The Official CD-I Reference

June 2nd, 2007

phillips cd-i reference

I’ve been rather intrested in this little system after reading aboutsome of the Zelda games released for it, so therefore I have decided to create this informative thread. If you want to contribute feel free. I am lacking quite a bit of the split between Sony and the rest of the developers.

CD-i General

phillips cd-i console

The CD-i is the console that eventually lead to the Playstation. I am sure that a majority of us have heard about this break up. Where Nintendo wanted a CD drive for the SNES and teamed with Sony, whom they lied to about something and then Sony split, Nintendo joined with Philips and made some rubbishy games based off of famous Ninty franchises.

Here’s the summary of the console as provided by Wikipedia:

CD-i or Compact Disc Interactive is the name of an interactive multimedia CD player developed and marketed by Royal Philips Electronics N.V. CD-i also refers to the multimedia Compact Disc standard utilized by the CD-i console, also known as Green Book, which was co-developed by Philips, Sony and Nintendo in 1986. The first Philips CD-i player, released in 1991 and initially priced around USD $700, was capable of playing interactive CD-i discs, Audio CDs, CD+G (CD+Graphics), Karaoke CDs, and Video CDs (VCDs), though the last required an optional “Digital Video Card” to provide MPEG-1 decoding.

The actual step by step history of the console can be found at the CD-i reference site:History of the CD-I

The brand name debarkle

This can be explained from a snippet out of the Playstation Wikipedia page:

The first conceptions of the PlayStation date back to 1986. Nintendo had been attempting to work with disk technology since the Famicom, but the medium had problems. Its rewritable magnetic nature could be easily erased (thus leading to a lack of durability), and the disks were a piracy danger. Consequently, when details of CDROM/XA (an extension of the CD-ROM format that combines compressed audio, visual and computer data, allowing all to be accessed simultaneously) came out, Nintendo was interested. CDROM/XA was being simultaneously developed by Sony and Philips. Nintendo approached Sony to develop a CD-ROM add-on, tentatively titled the “SNES-CD”. A contract was struck, and work began. Nintendo’s choice of Sony was due to a prior dealing: Ken Kutaragi, the person who would later be dubbed “The Father of PlayStation,” was the individual who had sold Nintendo on using the Sony SPC-700 processor for use as the 8 channel ADPCM sound synthesis set in the Super Famicom/SNES console through an impressive demonstration of the processor’s capabilities.

Sony also planned to develop another, Nintendo compatible, Sony-branded console, but one which would be more of a home entertainment system playing both Super Nintendo cartridges and a new CD format which Sony would design. This was also to be the format used in SNES-CD discs, giving a large degree of control to Sony despite Nintendo’s leading position in the video gaming market.

In 1989, the SNES-CD was to be announced at the June CES . However, when Hiroshi Yamauchi read the original 1988 contract between Sony and Nintendo, he realized that the earlier agreement essentially handed Sony complete control over any and all titles written on the SNESCD-ROM format. Yamauchi was furious; deeming the contract totally unacceptable, he secretly cancelled all plans for the joint Nintendo-Sony SNES CD attachment. Indeed, instead of announcing their partnership, at 9 am the day of the CES, Nintendo chairman Howard Lincoln stepped onto the stage and revealed that they were now allied with Philips, and were planning on abandoning all the previous work Nintendo and Sony had accomplished. Lincoln and Minoru Arakawa had (unbeknownst to Sony) flown to Philips headquarters in Europe and formed an alliance of a decidedly different nature one that would give Nintendo total control over its licenses on Philips machines.

The 9pm CES announcement was a complete shock. Not only was it a hysteric surprise to the show goers (Sony had only just the previous night been optimistically showing off the joint project under the “Play Station” brand), but it was seen by many in the Japanese business community as a fatal betrayal: a Japanese company snubbing another Japan-based company in favor of a European one was considered absolutely unthinkable in Japanese business.

After the collapse of the joint project, Sony considered halting their research, but ultimately the company decided to use what they had developed so far and make it into a complete, stand alone console. This led to Nintendo filing a lawsuit claiming breach of contract and attempted, in U.S. federal court, to obtain an injunction against the release of the Play Station, on the grounds that Nintendo owned the name[citation needed]. The federal judge presiding over the case denied the injunction. Thus, in October 1991, the first incarnation of the new Sony PlayStation was revealed; it is theorized that only 200 or so of these machines were ever even produced.

By the end of 1992, Sony and Nintendo reached a deal whereby the “Sony Play Station” would still have a port for SNES games, but Nintendo would own the rights and receive the bulk of the profits from the games, and the SNES would continue to use the Sony-designed audio chip. However, at this point, Sony realized that the SNES technology was getting long in the tooth, and the next generation of console gaming was around the corner: work began in early 1993 on reworking the “Play Station” concept to target a new generation of hardware and software; as part of this process the SNES cartridge port was dropped, the space between the names was removed, and the PlayStation was born.

CD-i Games

Most of the games released on the console were generally of pretty bad quality. Mainly puzzlers, but there were also a few games released based on popular Nintendo franchises. Nintendo themslves didn’t actually make the franchise based titles they were made by Philips Interactive Media. But for now:

Complete list of CD-I games

Mario Games

There was only one Mario based game released on the console, another Mario game was in development but was then canceled. Some details of it can be found here.The other game released was Mario’s Hotel; a puzzle title.

Videos of Super Mario Wacky Worlds

hotel mario phillips cd-i

Details about the game can be found at the Wikipedia page.

Videos of the game can be found at YouTube. Here’s one of the All the game’s cutscenes

Mario Vs Bowser

The Zelda Trilogy

Three Zelda games were released on the console being:

Link: The Faces of Evil phillips cd-i link the faces of evilanimated link the faces of evil phillips cd-i
link the faces of evil gameplay screen shot

Overview of the game
Video of the game(IGN)
Zelda: The Faces of Evil Ending

Zelda’s Adventure

zelda's adventure phillips cd-i
zelda's adventure cd cover phillips cd-i
zelda's adventure phillips cd-i gameplay screen shot

Overview of the game
Videos of the game

Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon

Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon phillips cd-i cover art
zelda wand of gamelon cartoon sequence phillips cd-i
zelda wand of gamelon gameplay screenshot
Overview of the game
Videos of the game(IGN)
Zelda : Wand of Gamelon Ending

Assortment of Game videos found on YouTube

Mutant Rampage BodySlam

The Phillips CD-i reference site
CD-i Wikipedia page
Playstation Wikipedia page
Hyrule Times
You Tube(CD-I search)