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CD-i prototype hardware from Philips HQ

>> Sunday, July 29, 2007

Finally, the story I hinted to a while back is published and that means we can dig a little deeper to the details. Because this is something special; I think it's the first time around we meet with an unreleased hardware peripheral (if we don't count the mystery around the Tele CD-i Assistant!). If you remember the picture from this post you know what to expect: This is like a combination of the trackball and the Commander/thumbstick. One innovative extra is the ability to recharge the device, so there's no need for batteries anymore. The Black Moon Project interviewed Peer Custers, working in Product Management at Philips, a "linking pin" between market and industry of Philips CD-i.

Ofcourse, Interactive Dreams jumps on the wagon to post our favourite bits in a compilation. Peer: "CD-i wasn’t only a new format, it combined other formats as well. It appeared that this confused the consumer and it was quite difficult, to say the least, to bring the message across.

In the early days of Video CD films it clearly could be noticed that the encoding technology had to be sophisticated as the compression rate was too high. This resulted in visible “blocks”. A good example for this phenomenon was the first release of the “Hunt for Red October”.

A gaming module that would fit in the DVC slot has never been seriously planned. There was this generic policy that CD-i should remain a multi-standard product, e.g. CD-Audio, Photo CD, Video CD and CD-i applications capable. At that time our IMS (Interactive Media Systems) organisation had no experience at all in games. Yes, there were games, but as I stated in an earlier interview: no interest in the design and development of real games related devices. To introduce a successful games platform one needs a dedicated organisation with staff that is hooked up to games. You should understand gamers to be able to make games.

That prototype you see on these pictures actually would have come into production were it not that at that time the decision already had been taken to stop future developments in CD-i. The prototype Steph has actually is a sample of the second Trial Run. In parallel with the controller a docking station was developed to charge the batteries. This controller was designed on one hand to better meet gamers’ requirements whilst at the same time it also could be used for generic CD-i purposes, like with the first set of CD-i controllers. The device also has been designed symmetrically in view of persons that are left handed.

The Commander might look a bit awkward, as its tip containing the IR transmitter points down. As this is unusual in the world of remote control, it needs a bit of elucidation. During various tests over time with consumer behaviour I always noticed that people tend to bend their hand down in which they hold a remote control and "shoot" at the set. CD-i however, because of its interactive nature, requires bending your hand in that position for quite a long time. And that is inconvenient as you tend to overstrain. In the designing stage I requested our design people to modify the shape of the Commander and put the nose under an angle of approx, 30° downwards.

The multitude of CD-i players was greatly a necessary evil, as we say in Dutch. First of all there was an enormous pressure on cost price as well a need to extend the product range offering the consumer a choice. Cost price reduction were obtained by developing new generations of “mother boards” as we would call them now. Integration of CD-i in TV and in audio stacks was envisaged and realised in the later phase of CD-i. Secondly there was the fact that we had to cater for a professional market as well. The professional market started to discover the benefits of a CD-i player attached to a TV in comparison of a PC with a monitor.

The CD-i player was positioned as a very versatile product: you could play your Audio CD's, you could show your photo's, you could play games, you could watch movies. All kinds of interactive applications both for the consumer as for the professional market were developed. A dedicated product (a CD player, a Photo CD player, a games machine): that was understood, but a CD-i player with all its possibilities? Interactivity: what is that? The beginning of the fall of CD-i was the fact that the consumer did not understand "interactivity". Marketing communications did not succeed in bringing the message across. Exit CD-i."

More? Click here to read the full interview!

Peer Custers was interviewed by Devin. With many thanks to Peer for answering our questions, and a debt of gratitude to Steph for his help and persistance! (c)2007 The Black Moon Project

5 reacties:

CD-i Fan July 30, 2007 at 11:53 PM  

What do you mean by "the mystery that is the CD-i Interlink device?"

Bas July 31, 2007 at 9:22 AM  

I assume it's not a mystery to you? I don't know anything about it, and I think it's the same thing as the Tele CD-i assistant? I'm not sure about those two, but as far as I know, this device was not released to the market, at least not in the purpose it was meant to. In the end we got a normal modem, but the features that were promised with the Tele CD-i assistant, like VOD and an interactive TV-Guide (remember Veronica?) never got off the ground. I don't know what happened to it, how it was going to be implemented and more. There's a small picture on ICDIA I believe. Do you know more about this device? (Now I'm confuded if this is the same as the Interlink (where did I read that word anyway!)

CD-i Fan July 31, 2007 at 11:04 PM  

AFAIK, CD-i Interlink is a disc (I have a pressed version, but you can also download it from ICDIA at which supports transfer of files from CD-i to PC or back. The pressed version comes with a CD-i null-modem cable. I know of no "device" related to this...

Bas August 1, 2007 at 6:26 AM  

Yes, I definately meant the Tele CD-i Assistant. I probably mixed up those terms, and will switch them right away :)

Anonymous,  August 28, 2013 at 10:40 PM  

I have this prototype controller 22er8016 "Steph". How much can I ask for it ?

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Games 0-F

3rd Degree - PF Magic
7th Guest, The - Philips Freeland Studios
Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
Asterix - Caesar’s Challenge - Infogrames
Atlantis - The Last Resort - PRL Redhill (Philips ADS)
Axis and Allies - CapDisc
Backgammon - CapDisc
Battle Chess - Accent Media (for Interplay)
Battleship - CapDisc
Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
Christmas Country - The Lost Levels - Creative Media
Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

Games N-Z

Name that tune - Philips Fantasy Factory
New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

  © Interactive Dreams Version 5 by The Black Moon Project 2013

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