Codemasters and Camerica were quite a team back in the day, while Codemasters was cranking out hardware and accessory oddity after oddity mixed with games, Camerica was first in line to announce that they would be
distributing Codies work. Camerica handled the distribution of Codies Game Genie cheat decide, codenamed PowerPak during development. They also handled distribution of all games made as well as the short lived yet
massively produced Aladdin Deck Enhancer.
But one project managed to slip through, without much attention, to the shelves of unreleased junk. In March 1990 GamePro magazine was able to present the latest news buzz from the world of Camerica. Along with their
friends in the UK (Codemasters, red.) and Samsung, Camerica was planning to release yet another device for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Back in the day ROM chips were quite expensive and Codemasters was trying to find a way to distribute games other than using ROM chips. By this time the CD player was starting to catch on around the world and what if
a device already in the household could be used to load games onto the Nintendo?
The cost of CDs was nothing compared to the cost of chips, and with the massive storage space on the discs it would also be possible to develop larger games without having to worry about the manufacturing cost.
By the time the CD gadget was supposed to enter the market, which should be happening in July that year, Camerica planned to have a total to 6 CDs available, 3 of the CDs would only contain one game, roughly 3 to
5 megabit in size, while the other 3 CDs would be a compilation of 2 games.
Samsung would be manufacturing the hardware used to the gadget, consisting of an interface card and a CD player. Buying a complete set would set you back $159.95 and the interface card only, if you had a CD player
already, would retail for no more than $44.95, not a bad deal if you ask me. A pack-in CD containing 2 games would be included with the system.
The article also mentioned that there was no word of what games were planned for the system, but I'm guessing that no other games than the ones we know either to have been planned for the Aladdin Deck Enhancer or
released on actual carts were planned for this system.
Well this little article from GamePro might have been the only mention ever of this system, and no pictures seem to exist. The system was as we know never released, but some 2 years later the Aladdin Deck Enhancer was
released and honestly, it seemed like a lot better idea than having to hook up an interface card to a CD player that might not even be near the Nintendo deck.
Codemasters had supposedly also been working on interfaces for other systems such as the Amstrad CPC, Sprectrum and the Commodore 64 and some of these may have been released back in the
day. According to the Oliver Twins' website, neither of the CDs for the 3 mentioned systems sold very well.
If you have stumbled upon more information about this gadget, please email me.
Source: Game Pro, March 1990
Credit to Frank Cifaldi of Lost Levels for spotting the old GamePro article.