Philips CD-i emulators

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Philips CD-i
CD-i-910-Console-Set.png
Developer Philips, Sony, Magnavox
Type Home video game console
Generation Fourth generation
Release date 1991
Discontinued 1998
Predecessor Philips Videopac + G7400
Emulated ~

The Compact Disc Interactive (CD-i), is an interactive multimedia CD player and format developed and released by Philips on December 3, 1991. It had a Philips SCC68070 CPU at 15.5 MHz with 1MB of RAM. Notably, it featured intellectual properties from Nintendo, such as Mario and Zelda, due to previously having tried to develop a CD add-on for the SNES. Their takes on Nintendo intellectual property were so infamously terrible that you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn't think of them when you mention the CD-i. However, there were a few cult classic games for the system.

Emulators[edit]

Name Operating System(s) Latest Version Active Accuracy Libretro Core Recommended
MAME Multi-platform 0.206 Mid ~
TinyCDi Windows 28-10-09 Mid
CD-i Emulator Windows 0.5.3 beta 4 (Patched) Mid
CD-iCE Windows, Linux 20-08-01 Low

Comparisons[edit]

MAME
To say it's a multi-system emulator would be an understatement. A driver exists for the CD-i but support is incomplete, as it still doesn't emulate the Digital Video Cartridge (DVC) as of March 2019.[1] That means games that require it like 7th Guest, Atlantis - The Last Resort, Creature Shock, Dragon's Lair, and Lost Eden are unsupported.[2] However, MAME is much easier to control, and its audio emulation is actually better than CD-i Emulator in some cases. Starting the game from disc is recommended; this can be done with the built-in frontend by picking the specific game or through a soft reset after mounting the disc. It also has a libretro core, which makes it the easiest (but still by no means the best) method of emulating the CD-i currently.
TinyCDi
An unofficial build of MESS from 2009 made by one of MAME's active developers, Haze. This build is named such that it only focuses on the CD-i. It uses a fixed game list, but it works better than the official MAME builds, especially with games like Zelda's Adventure for example. This is currently the best option for CD-i emulation.
CD-i Emulator
A payware emulator. Was presumed inactive but got a new beta release in 2018, seven years after the last release. Used to only have mouse movements for control, now has preliminary keyboard support. However, the keyboard control isn't great in some games. The beta has proof-of-concept emulation of the Gate Array MPEG Digital Video Cartridge (DVC) but compatibility may still be an issue [1] (deadlink as of February 2019). Not recommended (obsolete).
CD-iCE
One of the first made CD-i emulators. It doesn't need a BIOS but it was only developed to be able to play Rise of the Robots (no other game is supported).

References[edit]