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Philips CD-i

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Philips CD-i

Before I start, I wanted to write a quick note.

Today, the creator of the video game industry, Ralph Baer, died.
He created the Magnavox Odyssey, and most video game platforms since then have been based on his creation.

R.I.P Ralph Baer

You've created an amazing industry that shows no sign of dying.

Philips CD-i

The Philips CD-i (Compact Disc Interactive) 910 and Controller

The Philips CD-i 910, or the Compact Disc Interactive 910, was created in 1991 by Royal Phillips N.V.

Originally made to be an add-on to Nintendo's SNES, it became a stand alone console with licenses to Nintendo games. Surprisingly, Sony actually developed the CD-ROM drive on the console!

When the console was released in 1991, it was about $700, and was capable of playing 16-bit interactive CDs. 

They were developing games like Connect Four at the time, so the console was irrelevant, so Nintendo gave Philips the rights to make games based off of Nintendo's franchises.
The monstrosities we got were:
  1. Hotel Mario
  2. Link: The Faces of Evil
  3. Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon
  4. Zelda's Adventure 
They also got licences from ABC to make Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and others, but no one has even heard of those on the CD-i. They also had Full-Motion Video, similar to the Gameboy Video cartridges on the Gameboy Advance. 

In 1993, there was a full album released on the CD-i, and that sold over 150,000 copies!
The CD-i was discontinued in 1998, but in the late 90's and early 2000's, stores used the CD-i as Kiosks! That made up a fraction of the money lost from un-bought consoles.

But, we only talked about the 910 model...

CD-i 200 Series

The most well known series in the USA, this series included the 205, 210, and 220.
The 205 is the American version of the 910.

CD-i 300 Series

The CD-i 300 Series was not made for Video Games, nor home consumers. It came with a Hard Drive for doctors to keep information in.
Models in this series are the 310, 350, 360, and 370.

CD-i 400 Series

This was a dimmed down series, aimed at younger children. It was made for educational, and point and click games. It was also made to compete with other gaming consoles at the time.
It came with a controller that looks like a TV Remote, and is extremely hard to use.

CD-i 600 Player Series

The CD-i 600 Player Series was meant for Software Development, Kiosks, etc.
This model could have a USB Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, and Speakers plugged into it.
You can actually plug it into emulators, and it has debugging features!
This is also one of the few models to come with computer peripherals built-in, like a Floppy Disk Drive. 


This was a TV developed by Philips that came with the most basic CD-i consoles built in.
It had the 180, 181, and 182. This was the first, and last TV to come with a CD-i.

Intelligent Discman

I couldn't find much on this, except that it was a portable CD-i made by Sony.


  • 16/32-bit 68070 CISC Chip (68000 core)
  • Clock Speed of 15.5 MHz
  • Graphics Chip: SCC66470, later MCD 212
  • Resolution: 384×280 to 768×560
  • Colors: 16.7 million w/ 32,768 on screen
  • MPEG 1 Cartridge Plug-In for VideoCD and Digital Video
  • Sound Chip: MCD 221
  • ADPCM eight channel sound
  • 16-bit stereo sound
  • Digital Out 
Operating System
  • CD-RTOS (based on Microware's OS-9)
  • 1 MB of main RAM
  • Single speed CD-ROM drive
  • Weight with DV cart 1.460 kg, without DV 1.210 kg
CD-i accessories
  • CD-i mouse
  • Roller controller
  • CD-i trackball
  • I/O port splitter
  • Touchpad controller
  • Gamepad controller (Gravis PC GamePad)
  • IR wireless controller
  • RAM expansion and Video-CD (MPEG-1) support with DV Cart
  • Peacekeeper Revolver


The CD-i was a commercial failure, and cost Philips over $1,000,000

The games are also said to be some of the worst games ever released.
I wouldn't be able to put all the reviews, but here is how many stars the CD-i has.

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