Last updated
LaserActive CLD-A100 with the Sega Genesis module
Manufacturer Pioneer Corporation
Product family Laserdisc
Type Converged device, home video game console
Generation Fourth generation
Release date
  • JP: August 20, 1993
  • NA: September 13, 1993
Introductory price¥89,800
Units sold420,000
Media LD-ROM, CD-ROM, ROM cartridge, Hucard
Controller input
  • Sega Genesis 6-Button Controller
  • Turbografx-16 Controller

The LaserActive (レーザーアクティブ, RēzāAkutibu) is a converged device and fourth-generation home video game console capable of playing Laserdiscs, Compact Discs, console games, and LD-G karaoke discs. It was released by Pioneer Corporation in 1993. In addition to LaserActive games, separately sold add-on modules (called "PACs" by Pioneer) accept Mega Drive/Genesis and PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 ROM cartridges and CD-ROMs.


Pioneer released the LaserActive model CLD-A100 in Japan on August 20, 1993 at a cost of ¥89,800, and in the United States on September 13, 1993 at a cost of $970. An NEC-branded version of the LaserActive player known as the LD-ROM² System, or model PCE-LD1, was released on December 1993, which was priced identically to the original system and also accepted Pioneer's PAC modules. [1] The LaserActive has no regional lockout, allowing software from any region to be played on any system. [2] However, it is considered a commercial failure.


PAC modules

The Japanese LaserActive shown with the Sega and NEC pacs. Pioneer LaserActive CLD-A100.jpg
The Japanese LaserActive shown with the Sega and NEC pacs.

In the headings below, the Japanese model number occurs first, followed by the North American model number.

Mega LD PAC (PAC-S1 / PAC-S10)
Pioneer Electronics (USA) and Sega Enterprises released this module that allows users to play 8-inch and 12-inch LaserActive Mega LD discs, in addition to standard Sega CD discs and Genesis cartridges, as well as CD+G discs. It was the most popular add-on bought by the greater part of the LaserActive owners, costing roughly US $600. It comes with a LaserActive-branded version of Sega's 6-button control pad (CPD-S1).
Pioneer Electronics (USA) and NEC Home Electronics released this module that allows users to play 8-inch and 12-inch LaserActive LD-ROM² discs, as well as CD-ROM² and Super CD-ROM² discs, HuCards and CD+G discs. The Japanese version of the PAC can also run Arcade CD-ROM² discs through the use of an Arcade Card Duo. The retail price was US $600. It came with a LaserActive-branded version of NEC's Turbo Pad (CPD-N1/CPD-N10). An NEC branded version of the LD-ROM² PAC known as the PC Engine PAC (model PCE-LP1) was also released. Due to the unpopularity of the TurboGrafx-16 in North America, very few PAC-N10 units were produced, resulting in their scarcity compared to its Sega counterpart.
Karaoke PAC (PAC-K1 / PAC-K10)
This PAC allows the CLD-A100 to use all NTSC LaserKaraoke titles. The front panel has two microphone inputs with separated volume controls, as well as tone control. The retail price was US $350.
Computer Interface PAC (PAC-PC1)
The Computer Interface PAC has an RS-232 port, enabling the CLD-A100 to be controlled by a custom software developed for a home computer. The PAC came with a 33-button infrared remote control providing more functionality than the 24-button remote included with the CLD-A100. It also included a computer program called LaserActive Program Editor on floppy disk for DOS and classic Mac OS. The floppy disks had some sample programs created with the editor for use with the first five LaserDiscs in the Tenchi Muyo! anime series.

LaserActive 3-D Goggles

The LaserActive 3-D Goggles (model GOL-1) employ an active shutter 3D system compatible with at least six 3D-ready LD-ROM software titles: 3-D Museum (1994), Vajra 2 (1994), Virtual Cameraman 2 (1994), Dr. Paolo No Totteoki Video (1994), Goku (1995), and 3D Virtual Australia (1996), the last software title published for the LaserActive.

The goggles are also compatible with the Sega Master System, and are interchangeable with the SegaScope 3-D Glasses.[ citation needed ] They can also be used to view 3-D images from autostereograms. [3]

A goggle adapter (model ADP-1), packaged and sold separately from the 3-D Goggles, enables the user to connect one or two pairs of goggles to the CLD-A100.


