It's really weird feeling nostalgic for a console never actually owned, played or in any way experienced... Still, the CD-i was the second CD console I ever craved (promptly following the equally unsuccessful CDTV). And it was ads like this (via), that spawned my ungodly craving:
Even though the console was a commercial failure, it was rather an interesting kit of hardware, that somehow managed to become the home of some weird, rare and quirky Mario and Zelda games. Featuring a 16bit 68000 based processor (@ 16MHz), 1.5 whole MB of RAM, a single-speed CD drive, optional MPEG-1 capabilities and dazzling 32k color graphics, CD-i was quite the home-entertainment hub Philips had wanted it to be.
It danced, it singed, it was good for audio, video, Karaoke and CD+G discs, while at the same time (not literally, mind you) it played games. The CD-i you see, oh dear retro-minded reader, had a decent library of gaming and educational software.
Top titles included Burn:Cycle, Myst, Dragon's Lair, Litil Divil, Mad Dog McCree, Rise of the Robots and a dozen more.
Surprisingly (to me at least), the CD-i failed, and I never got one. Why? Guess it was a money thing. 1up, has more to add to the sad story. As for an emulator... Tough luck. There's the freeware CD-ice that's capable of emulating one game (Rise of the Robots, in case you were wondering), and the shareware Cd-i Emulator (free demo).
Both though need the CD-i's ROM images. Tough luck. Again.
Related Gnome's Lair articles: Adopt a Dreamcast, the C64 lives on, Text is King!
Related Tags: CD-i, cdi, philips, retro, Mario, games, game, video, Emulator, emu, feature