Thursday 5 November 2009

CD-i emulation in MESS

Your resident Squirrel doesn't have the internet speeds nor the patience to play with 100MB downloads right now, but the Multi Emulator Super System project (MESS) has recently added preliminary Philips CD-i support. It's the second emulator ever to do so, and the first that's fully available to the public for free. A bit of a surprise, since because MESS is ambitiously attempting to emulate every console in existence at once, it tends to lag behind in the emulation scene a bit.

The Philips CD-i is one of the worst consoles ever made. It came at a time where CD-based games were the bees knees, but the equipment to run CD-based games was sub-par. Its creation was the result of Nintendo's demands to create a CD add-on to the Super Nintendo, similar to what Sega's Mega Drive and NEC's TurboGrafX were offering, but the deal was never fully realised. Both Sony and Philips were tasked with the job, Sony's attempt resulting in the long running PlayStation line while Philips resulting in this pile of molten garbage. There are very few decent games for the CD-i - most are haunted with very poor quality FMVs, long loading times and terrible controls due to a terrible controller, not to mention most of its software isn't even targetted at a gaming market.

But there are a few interesting features of this console, such as the dodgy Mario and Zelda titles and various one-hit-wonders. Anyway the point is up until now the only way to emulate this stuff was to dish out €25. Now it's free.

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