LaserActive

Last updated
LaserActive
Pioneer-LaserActive-Set-FL.jpg
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
Lifespan1993–1996
Introductory price¥89,800
$970.00
Discontinued1996
Units sold420,000
Media LD-ROM, CD-ROM, ROM cartridge, Hucard
Controller input
  • Sega Genesis 6-Button Controller
  • Turbografx-16 Controller
Backward
compatibility

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.

Contents

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.

Accessories

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).
LD-ROM² PAC (PAC-N1 / PAC-N10)
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.

Games

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.

Reception

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

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References

  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.