Philips CD-i emulators

From Emulation General Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Philips CD-i
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.


Name Platform(s) Latest Version DVC[N 1] Libretro Core Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
PC / x86
MAME Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD 0.238 Mid
TinyCDi Windows 2009-10-28 Mid ~
CD-i Emulator Windows 0.5.3 beta 4 (Patched) ~ Mid ~ ~
CeDImu Windows Linux None (pre-alpha) Low (WIP)
CD-iCE Windows Linux 2001-08-20 Low
  1. Emulation of the Gate Array MPEG Digital Video Cartridge (DVC) is required for certain games to be playable (check MAME's CD-i hash list for mentions of "DVC").


This multi-system emulator includes a driver for the CD-i, although support is incomplete as it still has no emulation for the Digital Video Cartridge as of July 2021.[1] 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. MAME is also currently the only program to provide CD-i emulation through a libretro core, which makes it the easiest and the most stable method of emulating the CD-i for now. Compared to CD-i Emulator 0.5.3 beta 4, MAME is generally easier to control and can better emulate the audio for some games.
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. On the other hand, some games have more issues than they have on the official MAME build.
CD-i Emulator
A closed-source payware emulator. The latest public release, 0.5.3 beta 4, dates all the way back from 2018 and is unfortunately now unplayable (without a crack, anyway) due to the way that free trial timing is handled in the beta releases. The beta does have proof-of-concept emulation of the Digital Video Cartridge but compatibility may still be an issue[2]. Despite the long time between releases, this emulator is still in seemingly active development as of July 2021, with work being done on the next version (likely called 0.6) that reportedly supports most of the DVC games and also has several other improvements[3][4].
A much newer independent project being actively developed by Stovent, largely based on a set of unofficial documentation by the creator of CD-i Emulator[5]. As of July 2021, it's progressing quickly but still in pre-alpha, so don't expect it to boot any games just yet.
One of the earliest 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).