From Sega Retro


Tianli logo.png
Founded: 1996
Guangdong, China

Xin Tianli Electronics Ltd. (新天利电子有限公司), more commonly known by their brand name Tianli (新天利) was a Chinese consumer electronics company specialising in VCD, and later DVD players.

Hardware Produced

Sega Enterprises, which distributed it's gaming consoles on the Chinese market from late 1980s, wanted to offer something new that would interest the average customer who does not want to spend money on expensive console. They found that CD players would be good additional feature to do this especially due to the high popularity of this format in Asia. In January 1998, Sega began promoting in China special version of the Sega Saturn with a built-in VCD player.

In October 1998 Sega and Tianli announced that they had formed a strategic alliance to develop gaming and entertainment products for the Chinese market, with Tianli gaining distribution rights for the People's Republic of China, which was essentially a VCD player with Sega Mega Drive hardware built in. The first "Game VCD Players" launched that year, with many different models seeing release over the next few years. The unique concept of the Game VCD was that instead of games being distributed on cartridge, games were on CD, with many different roms stored on each one.

Original VCD players always had seal on the back saying - UNDER LICENSE FROM SEGA PRODUCED BY U.M.C. (consoles were produced in Taiwan by United Microelectronics Corporation), while DVD players have Manufactured under license from Dolby Laboratories . Original games after start had title screen saying - PRODUCED BY OR UNDER LICENSE FROM SEGA ENTERPRISES LTD[1]. The company introduced new models approximately every 2-3 months and each of them had different features. After the regular models, educational ones began to be sold, the next ones had the option of connecting a keyboard, after that, they introduced the Super VCD, which is a combination of games, computer, teaching, MP3 and karaoke, and finally the DVD versions[2].

Whole iniciative got mixed results. The system was well-known and recognizable, helped Tianli with growth of it's market position but the price of device was high (¥1799[3]) and idea was quickly catch up by national producers which released clones, starting from next year. Due to that fact few brands received authorization from Tianli and UMC for sale after negotiations, but at some point customers could no longer tell whether the system was original, authorized or copied[4]. The whole concept of CDs with multiple games wasn't as good as Sega thought, due to pirates selling cheaper and larger compilations.

In June 2000, the video game consoles were banned in China, but these restrictions didn't mentioned "Game Players", which allowed them to be still on the market in early 2000s. Since mid-2001, Tianli has been slowly moving towards piracy, as evidenced by the distribution of a 16-bit educational Mega Drive clone called GS-200[5], or the sale of the first PlayStation game players which had the function of playing Mega Drive games[6]. The cooperation with Sega ended around 2003.

Tianli Sega Certificate.jpg
Certificate from Sega Enterprises to Tianli archived from Tianli's defunct website
Tianli Sega Certificate.jpg
Tianli Promotional Video

Mega Drive VCD Players

List might be incomplete !

Mega Drive DVD Players

Accessories for Mega Drive Players

List of games

Main article: List of Mega Drive VCD/DVD games.


Sega Mega Drive
Topics Technical specifications (Hardware comparison) | History | List of games | Magazine articles | Promotional material | Merchandise | Cartridges | TradeMark Security System
Hardware Japan | North America | Western Europe | Eastern Europe | South America | Asia | South Korea | Australasia | Africa
EZ Games | LaserActive | Mega Jet | Mega PC | Mega Play | Mega-Tech System | Nomad | Teradrive | Mega Drive Mini | Mega Drive Mini 2
New Mega Drive | Tianli VCD/DVD Players | "Consoles on a chip" | Licensed clones (Magic 2 | Mega Game II | Power Pegasus | Super Bitman)
Unlicensed clones
Add-ons Game Box | Power Base Converter | Mega-CD | 32X (Mega-CD 32X) | Mega Modem | Demo System DS-16
Cases Sega Genesis Nomad Carrying Case | System Carry Case
Controllers Control Pad | Six Button Control Pad | 6 Button Arcade Pad | Arcade Power Stick 6B | Konami Justifier | MK-1470
Action Chair | Activator | Arcade Power Stick | Keyboard | MegaFire | Mouse | Mega Stick | Menacer | Remote Arcade System | Ten Key Pad | Third Party Controllers
Accessories 4 Way Play | Cleaning System | Control Pad Extension Cord | Genesis Speakers | Headset | HeartBeat Catalyst | Microphone | Region converter cartridges | Mega Terminal | Nomad PowerBack | RF Unit (Mega Drive 2) | SCART Cable (Mega Drive 2) | Stereo Audio Video Cable | Team Player | Video Monitor Cable | Third Party Accessories
Network services Sega Channel | Sega Game Toshokan | Mega Anser | Mega Net | TeleBradesco Residência | XB∀ND
Development tools ERX 308P | ERX 318P | Sprobe | SNASM68K | SNASM2 (Mega Drive) | SNASM2 (32X) | PSY-Q Development System (Mega Drive) | PSY-Q Development System (32X) | 32X CartDev | Sega Mars Development Aid System | Sega 32X Development Target
Unreleased Edge 16 | Floppy Disk Drive | Mega Play 1010 | Sega VR | Teleplay System | Video Jukebox