Why did CD-i fail to succeed?

Anything relating to CD-i can be discussed in this forum. From the multiple hardware iterations of the system to the sofware including games, reference, music and Video CDs. Maybe you hold an interest in Philips Media and the many development houses set up to cater for CD-i if so then this is the forum.

Why did CD-i fail to succeed?

Poll ended at Mon May 01, 2006 5:38 pm

The retail prices were too high
3
25%
3rd party support was too low
4
33%
1st party software was weak
0
No votes
distribution services were too weak (cd-i was nowhere to buy)
1
8%
CD-i hardware performances were weak, comparing with competitors
0
No votes
More and better marketing (advertising) would have done it
4
33%
 
Total votes: 12

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Bas
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Why did CD-i fail to succeed?

Post by Bas » Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:38 pm

With the console business having a hard time in the ninetees Philips obviously failed to push CD-i through. Especially Sony who boosted a 2 billion dollar nail into Playstation to force it to the market was a punch in the face although Philips didn't bring CD-i as a game machine in the first place. Still, CD-i never was succesfull. Why? Ofcourse it's about a blend of reasons mixed with reality and stupid decisions, but what's the core factor CD-i missed to have a reasonable chance to succeed?

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Post by Devin » Sun Apr 02, 2006 2:00 am

Probably a tab for all of the above would be appropriate! My belief for the core reason was lack of focus. What was CD-i? At first an education/professional tool an area where it had moderate success but to appeal to a wider audience the player took on Kids titles, Reference, Virtual News Broadcasts through the years and of course games, throw movies into the mix and you have a very confused product to sell. The high price tag for admittance didn't help matters, if Philips pursued a second generation CD-i player with DVD and Games at the forefront with a jazzed up name I dare say it would have been a good rival to the PSX.
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Post by Erronous » Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:50 pm

CD-i was available at almost every streetcorner in .nl and the advertising campaign also was hard to miss. So I guess I would have to check all boxes except those two.

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Post by oaacdi » Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:00 am

Erronous wrote:CD-i was available at almost every streetcorner in .nl and the advertising campaign also was hard to miss. So I guess I would have to check all boxes except those two.
But in the USA, and its possesions, it was so hard to get! Mainly mail orders. Not that I could go to a video store and buy games every other week.

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Post by Bas » Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:52 am

Comparing with other console systems cd-i titles still weren't as easily to come by in the Netherlands.... Regular Nintendo and Sega games you could find in every toy store and I've never seen CD-i in chains like those. However, a small selection could be found at most others, except for Dixons.
But you're right, the distribution in the Netherlands was good, there was no problem in buying CD-i if you wanted to. However, this changed rapidly when you went abroad.

CD-i being a multimedia-machine instead of a games machine gave it a innovation boost in my opinion rather than an undecided area where it would like to succeed in. I can't imagine this killed the machine. However, I read a news article yesterday on tweakers.net about the low support for the UMD discs from Sony's PSP. Big movie companies like Paramount and Universal are already somelike banning the format claiming sales are way too low. Perhaps people just didn't want a new format just like the VCD format. It sounded familiar.

As for the others, I think the hardware performances were too low, especially comparing with SNES. A straight comment to those who still think the SNES was thought to be compatible with CD-i. Ouch. If the CD-i had better specifications, sofware developers would not fail as much as they did now with converting a title to CD-i. From all the stories I've heard about them trying to bring a decent product on CD-i, most problems are about the low system capabilities.

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Post by Bas » Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:04 pm

I also think Philips and all of them who created the CD-i format made it too hard to develop for. Just think of the cancellation of several major CD-i games, because of technical problems. Like the Digital Video version of Rise of the Robots. Or like Microcosm. CD-i was damn difficult to develop for, and It may have frightened a lot of developers to start their own cd-i project.
Third party developers always needed the help of Philips when implementing Digital Video into their CD-i game. That tells enough.

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Post by Captain J » Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:06 am

the debut price in the states may have killed it immediately. $2,000 usd for anything is a hard pill to swallow. getting off on the right foot to begin with could have saved the greatest system ever made!
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Post by Bas » Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:24 am

where's that avatar coming from captain? It looks familiar...

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Post by Erronous » Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:30 pm

I think it's an "imagination machine" ad. With all the interactivity coming out of the tv screen :).

Did the first CD-i players sell for $2000? I though it was more like $899 or something like that.

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Post by phatrat1982 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:54 am

I can't speak for everyone else and please don't bash me for this but truth be told back then I had a Sega Genesis and all I ever wanted during those days was to get a Sega CD and 32X when it came out. My friends also all had Sega a couple also had SNES and I always wanted one but back then I was such a Sega fanboy nothing was going to pursuade me otherwise. I might have been able to sell my dad on getting a CD-i for the audio and video aspect if I hadn't bee trying to hard to talk them into Sega CD and the main reason they were against Sega CD was the price. And my dad told me it played the same games so was not worth buying just because hey had more colors and could talk that was his opinion.


I think the main reason CD-i failed is honestly due entirely to the marketing of Sega and Nintendo, CD-i was already fading before Playstation even hit market so I doubt they even played a hand in it at all honestly.

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Post by Gaara » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:42 am

High price, limited range of software, poor marketing in many countries, lack of any release in other countries. I don't know if it is relevant, but my dad worked de-bugging PC CD-ROM business software at the Australian devision of Philips during the mid-1990s and he had never heard of CD-i until I told him about it.

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Post by proxy10 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:50 am

I also think Philips and all of them who created the CD-i format made it too hard to develop for.

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Post by Alan_Eng » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:52 pm

It was aimed at the family market and not at the hardcore gamer market. Then in 1994 there was a change of tact and it started to be pushed as a games console, and the 450 was released. Sadly, by that time there was serious competition and the release of the Sony playstation was just around the corner.

But the cd-i still has 'cult' status.

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Post by phatrat1982 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:46 am

I will tell you what, I have a lot more respect for Philips and their CD-i than I do Sony an their demon possessed console of doom. I think the only reason Playstation was a success was their dirty deals and bribes. Don't get me wrong I owned a PSX back in the day but it was second fiddle to my Saturn and N64 which I loved to death.

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Post by Gaara » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:21 am

Calling the PS1 a "demon possessed console of doom" is an insult to demons everywhere. Some great games on the system, sure, but the console itself is utterly charmless and the graphics have aged far worse than the sprites of the SNES, Mega Drive, etc.

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