surprise us all in the future". It recommended the CD-i with video cartridge for those needing to buy a new console as "The price is right and there is more software to support it", but 3DO was probably better for those who could wait a few months.[7] An early 1995 review of the system in GamePro
GamePro
stated that "inconsistent game quality puts the CD-i at a disadvantage against other high-powered game producers."[21] A late 1995 review in Next Generation criticized both Philips's approach to marketing the CD-i and the hardware itself ("The unit excels at practically nothing except FMV, and then only with the addition of a $200 digital video cartridge"). The magazine noted that while Philips
Philips
had not yet officially discontinued the CD-i, it was dead for all intents and purposes, citing as evidence the fact that though Philips
Philips
had a large booth at the 1995 Electronic Entertainment Expo, there was no CD-i hardware or software on display. Next Generation scored the console one out of five stars.[11] After its discontinuation, retrospectively, the CD-i was overwhelmingly panned by critics about its graphics, games, and controls. Microsoft
Microsoft
CEO Bill Gates
Bill Gates
admitted that initially he "was worried" about the CD-i due to Philips's heavy support for the device and its two-pronged attack on both the games console and PC markets, but that in retrospect "It was a device that kind of basically got caught in the middle. It was a terrible game machine, and it was a terrible PC."[22] The CD-i's various controllers were ranked the fifth worst video game controller by IGN
IGN
editor Craig Harris.[23] PC World ranked it as fourth on their list of "The 10 Worst Video Game Systems of All Time".[24] Gamepro.com listed it as number four on their list of The 10 Worst-Selling Consoles of All Time.[25] In 2008, CNET
CNET
listed the system on its list of The worst game console(s) ever. [26] In 2007, GameTrailers
GameTrailers
ranked the Philips
Philips
CD-i as the fourth worst console of all time in its Top 10 Worst Console lineup.[27] Games that were most heavily criticized include Hotel Mario, Link: The Faces of Evil, Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, and Zelda's Adventure. EGM's Seanbaby
Seanbaby
rated The Wand of Gamelon as one of the worst video games of all time.[28] However, Burn:Cycle was positively received by critics, and has often been held up as the standout title for the CD-i.[21][29][30][11] In October 1994 Philips
Philips
claimed an installed base of 1 million units for the CD-i,[31][32] but in July 1996 they said they had still sold only 200,000 units.[6] See also[edit]

CD-i Ready CDTV High Sierra Format

References[edit]

^ a b Blake Snow (May 4, 2007). "The 10 Worst-Selling Consoles of All Time". GamePro.com. Archived from the original on May 8, 2007. Retrieved November 25, 2007.  ^ Jones, Sandra (1 April 1996). "Kits let television go online". Daily Press. Newport, Virginia. p. B7 – via Newspapers.com.  ^ "New Sunday Times - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved February 17, 2015.  ^ (2005). History of the Philips
Philips
CD-i, Philipscdi.com. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; New Philips
Philips
CD - The New York Times". Nytimes.com. April 2, 1992. Retrieved August 19, 2009.  ^ a b "Inside Scoop". GamePro. No. 97. IDG. October 1996. p. 24.  ^ a b c Miller, Chuck; Dille, H. E.; Wilson, Johnny L. (January 1994). "Battle Of The New Machines". Computer Gaming World. pp. 64–76.  ^ "The Next Generation 1996 Lexicon A to Z: CD-i". Next Generation. No. 15. Imagine Media. March 1996. p. 31.  ^ "75 Power Players". Next Generation. Imagine Media
Imagine Media
(11): 63. November 1995. CD-i started life as an ahead-of-its-time multimedia player, but ended up an under-powered game machine.  ^ Staff writer. "The SNES CD-ROM". The Nintendo
Nintendo
Repository. Archived from the original on 24 February 2008.  ^ a b c d e f g h "Which Game System is the Best!?". Next Generation. Imagine Media
Imagine Media
(12): 77. December 1995.  ^ Staff writer (February 3, 1997). " Philips
Philips
Media Transferred Multimedia Assets to Infogrames". Business Wire. San Jose, California. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013 – via The Free Library.  ^ a b "New Life For CD-i". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 55. Sendai Publishing. February 1994. p. 20.  ^ Cardilini, Les (26 October 1995). "CDI, a low-tech Net option?". The Age. Melbourne. Green Guide, p.16.  ^ Ramshaw, Mark James (January 1996). "Generator". Next Generation. Imagine Media
Imagine Media
(13): 31.  ^ "A Cry for Help from a CD-i Owner". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 88. Ziff Davis. November 1996. p. 281.  ^ a b c d Forster, Winnie (2005). The encyclopedia of consoles, handhelds & home computers 1972 - 2005. GAMEPLAN. p. 208. ISBN 3-00-015359-4.  ^ http://i.imgur.com/Xnq3rje.png ^ Matsushita Electric/Panasonic (April 10, 2000). "Planetweb and Panasonic to Bring the Internet
Internet
to the Interactive Kiosk Marketplace; Panasonic Internet-enabled M2 Interactive Kiosks to Preview at KioskCom 2000". Business Wire. Archived from the original on January 13, 2011. Retrieved March 16, 2008.  ^ "Part II of CGW's Computer Game Developers Conference Coverage". Computer Gaming World. August 1993. p. 38. Retrieved July 12, 2014.  ^ a b "Once and Future Kings: Video Game Hardware Outlook". GamePro. IDG (70): 29. May 1995.  ^ "What the Hell Does Bill Gates
Bill Gates
Know About Games, Anyway?". Next Generation. No. 18. Imagine Media. June 1996. p. 10.  ^ "Top 10 Tuesday: Worst Game Controllers". IGN. February 21, 2006. Archived from the original on January 14, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2009.  ^ The 10 Worst Video Game Systems of All Time PCWorld ^ The 10 Worst-Selling Consoles of All Time, Feature Story from GamePro ^ The worst game console(s) ever Crave - CNET ^ (May 6, 2007). Top Ten Worst Consoles, GameTrailers. Accessed November 14, 2012. ^ Seanbaby.com - EGM's Crapstravaganza: The 20 Worst Games of All Time Archived November 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "News Review: Burn: Cycle". Entertainment Weekly. December 9, 1994.  ^ "Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide". 1995.  ^ "The Deseret News - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved February 17, 2015.  ^ "The Milwaukee Journal - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved February 17, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to CD-i.

Philips
Philips
CD-i at Curlie (based on DMOZ) Official Philips
Philips
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