The Playdia (プレイディア) Quick Interactive System (QIS) is a game console that was released in Japan by Bandai in September 1994,[1] less than three months before the Pippin platform was jointly announced by Apple Computer and Bandai.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

In 1994, Bandai CEO Makoto Yamashina (山科 誠) had predicted to The Wall Street Journal that the company's interactive sales would surpass that of toys by US$ 1 billion by the year 2000. The Playdia platform was first announced as the BA-X Bandai Home Entertainment Interactive System at the Tokyo Toy Show in June 1994 and featured new advancements, such as a CD-ROM drive and a wireless "Infrared Rays" controller.[3][4]

The Playdia was released in Japan on September 23, 1994, beating the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn to market. It also targeted younger audiences than the other console makers. Bandai hoped to sell 200,000 consoles and 300,000 titles within its first year.[3]

By 1995, the Playdia had been overtaken in the Japanese edutainment market by the less-expensive Sega Pico.[5] In response to soft sales, Bandai repositioned marketing of the Playdia to target older customers and released the higher-priced Elements Voice Series, featuring Japanese pop idols.[3] By then, Bandai had partnered with Apple to develop the Macintosh-based Pippin Power Player, which had been scheduled for release during the following Christmas shopping season.[5]

Discontinuation[edit | edit source]

A Micha King.

After the Playdia platform was discontinued in 1996, unsold consoles were repurposed by Banpresto, a subsidiary of Bandai, into coin-operated kinetoscopes called Micha King (みちゃ王) that played anime clips in Japanese arcades and stores.[6][7]

Hardware specifications[edit | edit source]

The Playdia motherboard.

  • Sanyo LC89515 - CD-ROM host interface
  • Toshiba TA2035F - CD focus tracking server
  • Toshiba TC9263F - CD single chip processor
  • Rohm 6398FP - 4-channel BTL driver for CD player motor
  • Toshiba TMP87C800F - 8-bit microcontroller (8K ROM, 16K RAM), 8 MHz Operation, can access 64K (TLCS-870 series which is based heavily on the Z80)
  • Sharp LH52B256 - 256K (32K x 8) static RAM chip
  • NEC μPD78214GC - 8/16-bit microcontroller (16K ROM, 512 byte RAM), 12 MHz operation, can access 1MB (NEC 78K series)
  • Toshiba TC514256JAJ - 256K Word x 4 fast page DRAM chip
  • Asahi Kasei AK8000 - audio/video processor[8]
  • Philips DA8772AH - triple 8-bit DAC converter
  • Sony CX1229M - NTSC/PAL decoder
  • Rohm BA10324AF - quad op-amp
  • Sanyo LC78835K - 18-bit DAC with filter
  • Rohm BU3052BCF - dual 4-channel analog multiplexer

Titles[edit | edit source]

See: List of Playdia titles

Chart of the first 12 Playdia titles.

Nearly every title for the Playdia was published by Bandai. Most took advantage of the CD-ROM format to present full motion video, though with simplistic gameplay. Launch titles were targeted towards young children and at least 8 promotional discs were given away or included with the console. However, soft sales drove Bandai to introduce releases for older audiences in 1995, which included higher-priced titles focused on Japanese pop idols. Improved sales helped Bandai mitigate initial losses on the platform.[3]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. プレイディア, GameForest (Japanese). 2007-01-12.
  2. Bandai Pippin FAQ, The Mac Geek. Accessed 2017-04-10.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Bandai Playdia -- Bandai's Educational Home Console by Kelsey Lewin, YouTube. 2017-07-03.
  4. The Playdia / プレイディア (Bandai - 1994), initially advertised as the BA-X by VGDensetsu, Twitter. 2016-04-07.
  5. 5.0 5.1 'Morphing' Into The Toy World's Top Ranks by Andrew Pollack, The New York Times. 1995-03-12.
  6. みちゃ王用ディスク。 (Japanese) by じろのすけ, Twitter. 2017-04-27.
  7. Video Games Densetsu by VGDensetsu, Tumblr. 2017-04-04.
  8. Playdia specs by Jamtex, ASSEMblergames. 2007-04-30.

External links[edit | edit source]

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