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This Was The Most Expensive Video Game Console Ever Launched

With the pricey Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 having been released just in time for the holiday season, you can absolutely bet that wallets are definitely hurting. While there are differences between the consoles, the cheapest option of the new consoles, the Series S, lacks a lot of the bells and whistles its more expensive counterparts have. But while these companies set their consoles at high price points, nothing compares to what Philips did to unsuspecting customers in 1990.


Back then, Philips Electronics was eager to dip its toes into different forms of media. In order to compete with gaming giants like Sega and Nintendo, the company knew it had to do something different. Thus the Philips CD-i was born, and it cost an astonishing $1000. The console did sell and had its own unique innovative features, but it didn't come without faults (and it had many). Little did Philips know that their beloved console would become a glorious disaster that would be forever etched in gaming history

Why was the CD-i so expensive?

Back in 1990, gaming was still evolving. Arcades had already started to die out by the time the 90s rolled by, and gaming consoles were becoming the norm. When the Philips CD-i was released, it was a revolutionary console like no other. The CD-i allowed users to listen to music, play video games, and watch movies, all on one machine. Since this type of hardware hadn't been done before, it seemed that the $1000 price tag was warranted.


While Philips promised a positive gaming experience, users in the 90s were instead met with a limited collection of shoddy titles. The most infamous trilogy of games that were birthed for the system were a collection of Zelda titles that had nauseating cutscenes and awful gameplay. Some of its games, like Super Mario's Wacky Worldsnever even made it to release.

To give you an idea of how absolutely ridiculous the price of this console was: an SNES cost $199 and the Sega Genesis was marked at $189 during the era of the Philips-CDi according to research from IGN. The system was discontinued in 1996, but still remains one of gaming history's most infamous, and expensive consoles.