The Philips CD-I also known as the Philips Compact Disc Interactive. Was an interactive CD player developed by the Philips company. The product’s intension was to provide more than what a CD player or video game console can provide by making it as functional as a personal computer. It was cheaper than a computer as well due to the fact that it lacks the basic features of a computer as all you need is a TV and controller in order to use it. Besides the games it also had educational and multimedia reference titles like encyclopedias & virtual tours. This was before the internet was more commonly used in public. The CD-I was first in development back in 1984, and was first announced to the public back in 1986. It wasn’t until October 1991 when the first CD-I was sold in the market. At $700 as the common retail price which is way to high for any gamer to pay for even though the product wasn’t branded as a game console in the market due to it having non-game products.
The console wasn’t a favorite among the gaming industry as all of the games made for the console were memorable and really bad. The games that CD-I was most infamous for was their own line of Nintendo related games. When Nintendo originally had plans to do a CD add-on for Super Nintendo it was going to be developed by Philips. That product never got made but Philips did get permission to make some of their own Mario & Legend of Zelda games. Which are Hotel Mario, Link: The Faces of Evil, Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, & Zelda’s Adventure. The animation sequences & game play in all four games were declared the absolute worst by gamers all over the world. The games did so bad that Nintendo doesn’t acknowledge their existence whenever they make a list of every Mario & Zelda game. By 1998, Philips announced that they put an end to the production of the CD-I with only 570,000 units sold. And after that the Philips company had no involvement with the video game market for the rest of time.
Nothing good has ever been said about the CD-I, it was more criticized than the Atari Jaguar & the Sega 32x. That’s quite an unworthy accomplishment if the Philips company managed to rub gamers the wrong way by selling a product that no one would by cause the game developers clearly had no idea what people want in a “CD interactive” product. Luckily after the CD-I vanished from the face of the Earth, came much more successful CD interactive products even products that don’t require discs for game play. That world of gaming has changed and it’s proof that the CD-I didn’t accomplish anything while it was still available in the market. Check out my fifth article on the 3DO.