The standard LaserActive games were on Laserdisc encoded as an LD-ROM. An LD-ROM had a capacity of 540 MB (where digital audio would have normally been stored) with 60 minutes of analog audio and video.

TitleRegion(s)Language(s)Required ModulesRelease DateCatalog Number
3D MuseumJapan, U.S.EnglishNEC or Sega, Goggles1994PEANJ1012, PEASJ1012 (Japan), PEANU1012, PEASU1012 (U.S.)
3D Virtual AustraliaJapanJapaneseSega, GogglesMarch 11, 1996PEASJ5042
Akuma no Shinban (Demon's Judgment)JapanJapaneseNEC1993PEANJ5003
Angel MateJapanJapaneseNEC1993PEANJ5002
Back To The EdoJapanJapaneseSega1994PEASJ5021
Bi Ryojon Collection (Pretty Illusion - Minayo Watanabe)JapanJapaneseNEC or Sega1994PEANJ5025, PEASJ5025
Bi Ryojon Collection II (Pretty Illusion - Yuko Sakaki)JapanJapaneseNEC or Sega, Goggles1994PEANJ5028, PEASJ5028
Don Quixote: A Dream in Seven CrystalsJapan, U.S.Japanese (Japan), English (U.S.)Sega1994PEASJ5022 (Japan), PEASU5022 (U.S.)
Dora Dora ParadiseJapanJapaneseNEC1994PEANJ5005
Dr. Paolo No Totteoki VideoJapanJapaneseSega, Goggles1994PEASJ5030
Ghost Rush!Japan, U.S.BilingualSega1994 (Japan), 1995 (U.S.)PEASJ1018 (Japan), PEASU1018 (U.S.)
GokuJapan, U.S.Japanese (Japan), English (U.S.)NEC (Japan), Sega (Japan, U.S.), Goggles1995PEASJ1010, PEANJ1032 (Japan), PEASU1010 (U.S.)
The Great PyramidJapan, U.S.BilingualSega1993PEASJ5002 (Japan), PEASU5002 (U.S.)
Hi-Roller BattleJapan, U.S.BilingualSega1993PEASJ1002 (Japan), PEASU1002 (U.S.)
HyperionJapan, U.S.EnglishSega1994PEASJ5019 (Japan), PEASU5019 (U.S.)
I Will: The Story of LondonJapan, U.S.BilingualSega1993PEASJ1001 (Japan), PEASU1001 (U.S.)
J.B. Harold - Blue Chicago BluesJapan, U.S.BilingualNEC (Japan), Sega (Japan, U.S.)1994 (NEC), 1995 (Sega)PEANJ5017, PEASJ5036 (Japan), PEASU5036 (U.S.)
J.B. Harold - Manhattan RequiemJapan, U.S.BilingualNEC1993PEANJ5004 (Japan), PEANU5004 (U.S.)
Melon BrainsJapan, U.S.Japanese (Japan), English (U.S.)NEC (Japan), Sega (Japan, U.S.), Goggles1994PEANJ1031, PEASJ1011 (Japan), PEASU1011 (U.S.)
Myst [4] U.S.Segaprototype
Pyramid PatrolJapan, U.S.EnglishSega1993PEASJ5001 (Japan), PEASU5001 (U.S.)
Quiz EconosaurusJapan, U.S.BilingualNEC1993PEANJ5001 (Japan), PEANU5001 (U.S.)
Road Blaster (Japan), Road Prosecutor (U.S.)JapanBilingualSega1995PEASJ1033 (Japan), PEASU1033 (U.S.)
Rocket CoasterJapan, U.S.EnglishSega1993PEASU5013 (Japan), PEASU5013 (U.S.)
Space BerserkerJapan, U.S.BilingualSega1993PEASJ1003 (Japan), PEASU1003 (U.S.)
Steel Driverunreleased
Time Gal JapanJapaneseSega1995PEASJ5039
Triad Stone (aka Strahl)Japan, U.S.BilingualSega1994PEASJ5014 (Japan), PEASU5014 (U.S.)
VajraJapan, U.S.EnglishNEC1993PEANJ1001 (Japan), PEANU1001 (U.S.)
Vajra 2JapanEnglishNEC, Goggles1994PEANJ1016
Virtual CameramanJapanJapaneseSega1993PEASJ5015
Virtual Cameraman 2JapanJapaneseSega, Goggles1994PEASJ5020
Zapping TV SatsuiJapanBilingualNEC or Sega1994PEANJ5023, PEASJ5024

