The Atari Geek

ATARI Jaguar (1993)

17 Dec 2020

Atari Jaguar

Atari Jaguar

Author: The Atari Geek  /  Categories: Jaguar  /  Rate this article:
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The Atari Jaguar is a home video game console developed by Atari Corporation and released in North America in November 1993. Part of the fifth generation of video game consoles, it competed with the 16-bit Sega Genesis, the Super NES and the 32-bit 3DO Interactive Multiplayer that launched the same year. Powered by two custom 32-bit processors — Tom and Jerry — in addition to a Motorola 68000, Atari marketed it as the world's first 64-bit game system, emphasizing its 64-bit bus used by the blitter.  The Jaguar launched with Cybermorph as the pack-in game, which received divisive reviews. The system's library ultimately comprised only 50 licensed games.

Development of the Atari Jaguar started in the early 1990s by Flare Technology, which focused on the system after cancellation of the Atari Panther console. The multi-chip architecture, hardware bugs, and poor tools made writing games for the Jaguar difficult. Underwhelming sales further eroded the console's third-party support.

Atari attempted to extend the lifespan of the system with the Atari Jaguar CD add-on, with an additional 13 games, and emphasizing the Jaguar's price of over US$100 less than its competitors. With the release of the Sega Saturn and PlayStation in 1995, sales of the Jaguar continued to fall. It sold no more than 150,000 units before it was discontinued in 1996. The commercial failure of the Jaguar prompted Atari to leave the console market.

After Hasbro Interactive acquired all Atari Corporation properties, the patents of the Jaguar were released into the public domain, with the console declared an open platform. Since its discontinuation, hobbyists have produced games for the system.

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