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Now you can play CD-i games with your SNES controller

>> Monday, May 2, 2016

More than 10 years ago Paul Hackmann showed us a way to use any analogue PC controller with your CD-i player. Now, in 2016, a fan called "anarterb" (His name is Laurent Berta) created a tool to play CD-i games with an original SNES controller. Arguably the best controller to play with.

Anarterb: "Hi all, I released a very similar project called SNEStoCDi. the goal is to use a SNES (Super Nintendo) or SFC (Super Famicom) gamepad on a Philips CDi. I use it with my CDi 470, it works great. SNEStoCDi is an open-source project, based on an Arduino and pretty easy to build.

Here is the link :

by the way I'm considering builing a few SNEStoCDi converters and sell them at low price on ebay, to help people who don't feel able to built it by themselves."


SNEStoCDi is an Arduino-based project that allows to use a Nintendo SNES (Super NES) / SFC (Super Famicom) gamepad on a Philips CDi player / game console. SNEStoCDi requires no more electronic than the Arduino itself. It's a pretty easy project for anyone with basic knowledge about Arduino and soldering.

SNEStoCDi is released under Creative Common CC-BY 4.0 licence :
How to make your own SNEStoCDi adapter

First of all, you need the Arduino IDE. If you need to, you can download it for free here :

You also need an Arduino, of course. I myself use Arduinos UNO and Nano but SNEStoCDi should work with most 5v Arduino versions.

To do a good and durable adapter, you will need a SNES/SFC gamepad connector (a simple way is to recycle an extension cable) and a mini-DIN 8 pin male connector.

Do the wiring :
connect the SNES/SFC connector to your Arduino : please report to wiring.jpg for more informations.
connect the min-DIN CDi connector to your Arduino : please report to wiring.jpg for more informations.

the RTS line from the CDi must be connected to an analog input. if you're curious about that, report to the Tech Stuff part.
the Arduino will be powered by the VCC provided by the CDi. do not connect any other power source to the Arduino !

Upload the SNEStoCDi software to your Arduino :
connect the Arduino to your computer.
add the SNESpad library (by Rob Duarte) to the Arduino IDE. the library provided with SNEStoCDi is a modified version of SNESpad, optimized for performances and better compatibility with the current Arduino IDE. for information on installing libraries, see :
open the SNEStoCDi sketch.
check that the Arduino pins on the sketch match your wiring, if not adjust the sketch with the right pins. the sketch matches the pinout showed on the wiring.jpg file.
upload the compiled sketch to your Arduino.

That's it, you already finished :) the SNEStoCDi adapter is plug-and-play : just plug it to your CDi, plug your SNES/SFC pad, start your CDi and go suffer on some terrible games ... :) I'd be happy to know about your build, so don't hesistate to send me an email to let me know you made your own SNEStoCDi adapter.

SNEStoCDi has been tested successfully with Arduinos UNO and Nano, on a Philips CDi 470.
SNEStoCDi mapping & fancy stuff

The buttons mapping is probably exactly what you expect :
the Dpad acts as a Dpad.
the "Y" button acts as "Button 1".
the "B" button acts as "Button 2".
the "A" and "X" buttons both act as "Button 3", which is in fact "Button 1 + Button 2".

The SNES/SFC provides way more buttons than a CDi gamepad, so I had the opportunity to add some fancy stuff :
the cursor speed is adjustable in 5 steps. the "L" trigger shifts one step down, the "R" trigger shifts one step up.
the "start" button resets the speed to the default one (step 3).
the speed setting is saved into the Arduino's EEPROM, so SNEStoCDi will apply your last speed setting the next time you will use it.
the "select" button changes the buttons mapping and inverts "B" and "Y". another "select" press changes the mapping again.
Tech stuff

You might be curious about the use of an analog input where there is no analog signal. The reason is that the CDi and the Arduino have different logical levels : the CDi asserts the RTS line at about 2.4 volts when the Arduino needs about 3 volts on digital inputs. By reading the RTS line on an analog input, I've been able to set manually a lower "virtual logical level". This allows to use the Arduino alone, without any other electronic component to adapt the levels.

For some reason, all my attemps to use the hardware UART to send data to the CDi failed. This is why I used NewSoftSerial (called SoftwareSerial in the Arduino IDE) to emulate another UART. As it is only used to send data, the RX interrupt is not really used and this is why the RX pin is not connected. The CDi doesn't send anything on its TX, it only communicates on the RTS line, this is the reason why the communication between the Arduino and the CDi is kind of asymetrical.

Thank you very much for reading my bad english (I'm french), I really hope SNEStoCDi will help you to use your CDi without spending insane money on an original CDi gamepad. If you build your SNEStoCDi, please let me know on my email, I would be very happy to know my work has been useful :)

Special thanks to Rob Duarte who created the great SNESpad library, and to Paul Hackmann who provided some very useful documentation about the CDi devices and communication protocol.

bye ! Laurent Berta /

4 reacties:

Alan_Eng,  July 31, 2016 at 9:10 PM  

Fantastic - thanks very much for posting! I'm very interested in owning one of these!

Unknown August 16, 2016 at 12:02 AM  

I am pulling my hair out trying to track down a Cdi controller that will work with a US 910 model. I would certainly purchase one of these if it would work on my Cdi

Anonymous,  January 29, 2017 at 5:10 PM  

Doesn't appear to work with a Magnavox 2200, but works great on a 450.

Aamp,  August 2, 2017 at 3:34 PM  

This is awesome! i was able to play CDi for the first time using this :)

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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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