Philips CD-i Roms

Philips CD-i System Image
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Philips CD-i System Information

The Philips CD-i (an abbreviation of Compact Disc Interactive) is an interactive multimedia CD player developed and marketed by Dutch company Philips, who supported it from December 1991 to late 1998.  It 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.  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 standard used by the CD-i console, also known as Green Book, which was co-developed by 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 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.  This was facilitated by the use of an additional hardware modem and “CD-Online” disc (renamed Web-i in the US), which Philips initially released in Britain in 1995 for $150 US.

Development of the CD-i format began in 1984 and it was first publicly announced in 1986.  The first Philips CD-i player, released in 1991 and initially priced around US$1,000 (equivalent to $1,839 in 2018), was capable of playing interactive CD-i discs, Audio CDs, CD+G (CD+Graphics), Karaoke CDs, Photo CDs and Video CDs (VCDs), though the latter required an optional “Digital Video Card” to provide MPEG-1 decoding.  Philips also licensed the CD-i format to other manufacturers for use, and there were also CD-i players by Sony under the “Intelligent Discman” brand.  Philips marketed the CD-i as a “home entertainment system” in Europe, but more as a games and educational machine in the U.S.  The CD-i was abandoned by 1996 and was a commercial failure, estimated to have lost Philips as much as one billion U.S.  dollars in the American market.

Recommended Emulator - Philips CD-i Emu