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Philips CD-i: The Games Themselves

Our last edition of the smash hit left us at the beginning of the CD-I, 1991. Philips was faced with the tough task of putting together a c...

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Philips CD-i: The Beginning (Or how Philips got Zelda on the CD-i)

1984, Japan. Sony and Philips have been in discussion for weeks on how to best harness the power of their new invention, the Compact Disc.
Philips are adamant the CD should be best harnessed for encyclopaedias and reference texts, given their immense amounts of data, while Sony believed videogames are where the data-dense discs were headed. These differences led them to part ways in the partnership: Sony formed their Imagesoft division, now infamous for its terrible movie-to-game adaptation of the Schwarzenegger classic Cliffhanger and a range of other bad titles for the Sega CD (Really, what on the Sega CD wasn't bad), while Philips began working on the set of standards that later evolved into the CD-i.
Disclaimer: Not a real game
Philips, despite their initial opposition to video-games, soon saw the industry as a lucrative chance to kill two birds with one stone. They viewed the CD-i as a revolutionary device, cheaper than a computer (Computers started at nearly 1000 dollars in those days) yet more capable than a videogame system. They knew that their weird, innately Dutch sense of humour didn't make for good videogames. As a result, talks began between them and renowned videogame publishers Nintendo on a CD-based add-on for the universally popular SNES. These same talks, however, went downhill fast (We're talking fast here. Some sources put the life of the SNES CD, as it was to be known, at 10 minutes). As a result of these talks, Philips walked out of the boardroom carrying the rights to 5 Nintendo-licensed games...

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