Philips CD-i 350
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This is the portable version of the CDi, it has a huge power supply that is a good proportion of the size of the unit. It is not battery operated, so only a portable player in the sense it could be carried around relatively easily in its own branded carry case.
A huge drawback of the portable machine was it has no Digital Video card, which is needed for most of the software library. For this the purchase of a separate dock was required, this was not cheap or easy to come by.
The Philips CD-i 350 is a rare device, just like other portable CD-i players. Probably because the professional market for the device was limited, and it was introduced late in CD-i’s life cycle.
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.
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.
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 in 1991 and initially priced around USD $700, 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. The CD-i proved to be a commercial failure in that market segment and some of its games have been perceived to be among the worst games ever made, though this is unfair as they often get compared to modern standards more than other platform releases, so it is a little unfair. Philips ceased publishing video games for the platform in 1998.
The model number is CDi 350.
Donated by the kind generosity of Ian Hopkins
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH71230. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.