Contemporary devices

In the early 1990s, a number of consumer electronics manufacturers designed converged devices around CD-ROM technology. At the time, CD-ROM systems were expensive. The LaserActive was one of several multipurpose, multi-format, upmarket home entertainment systems with software stored on optical discs. These systems were premised on early conceptions of multimedia entertainment.

Some comparable systems are the Commodore CDTV, Philips CD-i, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, and Tandy Video Information System.


Computer Gaming World in January 1994 stated that although LaserActive was "a better product in many ways" than 3DO, it lacked software and the NEC and Sega control packs were too expensive. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

CD-i Video game console and interactive multimedia CD player

The Compact Disc-Interactive is a digital optical disc data storage format that was mostly developed and marketed by Dutch company Philips. It was created as an extension of CDDA and CD-ROM and specified in the Green Book, co-developed by Philips and Sony, to combine audio, text and graphics. The two companies initially expected to impact the education/training, point of sale, and home entertainment industries, but CD-i eventually became best known for its video games.

PC-FX home video game console released by NEC in 1994

The PC-FX is a 32-bit home video game console made by NEC Home Electronics. It was released in Japan on December 23, 1994, just weeks after Sony's PlayStation and a month after the Sega Saturn. It is the successor to the PC Engine, known as TurboGrafx-16 in North America.

Sega CD Add-on for the Sega Genesis video game console

The Sega CD, released as the Mega-CD in most regions outside North America and Brazil, is a CD-ROM accessory for the Mega Drive/Genesis designed and produced by Sega as part of the fourth generation of video game consoles. It was released on December 12, 1991 in Japan, October 15, 1992 in North America, and April 2, 1993 in Europe. The Sega CD plays CD-based games and adds hardware functionality such as a faster central processing unit and graphic enhancements like sprite scaling and rotation. It can also play audio CDs and CD+G discs.

TurboGrafx-16 fourth-generation home video game console

The TurboGrafx-16, known in Japan and France as the PC Engine, is a cartridge-based home video game console manufactured and marketed by NEC Home Electronics and designed by Hudson Soft. It was released in Japan on October 30, 1987, and in the United States on August 29, 1989. The Japanese model was imported and distributed in France in 1989, and the United Kingdom and Spain received a version based on the American model known as simply TurboGrafx. It was the first console released in the 16-bit era, although it used a modified 8-bit CPU. In Japan, the system was launched as a competitor to the Famicom, but the delayed United States release meant that it ended up competing with the Sega Genesis and later the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

3DO Interactive Multiplayer Video game console

The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, often called the 3DO, is a home video game console developed by The 3DO Company. Conceived by entrepreneur and Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, the 3DO was not a console manufactured by the company itself, but a series of specifications, originally designed by Dave Needle and R. J. Mical of New Technologies Group, that could be licensed by third parties. Panasonic produced the first models in 1993, and further renditions of the hardware were released in 1994 by GoldStar and in 1995 by Sanyo.

Commodore CDTV video game console

The CDTV is a home multimedia entertainment and video game console – convertible into a full-fledged personal computer by the addition of optional peripherals – developed by Commodore International and launched in April 1991.

LaserDisc Optical analog video disc format

LaserDisc is a home video format and the first commercial optical disc storage medium, initially licensed, sold and marketed as MCA DiscoVision in the United States in 1978.

In the history of computer and video games, the fourth generation of game consoles began on October 30, 1987 with the Japanese release of NEC Home Electronics' PC Engine. Although NEC released the first console of this era, sales were mostly dominated by the rivalry between Nintendo's and Sega's consoles in North America: the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Genesis. Handheld systems released during this time include the Nintendo Game Boy, released in 1989, and the Sega Game Gear, first released in 1990.

