>> Monday, June 2, 2008
After a silence of nine months we pick up the line of press articles covering the articles which has been published in the US newspapers. Thanks to the archives we can now head back and look what release lists Philips published back in the days. Between the small words you can read a lot of hints on what is expected and how early in the life cycle Philips was already struggling with the identity of the CD-i format. 1993 was one of the most important years of CD-i, as 'Digital Video' launched this year and consumers were able to buy a Digital Video Cartridge for about 500 dollars! Moreover this year the first products were born out of the Nintendo-Philips issue. Read them after the click.
Philips Confused Over Matsushita CD-I Reports
Despite widespread reports to the contrary, Tokyo headquartered Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, says it has no intention of abandoning the Compact Disc-Interactive (CD-I) format. Matsushita appears to have made a long-term commitment to the manufacture of the 3DO player and CD-I manufacturer Philips said it finds Matsushita's statements confusing.
Telegraaf, an Amsterdam newspaper, claims a research and development director at Matsushita said CD-I was "dated" and was being abandoned in favor of the newer 3DO format. Several other publications are echoing the report as well.
However, Matsushita says any reports concerning the abandonment of CD-I are erroneous. Company representatives emphatically stated that Matsushita has not stopped developing CD-I and has no intention of stopping CD-I development.
Representatives from Philips said they are confused as to why Matsushita feels a need to make a statement concerning CD-I, either positive or negative. They say the statement is even more puzzling considering the fact that Matsushita has never brought a CD-I player to the US market, despite its repeated displays of prototype units at CD-I trade shows.
A representative at Matsushita told Newsbytes the report appears to be a misunderstanding. However, the New York Times said Wall Street analysts are advising clients to sell their 3DO stock now, at a loss, because of concern that 3DO might not be able to live up to its high claims. Software developers for the 3DO platform have quietly expressed similar concerns to us.
San Mateo, California-based 3DO, started by Electronic Arts founder Tripp Hawkins, went public this year without a product and was enthusiastically greeted by Wall Street. Matsushita picked up the manufacture of the hardware for the platform and is manufacturing it under the brand name Panasonic. Contrary to its flying start, 3DO appears to be struggling. The company reported losses so far this year and is now in a quiet period upon the issuance of more stock.
CD-I was introduced nearly three years ago, but now has a broad base of titles available and also offers playback of popular movies on CD through a partnership with Paramount. Philips is also advertising heavily in the form of "infomercials" concerning the CD-I player and products. 3DO is using a similar approach to advertise its product, but only four titles are available for the unit to date though more are promised soon.
MATSUSHITA SHOWS MOTION VIDEO CD-I
Proving that its CD-I development is still active Matsushita demonstrated full-motion video (FMV) from a CD-I disc at a recent press seminar in Wiesbaden, Germany. CD-I has been under development for five years at Matsushita's Audio and Video Sector division, while group's separate Information Equipment Sector has independently pledged allegiance to rival 3DO multimedia system. Audio and Video Sector director Yoshio Hino now says the two Matsushita divisions must communicate and attempt to build some kind of compatibility between the rival systems so that at least FMV discs will play on both.
SEGA CD-ROM RAPIDLY OVERTAKES CD-I IN US
First 35,000-unit US shipment of Sega's CD-ROM add-on for its Genesis/Megadrive video games console is claimed to have sold out in two days--almost equaling in two days the 15-month sales total of Philips' $700 CD-I machines put by the company at 40,000 units. Sega claims its $300 CD machine--launched November 1992--easily exceeded Christmas sales target of 200,000 units and expects to have the devices in 1m US homes by end-1993.
Around 10,000 CD-I players have been sold by Philips in the UK and 6,000 in the Netherlands--significantly exceeding expectations in both markets. Price of Japanese CD-I player has meanwhile been dropped by 18 per cent to Y115,000 ($927).
CD-I was almost completely absent at recent US Consumer Electronics Show, although Goldstar was showing a prototype player in a back room and Motorola demonstrated its full-motion video (FMV) add-on module for CD-I players.