The CDTV (from Commodore Dynamic Total Vision, later treated as a backronym for Compact Disc Television) is a home multimedia device and a game console created by Commodore. It was the second console created by Commodore International, convertible into a full-fledged personal computer by the addition of optional peripherals – developed by Commodore International and launched in April 1991.
Why It Flopped
- Just like its predecessor and successor, Commodore got cheap by just rehashing an existing product to create a console (in this case the Amiga 500 computer), the only changes were: removing the keyboard, adding an strange hybrid between a gaming controller and a remote controller and replacing the floppy drive with a CD drive.
- Downright insane introductory price of $999, which is almost double the price of a regular Amiga 500 ($699).
- On top of that, Commodore offered an "upgrade" for the CDTV to "convert" it back into a computer which effectively defeat the original purpose of the conversion.
- The catalog of games was similar to the CD-i (which means very poor), and while it had some good games like Lemmings or Turrican 2, they were also available on many other systems, including the Atari ST and the Amiga 500 itself (which all of them were cheaper than the CDTV).
- The console is insanely big and looks like an ugly VCR.
- In 1992, the Amiga 500 received a CD-ROM drive in the form of the Amiga A570 which could play CDTV games, this rendered the system completely pointless. To make matters worse, the Amiga CD32, a console which was released two years later is compatible with the CDTV games.
- Commodore tried to hide the fact that it was just an Amiga 500, however it didn't work and most people just got a regular computer instead.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- Its startup screen is pretty good and ahead of its time, as it looks similar to the classic PlayStation startup screens.
The CDTV was a massive commercial failure. With only 30,000 units sold worldwide, it became the fifth worst selling video game console of all time. This helped in the future to put Commodore out of business, especially with the release of the Amiga CD32.
Computer Gaming World Magazine called the CDTV a fiasco.