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Atari Jaguar

From Academic Kids

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The Atari Jaguar

The Atari Jaguar is a video game console introduced in the early 1990s as a powerful next generation platform. Competing with Sega and Nintendo's 16-bit consoles Jaguar was said to be 64-bit. Back then, the bit-width was a big deal in the gaming industry, just as polygon-pushing power is today. The Jaguar did not have a single 64-bit processor, but instead, it had a collection of processors with bus widths ranging from 16 to 64 bits. The number of bits contained by the Jaguar is still a source of considerable debate today, but consensus exists with those who are familiar with the system hardware that because Jaguar's main data bus and some of the processors are 64-bit, the entire system can consider itself 64 bit. Nonetheless, it was still technically superior to the 16-bit leading consoles at the time. Unfortunately, this last ditch effort by Atari for room in the console market failed. A relatively small number of games were developed for the system, and Atari pulled the plug alltogether in the mid-1990s. The Jaguar was a cult success, however, and many games were created by young independent developers. Jaguar conventions are held to show off rare unfinished Jaguar games that never made it to the shelves. A developer named Songbird still produces games available for sale on the commercial market.

The Atari Jaguar and the Atari Lynx were the last two Atari systems to be developed, but because Atari did not want any direct involvement in hardware production, they were produced by outside contractors. In 1990, Flare Technology, a company formed by Martin Brennan and John Mathieson with Atari funding, said that not only could they make a console far superior to the Sega Genesis or the Super NES, but they could also be cost-effective. Atari immediately agreed, and the system was released in 1993 for $250 under a $500 million manufacturing deal with IBM.

The 64-bit system was marketed under the slogan "Do the Math", claiming superiority over competing 16-bit systems. Initially, the system sold well, substantially outselling the highly hyped and publicized 3DO, which was also released during the holiday season of 1993. However, as time went on, after a perception of the Jaguar having poor games and an overall lack of software developed, the system was eventually considered a failure. The system was difficult to program for as the hardware had a large number of bugs, including one in the memory controller that stopped some of its processors executing code from the system RAM [1] (http://slashdot.org/articles/00/03/02/1430232.shtml#1225535) [2] (http://slashdot.org/articles/00/03/02/1430232.shtml#1225584). The final nail in its coffin was the release of both the Sony PlayStation and the Sega Saturn. In a last ditch effort to rescue Jaguar, Atari tried to play down these two consoles by claiming the Jaguar was the only 64-bit system, causing some controversy. (Some contended that the Jaguar's two 64-bit "processors" were essentially nothing more than graphics accelerators; its GPU was only 32-bit and its CPU was a 16-bit 68000.) This advertising push was futile, and production of the Jaguar stopped after Atari purchased JT Storage in a reverse takeover.

Several peripherals were announced, such as a voice modem and VR headset, but the only peripherals released were the Atari Jaguar CD drive and the JagLink, a simple two-console networking device. See Loki and Konix Multisystem for early development.

Jaguar was later released to the public, so everyone can freely make games or hardware for it.

Contents

Screenshots

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Screenshot Cybermorph

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Screenshot Tempest 2000

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Screenshot Fight For Life

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Screenshot NBA Jam TE

Cybermorph Tempest 2000 Fight For Life NBA Jam TE
Atari (1993) Atari (1994) Atari (1995) Acclaim/High Voltage (1995)

Technical specifications

CPUs:

  • "Jerry" (the audio processor) – 32-bit DSP at 26.6 MHz

Other Jaguar features:

See also

External links

fr:Jaguar (console) ja:Atari Jaguar sv:Atari Jaguar

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