The Philips CD-i is an interactive multimedia CD Player released by Philips in 1991. Despite its many uses, it was largely seen as a gaming console. In addition to games, the CD-i also had encyclopedias and museum tour titles released for it. The CD-i is also well known for the CD-i Zelda games, Link: The Faces of Evil, Zelda: the Wand of Gamelon, and Zelda's Adventure as well as Hotel Mario.


Initially, Nintendo was working with Sony to develop a CD Add-on for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, but the project was cancelled due to disputes over ownership of the add-on. Sony decided to turn the prototype they had developed into the PlayStation while Nintendo turned to Philips to develop the add-on.

Negotiations with Philips also fell through, during those negotiations Philips were given permission to use Nintendo characters in some of their games so they made their own console the CD-i. Because of this, the CD-i's best known games are Hotel Mario and the CD-i Zelda games (AKA the Unholy Triforce).

Why it Flopped

  1. The 910 model was even larger than the Atari 5200. Same size as an old chunky video player.
  2. Gamers had to buy an adapter for a second player.
  3. Due to it being largely seen as a game console, gamers were unimpressed with its educational software.
  4. Slow start at making games. The CD-i started selling self-improvement titles, educational and music software. These made gamers wary of the system so Philips attempted to make more games for the system, however, by the time they realized this, more powerful systems arose such as the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation, effectively dooming the CD-i.
  5. Nearly all the games on the CD-i have been panned as terrible (some critics and gamers have even stated that the first two CD-i Zelda games are actually the best games for the system).
  6. Many of the controllers were very poorly designed.
  7. False Advertising : The commercial said the price was $300 when it actually was $700, more than the PlayStation 4.
  8. Poor advertising that only aired late at night, so many gamers and kids were likely asleep at the time. This occurred when Philips accepted that gamers only wanted games and not the educational software.
  9. The console looks too much like a modified VHS player.
  10. The boot-up screen's sound effects are repetitive and make your ears feel like they're being raped.

Redeeming Quality

  1. The games for the CD-i, especially the Zelda games and Hotel Mario, created YouTube Poop, and tons of other internet memes.


The CD-i's various controllers were ranked the fifth worst video game controller by IGN editor Craig Harris. PC World ranked it as fourth on their list of "The 10 Worst Video Game Systems of All Time". also listed the game as number four on their list of The 10 Worst-Selling Consoles of All Time. In 2008, CNET also listed the system on its list of The worst game console(s) ever. In 2007, GameTrailers ranked the Philips CD-i as the fourth worst console of all time in its Top 10 Worst Console lineup.