>> Friday, October 12, 2007
The biggest news for Philips CD-i in 1994 was the introduction of the low-cost 450 player. A brand new design aimed at the modern and younger market. The 450 player was introduced in the US below the psychological price of 300 dollar! The player immediately shows a remarkable design that looks more like a real game console than any other CD-i player type. This model offers for the first time in CD-i history a top-loading CD mechanism. Additional buttons as available on other CD-i players are absent, so you won't be able to control audio-cd's right from the front panel this time. But ofcourse, Philips aims at simplicity instead of a loss of functions to be able to drop the price of this 450 player.
All functions can still be used via the remote control at the on-screen menus. While CD-i offers an first class audio player, connecting your TV everytime when you just want to hear some audio is not very convenient.
For the rest, the 450 player has a seperate power brick instead of a built-in one like the previous consumer models. In this way, the 450 player is quite smaller than the 2xx series. The player only weighs 1100 gram this time! Philips planned to release two versions of the 450 design: An upgraded versions going strong with the name '550' was also planned. This one had an integrated Digital Video cartridge. Moreover, the 550 player was sold with the CD-i Gamepad; The 450 only offered the wired thumbpad. The 550 was introduced for the price of 500 dollar.
Considering the price of 800 dollar for the 210 player (launch price) and the additional price of 400 dollar for the Digital Video Cartridge in 1993 this was a huge price drop and a boost for CD-i sales. For Sony, I hope they realize if they don't do something about their Playstation 3 policy, the PS3 is walking the same way as CD-i did in the ninetees!
October 10 will see the stripped down version of Playstation 3 in Europe, but it's to be seen if it will have a big effect on the hugely popular Nintendo consoles!
Finally, here are some beautiful pictures of the original packaging of the CD-i 450 player: It's the first player that was boxed in a full-color packaging; all the others were sent away in a brown carton box. The amount of screenshots of games and the inclusion of the CD-i gamepad marked the 450 for games especially!
Thanks to all for the pictures!