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Philips CD-i 21TCDI30

The Philips CD-i (Compact Disc Interactive) is an interactive multimedia CD player developed and marketed by Royal Philips Electronics N.V. This category of device was created to provide more functionality than an audio CD player or game console, but at a lower price than a personal computer with a CD-ROM drive at the time. The cost savings were due to the lack of a hard drive, floppy drive, keyboard, mouse, monitor (a standard television was used), and less operating system software.

CD-i also refers to the multimedia Compact Disc standard used by the CD-i console, also known as Green Book, which was developed by Philips and Sony (not to be confused with MMCD, the pre-DVD format also co-developed by Philips and Sony).

Work on the CD-i began in 1984 and it was first publicly announced in 1986. The first Philips CD-i player, released after many delays in 1991 and initially priced around USD $700.

It is capable of playing interactive CD-i discs, Audio CDs, CD+G (CD+Graphics), Karaoke CDs, and Video CDs (VCDs), though the last requires an optional "Digital Video Card" to provide MPEG-1 decoding, as do some of the machine’s better games, this additional cost made the machine prohibitively expensive compared to rival systems, such as the Snes and Megadrive.

The CD-i proved to be a commercial failure in that market segment and some of its games are perceived to be among the worst ever made. Though this is usually by placing them in a modern context often in Youtube videos and online game sites, so is perhaps rather unfair. Philips ceased publishing video games for the platform in 1998.

Among the system’s weaknesses are just having 2 channels for sound, meaning that music for games must be in one, and sound effects in the other.

The machine is probably best known for being home to some Nintendo licensed games, products of a deal struck between the two companies when Nintendo cancelled a proposed CD drive for the SNES, three Zelda games and one featuring Mario were well received at the time, but thanks to internet folklore, they are often met with derision.

This is the rather uncommon CDi system, complete with a 21" TV, and full games console built in.

The console inside has the same GUI as the 400 series of machines, and has the DVC cartridge built in as standard.

This was one of the last CDi players to reach market, released in 1995, this was always going to be a niche product, and was of course never going to compete with the playstation or Saturn.

It was marketed towards professional and institutional organisations, less than 7000 are thought to have been produced.

Manufacturer: Philips
Date: 1995



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Magazines RELATED to Philips CD-i 21TCDI30 in our Library

Item Manufacturer Date
Educational Computing and Technology - September 1992 BBC Sep 1992
Edge - Issue 11 - August 1994 Future Publishing Aug 1994

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Philips P2000T Philips March 1980
Philips PCL 300 Philips 1983
Philips VG-8020 Philips 1983
Philips P2000C -P2012 Philips 1983
Philips P2000C-1 Philips 1983
Philips P2000C Philips 1983
Philips P5004 Philips January 1983
Philips P5020 Philips November 1983
Philips NMS 8245 MSX2 Philips 1st January 1986
Philips Velo 1 Philips August 1997
Philips Nino 300 Series Philips October 1998
Philips Nino 200 Series Philips 1999

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH55096. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

 

Philips CD-i 21TCDI30

  Games Archive   [76]
  Software Archive   [16]
  Peripherals   [5]

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