CD+G CD-based format

CD+G is an extension of the compact disc standard that can present low-resolution graphics alongside the audio data on the disc when played on a compatible device. CD+G discs are often used for karaoke machines, which use this functionality to present on-screen lyrics for the song contained on the disc. The CD+G specifications were published by Philips and Sony in an updated revision of the Red Book specifications.

FM Towns Japanese personal computer

FM Towns system is a Japanese variant of PC, built by Fujitsu from February 1989 to the summer of 1997. It started as a proprietary PC variant intended for multimedia applications and PC games, but later became more compatible with IBM PC compatibles. In 1993, the FM Towns Marty was released, a game console compatible with existing FM Towns games.

Pioneer Corporation Japanese audiovisual equipment company

Pioneer Corporation commonly referred to as Pioneer, is a Japanese multinational corporation based in Tokyo, Japan, that specializes in digital entertainment products. The company was founded by Nozomu Matsumoto in 1938 in Tokyo as a radio and speaker repair shop. Its current president is Susumu Kotani.

PC-8800 series Series of computers sold in Japan by NEC

The PC-8800 series, commonly shortened to PC-88, are a brand of Zilog Z80-based 8-bit home computers released by Nippon Electric Company (NEC) in 1981 and primarily sold in Japan.

American Laser Games American company

American Laser Games was a company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico that created numerous light gun laserdisc video games featuring live action full motion video. The company was founded in the late 1980s by Robert Grebe, who had originally created a system to train police officers under the company name ICAT and later adapted the technology for arcade games. Its first hit game was Mad Dog McCree, a light gun shooter set in the American Old West. By mid-1995 they were recognized as the leading company in the medium of laserdisc-based arcade games. Almost all arcade games released by the company were light gun shooters and a number of them also had an Old West theme.

Active shutter 3D system technique of displaying stereoscopic 3D images

An active shutter 3D system is a technique of displaying stereoscopic 3D images. It works by only presenting the image intended for the left eye while blocking the right eye's view, then presenting the right-eye image while blocking the left eye, and repeating this so rapidly that the interruptions do not interfere with the perceived fusion of the two images into a single 3D image.

The Pioneer CLD-1010 is a LaserDisc player introduced by Pioneer Electronics in 1987 as the last of their top-spec players not to be part of their "Elite" lineup.

Pioneer CLD-D703 LaserDisc player

The Pioneer CLD-D703, or the CLD-D770 in non-North American marketplaces, was a part of Pioneer's 700 Series of upper mid-range LaserDisc players, and the first player in the family and top of Pioneer's 1994 North American line. On the grounds of picture and audio quality, the 703 is widely considered one of the best non-Elite LaserDisc players ever made by Pioneer. It evolved into the CLD-D704, which itself was the basis for the CLD-79 and CLD-99 Elite line of high-end models.

ROM cartridge Digital data storage device used for the distribution and storage of video games

A ROM cartridge, usually referred to simply as a cartridge or cart, is a removable memory card containing ROM designed to be connected to a consumer electronics device such as a home computer, video game console or, to a lesser extent, electronic musical instruments. ROM cartridges can be used to load software such as video games or other application programs.

LV-ROM is an optical disc format developed by Philips Electronics to integrate analog video and computer software for interactive multimedia. The LV-ROM is a specialized variation of the CAV Laserdisc. LV-ROM is an initialism for "LaserVision Read-Only Memory".

LaserDisc player

A LaserDisc player is a device designed to play video (analog) and audio stored on LaserDisc. LaserDisc was the first optical disc format marketed to consumers; it was introduced by MCA DiscoVision in 1978.


  1. "International News". Electronic Gaming Monthly . No. 54. Sendai Publishing. January 1994. p. 94.
  2. "LaserActive is Compatible". Electronic Gaming Monthly . No. 54. Sendai Publishing. January 1994. p. 22.
  3. "Pioneer LD in 3-D". Electronic Gaming Monthly . No. 57. Sendai Publishing. April 1994. p. 60.
  4. See for history of the LaserActive MYST prototype
  5. Miller, Chuck; Dille, H. E.; Wilson, Johnny L. (January 1994). "Battle Of The New Machines". Computer Gaming World. pp. 64–76.