Developed by Phillips Electronics, the CD-i, or Compact Disc Interactive, is a multimedia CD player. Its purpose was to provide additional functionality to a standard CD player and gaming system at a lower price than a personal computer. The player was compatible with a variety of discs, including interactive CD-i discs, audio CDs and Video CDs. Software for the CD-i included a small amount of video games, many of which were based on existing board games and TV games shows, or were ports and spinoffs of Nintendo titles. The majority of the software was educationally based, and included interactive encyclopedias, museum tours and children's stories narrated by well-known actors. Edutainment titles based on popular stories such as The Berenstain Bears were directed toward younger children, and included activities such as puzzles to develop critical thinking skills. A series of music-centered titles were also produced.
Released in 1991 for $700, the CD-i was quickly determined to be a market failure, especially as a gaming platform. It received many negative reviews for its poor graphics, difficult controls and high price. Current sources such as PC World magazine, Gamepro.com and CNET consistently rank it as one of the worst video game platforms ever created. Phillips discontinued the CD-i in 1998.