CD-i - bad console, or ahead of it's time media player?

I've been thinking a little bit about the CD-i lately. I never owned one or wanted to own one, but I do wonder if it could have gained a stronger hold if it were marketed differently.

[upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/E6B1mp8.png]

I feel like for a long time I always thought of it as a games machine, rather than a media/software player. From what I can tell, the software library on the CD-i was much greater than the games library for it. Lots of odd stuff.
https://twitter.com/GamingAlexandri/status/1432490611022733315

If you want to do some reading, the CD-i Full Functional Specifications (Green Book) is [available in full online](https://www.lscdweb.com/data/downloadables/2/8/cdi_may94_r2.pdf). Who wants to make a new CD-i game?
[upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/NPAlxAy.png]

Hop on the [CD-i tour bus](https://twitter.com/dark1x/status/1436411760848801794) and share your thoughts!
[upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/cV6FsfM.png]

Biggest advantage the CD-i had was the built in mpeg video hardware. It was basically a proto DVD player. Videos looked way better than the compressed, half frame rate and shrunk crap on the Sega-CD, multimedia PCs and such. Here is an Amiga CD-32 with an MPEG card comparison:

https://youtu.be/raTiv5Bwz14?t=611


>

@“hellomrkearns”#p42934 Hop on the CD-i tour bus and share your thoughts!

That's Brandon's car

@“Gaagaagiins”#p42976 no, pretty sure this is

[upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/ijwo7zP.png]


@“hellomrkearns”#p42981 Brandon “Two Cars” Sheffield

>

@“hellomrkearns”#p42934 I do wonder if it could have gained a stronger hold if it were marketed differently.

I don’t think so. It was pretty much marketed on its actual strengths. The CD•i was never seriously considered as a competitor to traditional game consoles because Philips themselves did not consider video games as a worthy form of entertainment. The idea was that "multimedia" would be a new wave of enlightened entertainment that would elevate the uncultured masses and immature young gaming fans into appreciators of the finer arts. *Multimedia* back then had the same all encompassing, loosely defined buzzword quality as *multiverse* does nowadays. Philips saw Microsoft Encarta as their competitor, not Sonic The Hedgehog.

The CD•i could do games, but consoles could do them better. It could do movies, but Video CD was only ever popular in South East Asia (and it was much easier to get a Saturn with MPEG unit than a CD•i there). It could be educational, but Windows95 made the PC environment just as consumer-friendly and more versatile.

If you are not going to be the best at _anything_, you’d better be the cheapest, and the CD•i was instead priced as a premium experience. I think it got the career it deserved.

If you want to dig into bizarre Euro hardware failures from the 90s, I would argue Olivetti’s approach was more redeemable in theory. Kinda the first Xbox before the first Xbox.

[upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/PVMeCgO.jpeg]

Also, I have ridden shotgun with Brandon and I can testify his car is actually pretty cool.