LaserActive

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.[2] The LaserActive has no regional lockout, allowing software from any region to be played on any system.[3] However, it is considered a commercial failure.

LaserActive
Pioneer-LaserActive-Set-FL
LaserActive CLD-A100 with the Sega Genesis module
ManufacturerPioneer Corporation
Product familyLaserdisc
TypeConverged device, home video game console
GenerationFourth generation
Release date
  • JP: August 20, 1993
  • NA: September 13, 1993
Introductory price¥89,800
$970.00
Discontinued1996
Units soldest. 10,000[1]
MediaLD-ROM, CD-ROM, ROM cartridge
Backward
compatibility

Accessories

PAC modules

Pioneer LaserActive CLD-A100
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 four 3D-ready LD-ROM software titles: 3-D Museum (1994), Vajra 2 (1994), and Virtual Cameraman 2 (1994), and 3D Virtual Australia (1996). 3D Virtual Australia was 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. They can also be used to view 3-D images from autostereograms.[4]

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.

Title Region(s) Required Modules Release Date Catalog Number
3-D Museum Japan, U.S. Sega, Goggles 1994 PEASJ1012 (Japan), PEASU1012 (U.S.)
3D Virtual Australia Japan Sega, Goggles March 11, 1996 PEASJ5042
Akuma no Shinban (Demon's Judgment) Japan NEC PEANJ5003
Angel Mate Japan NEC PEANJ5002
Back To The Edo Japan Sega PEASJ5021
Bi Ryojon Collection (Pretty Illusion - Minayo Watanabe) Japan NEC 1994 PEANJ5025
Bi Ryojon Collection II (Pretty Illusion - Yuko Sakaki) Japan NEC 1994 PEANJ5028
Don Quixote: A Dream in Seven Crystals U.S. Sega PEASU5022
Dora Dora Paradise Japan NEC PEANJ5005
Dr. Paolo No Totteoki Video Japan Sega PEASJ5030
Ghost Rush! U.S. Sega PEASU1018
Goku Japan, U.S. NEC (Japan), Sega (U.S.) PEANJ1032 (Japan), PEASU1010 (U.S.)
The Great Pyramid Japan, U.S. Sega PEASJ5002 (Japan), PEASU5002 (U.S.)
High Roller Battle Japan, U.S. Sega 1993 PEASJ1002 (Japan), PEASU1002 (U.S.)
Hyperion Japan, U.S. Sega 1994 PEASJ5019 (Japan), PEASU5019 (U.S.)
I Will: The Story of London Japan, U.S. Sega 1993 PEASJ1001 (Japan), PEASU1001 (U.S.)
J.B. Harold - Blue Chicago Blues Japan Sega PEASJ5036
J.B. Harold - Blue Chicago Blues U.S. Sega PEASU5036
J.B. Harold - Blue Chicago Blues Japan NEC PEANJ5017
J.B. Harold - Manhattan Requiem Japan, U.S. Sega (Japan), NEC (U.S.) PEASJ5004 (Japan), PEANU5004 (U.S.)
Melon Brains Japan, U.S. Sega 1994 PEASJ1011 (Japan), PEASU1011 (U.S.)
Myst[5] U.S. Sega prototype
Pyramid Patrol Japan, U.S. Sega 1993 PEASJ5001 (Japan), PEASU5001 (U.S.)
Quiz Econosaurus Japan, U.S. NEC 1993 PEANJ5001 (Japan), PEANU5001 (U.S.)
Road Blaster Japan Sega PEASJ1033
Road Prosecutor U.S. Sega 1994 PEASU1033
Rocket Coaster U.S. Sega 1993 PEASU5013
Space Berserker Japan, U.S. Sega PEASJ1003 (Japan), PEASU1003 (U.S.)
Steel Driver unreleased
Time Gal Japan Sega 1995 PEASJ5039
Triad Stone (aka Strahl) Japan, U.S. Sega 1994 PEASJ5014 (Japan), PEASU5014 (U.S.)
Vajra Japan NEC 1993 PEANJ1001 (Japan), PEANU1001 (U.S.)
Vajra 2 Japan NEC, Goggles 1994 PEANJ1016
Virtual Cameraman Japan Sega 1993 PEASJ5015
Virtual Cameraman 2 Japan Sega, Goggles 1994 PEASJ5020
Zapping TV Satsui Japan NEC 1994 PEANJ5023

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.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Console Histories". Pink Gorrilla LLC. 2007-12-03. Retrieved 2014-08-12.
  2. ^ "International News". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 54. Sendai Publishing. January 1994. p. 94.
  3. ^ "LaserActive is Compatible". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 54. Sendai Publishing. January 1994. p. 22.
  4. ^ "Pioneer LD in 3-D". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 57. Sendai Publishing. April 1994. p. 60.
  5. ^ See [1] for history of the LaserActive MYST prototype
  6. ^ Miller, Chuck; Dille, H. E.; Wilson, Johnny L. (January 1994). "Battle Of The New Machines". Computer Gaming World. pp. 64–76.

External links

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