Looking at the historically poor sales and Atari's weak financial standing, unless the Jaguar REALLY took off in its first year (and even then it's iffy), nothing would have changed its fate. I don't think being the penultimate cartridge-based console (if you don't consider the Switch a pure console) rather than a CD-based console made that much of a difference. In fact, the way the Jaguar and Jaguar CD worked, it seems like the CD functionality was a liability in some ways. In any case, at the time, cartridges were still the most popular console format, so it doesn't explain away the trickle of first year software and the middling quality of a lot of the games going forward. Media really wouldn't change any of those negatives (software quality, who chose to support the Jaguar, etc.) other than perhaps seeing a handful of more games released.
Do you know what might be fun? You know how there are those alternate history fiction novels where Germany wins the war? Someone needs to whip up some dramatic historical fiction where consoles like the Jaguar actually succeed. It might cut down on one or two of these threads.
Pretty much what I meant. If they'd had no Cartridge (outside of a method for saving game states, which if I recall the memory track cartridge came out a bit too late for the JagCD even, so the initial games like Blue Lightning don't even have a save option) with the CD-ROM only just taking off as a huge amount of storage for people to put software on, they wouldn't have the same constraints as trying to compress everything down and the extra expense of creating cartridges. Plus, they could have touted it as the first CD based game system in the USA (CD32 was touted as the first, but never did launch in the USA). I'm not saying developers would have scrambled at the chance, but they certainly would/could have improved their situation by going that route. Instead the JagCD was delayed at least once, and then came out in such limited amount of units that it just completely failed and ended up more or less being a complete waste of time. I do love my JagCD, but it really did come out in a time frame when there was zero hope left, and only a few of the projects that were close to completion or under contract were released for it.
A perfect example of how much better it would have been is in Hoverstrike. I have played both the CD and the Cartridge version, and by far thought the CD version was smoother and had more levels. Really one of the things that made it unsuccessful (outside of the lack of Marketing / Shelf space) was that a lot of the games just looked about the same as games on a Genesis. Didn't help that some of the left over games from the panther were just ported to the Jag, especially as a bundle in cartridge.
Anyhow, it's all contemplation and 'what ifs' clearly this didn't happen and it's commercially dead (though new homebrew comes out all the time, and damn if I can't help but wanting new cartridges!) Anyhow, just like any other console, it eventually would have lost support. It really only had commercial support for 2 years before Atari merged. They were clearly a sinking ship, but the Jaguar technology could have been sold and used by someone who cared had it more software support / was more popular. Atari was doomed, since they pretty much dropped all support for the Falcon almost right after it was released, and dumped what they had left into the Jag.
Now we can get the Jag 3... er Atacobox!