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The CD-i (short for Compact Disc Interactive), which was released in 1991, was a multimedia system created primarily by Philips and to a lesser extent Sony, though only Philips proceeded to sell the system. Its initial price was around USD 400. It was capable of playing interactive CD-i discs (its native format, also known as Green Book), Audio CDs, CD+G (CD+Graphics), Karaoke CDs, and Video CDs (VCDs), though the last of these required an optional "Digital Video Card" to provide MPEG-1 decoding.

Early software releases focused heavily on educational and self-improvement titles, with only a handful of video games, many of them adaptations of board games like "Connect Four". Later attempts to develop a foothold in games were rendered irrelevant by the arrival of the cheaper and more powerful Sony PlayStation.

In 1994, system sales started to slow and the system died in 1998. Philips never managed to create the public interest in the capabilities of the CD-i that it had hoped for. It is noted for having several video games that are normally found exclusively on Nintendo systems, though they were not developed by Nintendo. Hotel Mario featured Super Mario characters and three Legend of Zelda games were released: Faces of Evil, Wand of Gamelon and Zelda's Adventure.

With the home market exhausted, Philips tried to position the technology as a tool for kiosks and industrial multimedia, but here too it found little success.

The Philips CD-i had three versions: the CD-i 450, which was the "video game CD-i", the CD-i 210, which was the common multimedia version, and the CD-i 550, which was basically a 450 with the Digital Video Cartridge installed plus it came with a arcade pad.