The Atari Jaguar

in gaming •  7 months ago

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Atari Jaguar and Jaguar CD

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«Well, Jones ... How are you going to find that statue among so many junk?»
Indiana Jones, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

Hello everyone, a while ago I did not make a post about video game console, so, since I'm a little short of ideas these days, I decided to take up the subject and for that I bring you one on which for me was a of my biggest disappointments, at least as far as this issue is concerned, it's about the Atari Jaguar.

To begin when talking about the Atari Jaguar, it is necessary to refer to it as the last great failure of Atari, it was promoted as the first 64 Bit console, but in reality this was not entirely true, as it got the 64 Bits through the use of 2 32-bit processors, in parallel that were responsible for processing video and sound and a CPU also 32 bits for general purpose, even though, it could be said that it was not really 64-bit processing, even so, it was, by far, the most advanced console of its time.

What really sealed its destiny, was that it had a limited catalog of games, of which the best were migrated from other platforms, where his performance was better, while the original games were more than disappointing, as was the custom of Atari and finally, it has the dubious privilege of having what has been described as the worst controller that has been made for a video game console. All the above went hand in hand with a price, which for the time, was inconceivable to pay for a console.

Well, said the previous thing it is necessary to emphasize that, in fact, Jaguar was a quantitative and qualitative jump in the hardware of Atari, that came from the Atari 7200, a console of 16 bits with graphic capacities that were not far from its predecessor the 5800 and that were already obsolete by the time of its release. While, with the Jaguar, it was positioned well above its competitors, SNES and Sega Genesis, which were 16-bit consoles.

However despite having a hardware far superior to the competition, there were no games that could take advantage of it, to start their most outstanding games, they were imported from the PC or other consoles, where their performance was better, and those that were developed for it never took advantage of the 3D graphics capabilities that had, on the other hand, initially the games were distributed in the usual cartridges, whose capacity limited much to the developers, later it was released the Jaguar CD, an accessory that allowed the distribution of games in CD format, which expanded the possibilities of development, however the accessory was very expensive and together with the already high prices of the console, it was a luxury item.

Well in the technical aspect, the Jaguar worked with two parallel processors of 32 Bits, Tom, 3-core video processor and Jerry, 2-core processor in charge of digital signal processing and 16-bit sound processing, plus a processor Motorola 68000 32-bit. In fact, it can be said that the Jaguar had 5 processors, three of them dedicated to video processing (Tom), 2 to the processing of signals and sound (Jerry) and one of general purpose. Its RAM memory was 2 MB and the cartridges had a capacity of 6 MB.

Regarding the games, the Jaguar repertoire was not very big, a total of 82 games were published, 67 in cartridge and 15 in CD. Of them we can highlight Alien Vs Predator, considered as the best platform game and the only one of the good ones, and several already known as Flash Back, Another World (or Out of this World), Doom and Wolfenstein 3D, among others. , while in CD format, highlight Myst and Drangon's Lair.

Jaguar was launching the 1993 market, its main competitors were SNES and Sega Genesis, but due to its advanced features, it was really designed to compete, with advantage, with the next generation of consoles, Play Statation, Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64, very much Despite this, it was taken out of production at the end of 1995 and its last game released at the beginning of 1996, was the last console manufactured by Atari.

Well now some images of my Atari Jaguar, its accessories and games:

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Atari Jaguar, some accessory and games

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Atari Jaguar and its strange control

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Two other controls, the truth, I do not know why I have three, I suppose I bought them on offer. Also the original adapter and the video cablev

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Jaguar CD and its adapter (the adapter is not the original)

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Atari Jaguar and Jaguar CD

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Memory cartridge for the Jaguar CD

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Game cartridges, you can also see the membranes to use on the control keyboard with the Alien Vs Predator game

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Games for Jaguar CD

Now images of some games:

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Alien Vs Predator

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Kasumi Ninja

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Cybermorph

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Raiden

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Skiing and Snowboarding

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Checkered Flag

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Tempest 2000

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Drangon´s Lair

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Space Ace

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Vid Grid

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Baldies

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Blue Lightning

As I commented at the beginning, the Jaguar was my biggest disappointment, as far as consoles are concerned, it was the first one I bought, when I started my collection, I had a great expectation of it, it said it was a 64 bit console and having as a point of comparison the Play Station, which was the one I used at the time, expected to see better quality games and yet I found myself at the start with Cybermorph, a 3D polygon game, which was far from what I already knew, but not for the better, What I thought at the time was that it looked like a game made by a student, not very advantaged, of graphic computing, in his first attempts and that he would not receive a good grade from the professor. Then, with time I was taking appreciation, more as curiosity and as a memory of one of those things that I wanted as a boy, but that I could not have, that for the time of enjoyment that he gave me; Today is one of the most appreciated pieces of my collection, an excellent product that could have a better future, if had better software to support it.

Text and original photographs of @amart29, Barcelona, Venezuela, September 2018

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Sources:

Wikipedia, Atari Jaguar, Wikipedia.
AtariAge, Atari Jaguar History, AtariAge.
Retro Maquinitas, Atari Jaguar, Retro Maquinitas

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