The Pioneer LaserActive

The Pioneer company is most well known in the stereo market.  Back in 1993 they also tested the video game market with the release of the Pioneer LaserActive.  The system went on sale on September 13th, 1993 and cost $970.  The most notable feature of the system was the number of add-on modules that could be connected to the system.

The most popular add-on for the system was the Sega PAC which allowed owners to play Sega-CD and Genesis games.  It cost $600 and came with a Genesis controllers with a Gold Pioneer Logo.

The NEC PAC which allowed users to play TurboGrax-16 games.  It was essentially region locked as Japanes versions could not play American games and vice versa.  Cost for this add-on?   $600.

Other add-ons included the Karaoke PAC which, for $350 allowed the ability to play karaoke titles and came with two microphones.  The Computer Interface PAC allowed the system to be controlled by computer based programs.  It came with a 33 button infrared remote.  The LaserActive 3D goggles allowed players to play 3D games and was compatible with the Sega Master System.

There was a total of 19 games available for the system here in the United States.  Needless to say the system didn’t sell very well.

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3 responses to “The Pioneer LaserActive

  1. All I can say is that thing looks AMAZING! I’m glad that Skynet didn’t get to that system or else we may not be here right now ya know what I’m sayin?

  2. I have had good and bad luck with the LaserActive system. I bought the first one on ebay, arrived and tested it. The system fried within 45 minutes of owning it. Bought the second for even more money- I admit it was in much better shape, but again only lasted for 5 hours before malfunctioning. Sent it away to a LaserDisc repair center and got it back 2 months later. Only had it a few days but logged almot 20 hours on it, playing Don Quixote. My oppinion of it is a big giant Arcade system (most of the games last less than an hour, except ‘odd’ titles. Top 10 list so far… Pyramid Patrol, Rocket Coaster, Hyperion, Space Berserker, Road Prosecutor, Triad Stone, Blue Chicago Blues, Vajra Ni (Yes i have a copy), Don Quixote, Vajra. There are edutainment titles.. top 5… 3d Museum, Great Pyramid, Goku, Quiz Econosaurs, Mellon Brains (Do not have any of these)… and what I call a Fuller Game Pac Top 5…. Time Gal (nope) Ghost Rush, Hi Roller Battle, I Will, and Manhattan Requiuem. All the others are not worth your time in my oppinion. Graphics usualy are near PS2 quality, pretty good for a system that came out 2 years before PS1. I;ve spent a boatload of money to acquire a working system and sold just about everything to get it but I dont regret it at all. Only for the hardcoard collectors….

    • That’s a very interesting anecdote from someone who actually owned the system. More than anything it seems extremely cost prohibitive to own an actual working system. It also seems, based on your story, that it wasn’t a very reliable system at all, which would explain why it didn’t last very long. I’d be interested in finding someone who had a working one and play around with it for a few minutes. Especially if it was a PS2 quality system years before that level of graphics were commercially available at a reasonable price.

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