If there's one system that gets lambasted on a regular basis it has to be the CDi. I'm not one for holding grudges against consoles (unless is the Atari Jaguar) and will always give each a good go at proving if they are any good. Sometimes that leads me down dark paths of full sets often given up on when boredom sets in but at times something comes along that is so bad, has such a stinking reputation that I have to wonder if it's even a console at all.
I recall going into Curry's in the early 90's and seeing a CDi with the tray on the front (must have been a 220 as I remember pressing the button!) and a golf game in a live display. Felt more like being at the VHS/TV stands as it was set out in a special area that wasn't anywhere near the gaming stuff. Don't think I really got how big a thing CD's were about to become for home entertainment so I was pretty curious to say the least. I would have had a Mega Drive with the likes of Altered Beast on it at the time because I remember poking at that golf game and turning my nose up. It played more like one of those interactive DVD's than an actual console.
Philips weren't really trying to make a gaming system but a bit of .. well ... jack of all trades. The manuals come across like a DVD player guide and it's more about the music/movie features more than the focus on games. The box is covered in discs that offer reference stuff on art and encyclopedias with games getting very little look in. The whole system feels like it was a push away from that market completely and I've no idea how well it did selling as a multimedia unit in sales. It's an interesting bit of kit though and mine came boxed with the game controller. That things a must as the remote is meant to be terrible.
At first I was thinking up a nice pile of games with the odd hunt on eBay but the pandemic has shut shop on that idea and was lucky I ordered this just before lockdown. I was curious to see how the interactive stuff works and noticed a musical thingy on eBay for a a few quid. After that I've been burning CD's like a pro and will be spending a lot of time over the next few weeks working my way through the library.
I only had around 70 blank CD's and just finished burning the last ones yesterday. I've picked out what I think will be really interesting games to cover, keep in mind this thing only has a library or around 140 games with a mix of random artsy stuff like Prelude. The one I'm most looking forward to is Discovering Pompei as I've always been a bit of a fan of ancient Roman history. See.. there could be great stuff tucked away on here!
I'm hooking it up with component/Scart which seems to be the best picture you can get out of these. The 450 I picked up doesn't have a working clock battery and annoyingly the only way to change that is to crack it open, hack away at a timing chip with a screwdriver and sandpaper to slot a new one. Insane design choice but the biggest problem that causes is you can't set the system time or save games. Very few CD's use the save feature so I should be good to go for the most part!
The 450 is the more expensive unit but with a top loading drawer that means very little moving parts and a packed in digital cartridge to be able to see all the features. With the older units you'd have to buy an extra plug in which can be about £50 on top of a £100 system so it's very hit and miss if you will end up with a cheaper unit at all when compared to the likes of this.