Pioneer LaserActive

Pioneer LaserActive

The Pioneer LaserActive was a short-lived Laserdisc-based game console released by Pioneer in 1993. In addition to LaserActive games, separately sold add-on modules (referred to as "PAC" by Pioneer) expanded the hardware to include compatibility with the Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis and PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 game cartridges and HuCards and CDs.

Models

The Pioneer CLD-A100 system was released 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 US. NEC also released a cloned version of the system identified as the NEC PDE-LD1. Both systems supported the additional PAC modules interchangeably.

Modules

The plug-in modules listed below are formatted in American Model Number/Japanese Model Number

Sega PAC (PAC-S10/PAC-S1)

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 the hundreds of existing SEGA-CD and Genesis titles, as well as standard 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 the usual Mega Drive/Genesis controller pad signed with a gold Pioneer LaserActive logo on it.

NEC PAC (PAC-N10/PAC-N1)

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 current TurboGrafx CD-ROM discs, game HuCards and CD+G discs. This PAC is today one of the most sought after accessories for the systemFact|date=April 2007, and the Laserdisc compatible games are equally rareFact|date=April 2007. Note: the Japanese version of the PAC is unable to play American HuCard games, and the same is valid the other way around.Fact|date=April 2007 The retail price was US$ 600. It comes with the usual PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 controller pad signed with a gold Pioneer LaserActive logo on it.

Karaoke PAC (PAC-K10/PAC-K1)

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)

This PAC has a 25-pin serial port allowing the CLD-A100 to be controlled by custom programs authored on PC or Macintosh computers. This PAC came with a 33-button infrared remote control providing more functionality than the 24-button remote included with the CLD-A100. Also included on DOS and Mac floppy disks was the LaserActive Program Editor. The floppy disks included some sample programs created with the editor for use with the first five LaserDiscs in the Tenchi Muyo! anime series.

LaserActive 3-D Goggles (GOL-1)

Used in conjunction with the various 3-D games that were released for the CLD-A100, the design was also compatible with the Sega Master System and could be used with that system.

3-D Goggles Adaptor (ADP-1)

Packaged and sold separately from the 3-D Goggles, it allowed the user to connect the goggles to the CLD-A100, and allowed for up to two users to view content simultaneously.

Software

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

Market Competition

High-end A/V (primary market)

(multi-purpose audio/video systems)
* Commodore's CDTV
* Philips' CD-i
* The 3DO Company's 3DO Interactive Multiplayer

Videogame (secondary market)

* NEC PC Engine with Super CD-ROM expansion
* Nintendo's Super Nintendo
* Sega MegaDrive with CD-ROM expansion
* The 3DO Company's 3DO Interactive Multiplayer

Consumer A/V (secondary market)

* Both VHS and Betamax VCR format players

External links

* [http://www.computercloset.org/PioneerLaseractive.htm Computer Closet: Pioneer LaserActive]
* [http://www.laserdiscarchive.co.uk/laserdisc_archive/pioneer/pioneer_cld-a100/pioneer_cld-a100.htm LaserDisc UK Web Site: LaserActive]


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