From Sega Retro
|Variants: NEC PDE-LD1|
|Add-ons: Sega PAC, NEC PAC, Karaoke PAC, Computer Interface PAC, 3D Goggle|
The Pioneer LaserActive (パイオニアレーザーアクティブ) is a video game-compatible LaserDisc player designed and manufactured by Pioneer. Released in Japan and North America in late 1993, the system features interchangeable hardware expansions known as PACs, which enables compatibility with Mega Drive and Mega-CD games, PC Engine and PC Engine CD-ROM² games, and a new type of LaserDisc-based format: Sega Mega LD and NEC LD-ROM².
- 1 Hardware
- 2 History
- 3 Games
- 4 Magazine articles
- 5 Promotional material
- 6 Artwork
- 7 Physical scans
- 8 External links
- 9 References
The LaserActive plays all sizes of LaserDisc media. Considered a mid-range player in terms of playback quality, inserting a Sega PAC or NEC PAC expands the hardware with advanced playback features like frame-by-frame view and multi-speed jogging. The LaserActive cannot automatically switch between a disc's sides, and requires users to eject, flip, and re-insert discs halfway between most movies and software.
The system outputs in composite video (the format which all LaserDiscs are natively encoded in), and when playing video games, boasts superior video quality to both the Mega Drive and PC Engine's composite video output.
The hardware lacks the popular Dolby AC-3 surround sound capabilities found on later players, instead relying on software developers to encode spatial audio effects into their releases (usually Roland Corporation's RSS technology.)
Sega Mega LD & NEC LD-ROM²
Certain games were developed to take advantage of LaserDisc media. Similar to how the popular LaserDisc-based arcade game Dragon's Lair used special technology to add an interactive layer to the video, Sega Mega LD and NEC LD-ROM² could do the same. These two formats were rebranded versions of Philips' LD-ROM format, adapted for each company's respective PAC. However, the format's generally 480i content had to be downsampled to 240p whenever developers wished to display additional on-screen graphics with their games (to match the resolution of the 16-bit hardware the format works with.)
The LaserActive is designed to be an expandable and widely-compatible system. In addition to its existing ability to play LaserDisc and LD-G formats, the system can be expanded with plug-in hardware modules called PACs (sometimes stylized as Packs.) PACs expand the system's capabilities, such as the Sega PAC giving the system the capabilities of a Sega Mega Drive and Sega Mega-CD combined, allowing for playback of additional formats such as CD-G. While PACs are generally region locked, Sega Mega LD and NEC LD-ROM² games are region free and will play on any NTSC system.
The PACs listed below are suffixed by (American model number/Japanese model number).
Sega PAC (PAC-S10/PAC-S1)
- Main article: Sega PAC.
The Sega PAC allows the system to play Sega Mega Drive, Sega Mega-CD, and Sega Mega LD games, in addition to CD-G media. Like it's counterpart, the NEC PAC, it also expands the LaserDisc functionality of the system by adding advanced playback features like frame-by-frame view and multi-speed jogging.
NEC PAC (PAC-N10/PAC-N1)
- Main article: NEC PAC.
The NEC PAC allows the system to play NEC PC Engine, NEC PC Engine CD-ROM², and NEC LD-ROM² games, in addition to CD-G media. Like it's counterpart, the Sega PAC, it also expands the LaserDisc functionality of the system by adding advanced playback features like frame-by-frame view and multi-speed jogging.
Karaoke PAC (PAC-K10/PAC-K1)
- Main article: Karaoke PAC.
The Karaoke PAC allows the system to play LaserKaraoke media, and features karaoke-oriented inputs and controls.
Computer Interface PAC (PAC-PC1)
- Main article: Computer Interface PAC.
The Computer Interface PAC allows the system to be controlled by an NEC PC-98, IBM PC DOS, or Apple Macintosh personal computer, by way of a custom program authored to communicate via the PAC's 25-pin serial port. The PAC is the only Japan-exclusive peripheral for the system.
- Main article: LaserActive/Technical specifications.
- Main article: History of the Pioneer LaserActive.
|Language||Localised Name||English Translation|
|English (US)||Pioneer LaserActive||Pioneer LaserActive|
- Main article: List of LaserActive games.
- Main article: LaserActive/Magazine articles.
- Main article: LaserActive/Promotional material.
- LaserActive Preservation Project
- Pioneer LaserActive at LaserDisc Archive
- Pioneer LaserActive at Video Game Console Library
- Beep! MegaDrive, "October 1993" (JP; 1993-09-08), page 18
NEC Retro has more information related to LaserActive.
|Topics||Technical specifications | History | List of games | Magazine articles | Promotional material | Multimedia Creators Network | LA Express|
|Hardware||Japan | United States|
|Add-ons||Sega PAC | NEC PAC | Karaoke PAC | Computer Interface PAC|
|Controllers||Control Pad | Turbo Pad | Remote Control Unit | Computer Interface Pack Remote Control Unit|
|Accessories||3D Goggle | 3D Goggle Adaptor | Control Pad Extension Cord | Turbo Pad Extension Cord | Karaoke Microphone | Karaoke Microphone (Key Control)|
|Topics||Technical specifications | History|
|Hardware||Asia | North America | Europe (West | North | South | Central and East) | Other regions|
Wondermega | LaserActive | Sega Multi-Mega | CSD-G1M
|Misc. hardware||CD BackUp RAM Cart | Mega-CD Karaoke | Pro CDX|
|Development tools||SNASM Mega-CD | PsyQ Mega-CD SDK | PSY-Q CD Emulation System (Mega-CD)|
|Unreleased hardware||Game Genie|