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Could the release of Black Ice/White Noise saved the Jaguar and Atari?

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#51 save2600 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:07 AM

Bill L. said... 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.

 

Haha... then years later as formatting changes, things get taken out of context and (some) people will start thinking it's true.

 

Just as I know some people thought that Forrest Gump was based on a true story. Or how soooo many can't distinguish fake news from real today. Takes a special breed, I know - but we are talking Atari Jaguar here. :ponder: :lol:



#52 leech OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:27 PM

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!



#53 leech OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:31 PM

 

Haha... then years later as formatting changes, things get taken out of context and (some) people will start thinking it's true.

 

Just as I know some people thought that Forrest Gump was based on a true story. Or how soooo many can't distinguish fake news from real today. Takes a special breed, I know - but we are talking Atari Jaguar here. :ponder: :lol:

Haha!  This reminds me of when I went to see that movie about the golfer dude, and it opened up with 'This IS a true story.' rather than 'this is based on a true story'.  My friend's wife (who annoys the hell out of me and all my friends, including him) made a big deal about it after we all saw it together.  I made the joke that "So?  Return of the Living Dead says it's based on a true story too."



#54 Clint Thompson OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:08 PM

...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.

 

They kind of did that with the CoJag and Atari Games which resulted in Area 51 and others of course. Probably not by someone who cared more or did more with it but it certainly showed off what the chipset was capable of even more so.



#55 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:11 PM

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.

 

I'm curious about this particular comment. I'm not aware of anything about the Jaguar hardware that would have made it appealing for someone else to continue on with. It was already outclassed by the Sega Saturn and PS1, and would soon enough be by the Nintendo 64 as well. I'm not sure how, had it sold better, it would have been worth continuing to support once Atari themselves went away. In fact, if you look at the appealing Panasonic M2 technology, even that never made it out as a console product. Once Sony entered the fray, it became an extraordinarily tough business.

 

In terms of the Falcon, in retrospect, it's clear that Atari made the right call going all-in on the Jaguar, or at least something that wasn't a computer. There was no way to compete against Windows for the remaining marketshare with Apple. It was just not going to go anywhere. In further retrospect, and along these same lines, I almost wonder if Atari would have been better off if instead of competing in the console space, they doubled down on a next generation Lynx successor that was similarly-sized to the GameBoy and had somewhat similar battery life. Limited resources wouldn't have mattered as much in the portable space, and, as we know, Nintendo didn't release the GameBoy Color until 1999 - which was nothing special - or the GameBoy Advance until 2001. That's a long window to try and compete in that space with a true all-in effort (which we know the Lynx was not). Of course, that's assuming they'd have had that foresight during the Panther/Jaguar development period, and, to be fair, there'd be no reason for them to have it at that point. But yeah, solely in retrospect, probably a better plan of survival.



#56 thetick1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:28 PM

 

I'm curious about this particular comment. I'm not aware of anything about the Jaguar hardware that would have made it appealing for someone else to continue on with. It was already outclassed by the Sega Saturn and PS1, and would soon enough be by the Nintendo 64 as well. I'm not sure how, had it sold better, it would have been worth continuing to support once Atari themselves went away. In fact, if you look at the appealing Panasonic M2 technology, even that never made it out as a console product. Once Sony entered the fray, it became an extraordinarily tough business.

 

I was very excited when I found out IBM got the manufacturing contact for Jaguar.  As an IBMer at the time I was able to get the early spec from guys in manufacturing procurement.  Once I actually saw those early Jaguar specs I knew Atari was dead.  Nothing special about the hardware just Atari marketing BS.


Edited by thetick1, Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:28 PM.


#57 Major Havoc 2049 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:32 PM

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!

The Jaguar Memory Track came out two weeks after the Jaguar CD was released.  Besides the Telegames releases (Iron Soldier II and World Tour Racing), EVERYTHING for the Jaguar CD, including the system, was released from September 19, 1995 to early December of 1995....lol.

 

Compared to the Jaguar launch/slow death creep, the Jaguar CD launch went pretty smooth and actually had a decent amount of games in a short time period.  :D  


Edited by Major Havoc 2049, Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:39 PM.


#58 leech OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:38 PM

 

They kind of did that with the CoJag and Atari Games which resulted in Area 51 and others of course. Probably not by someone who cared more or did more with it but it certainly showed off what the chipset was capable of even more so.

Yeah, we all kept hoping for Area 51 / Maximum Force and T-Mek to arrive.  I don't think there were any other CoJag games, were there?

 

 

I'm curious about this particular comment. I'm not aware of anything about the Jaguar hardware that would have made it appealing for someone else to continue on with. It was already outclassed by the Sega Saturn and PS1, and would soon enough be by the Nintendo 64 as well. I'm not sure how, had it sold better, it would have been worth continuing to support once Atari themselves went away. In fact, if you look at the appealing Panasonic M2 technology, even that never made it out as a console product. Once Sony entered the fray, it became an extraordinarily tough business.

 

In terms of the Falcon, in retrospect, it's clear that Atari made the right call going all-in on the Jaguar, or at least something that wasn't a computer. There was no way to compete against Windows for the remaining marketshare with Apple. It was just not going to go anywhere. In further retrospect, and along these same lines, I almost wonder if Atari would have been better off if instead of competing in the console space, they doubled down on a next generation Lynx successor that was similarly-sized to the GameBoy and had somewhat similar battery life. Limited resources wouldn't have mattered as much in the portable space, and, as we know, Nintendo didn't release the GameBoy Color until 1999 - which was nothing special - or the GameBoy Advance until 2001. That's a long window to try and compete in that space with a true all-in effort (which we know the Lynx was not). Of course, that's assuming they'd have had that foresight during the Panther/Jaguar development period, and, to be fair, there'd be no reason for them to have it at that point. But yeah, solely in retrospect, probably a better plan of survival.

There were a few things I thought it did better than the systems right after it, like the gourad shading (the 'CRY', they called it?  It's been too many years...)  I remember reading the specs and the Jag said it had Z-depth acceleration, or some crap.  :P  At the time I remember seeing that the PSX didn't have that, and neither did the Saturn.  But what I was talking about more is the group that  built the Jaguar being sold to someone else, kind of like how Psygnosis guys made the PSX, Epyx / ex-Amiga guys made the Lynx, etc.  There were some good engineers there.  Unfortunately much like AGA, Atari just didn't have the funds to really push the R&D fast enough to compete.  I believe they even sold off the plans to create the Falcon to C-Lab in one of their last ditch efforts to stay in business.

 

The Jaguar Memory Track came out two weeks after the Jaguar CD was released.  Besides the Telegames releases (Iron Soldier II and World Tour Racing), EVERYTHING for the Jaguar CD, including the system, was released from September 19, 1995 to early December of 1995....lol.

 

Compared to the Jaguar launch/slow death creep, the Jaguar CD launch went pretty smooth and actually had a decent amount of games in a short time period.  :D  

Ha, yeah though most of them were bundled that were decent.  Battlemorph was basically what Cybermorph should have been.  Hoverstrike : Unconquered Lands is what Hoverstrike should have been.  Highlander needed some serious bug fixing and the sequels finished... MK3 needed to be a launch title, etc.  If I recall correctly, wasn't the Memory Track  released, but  not available anywhere?  (I could be way off base and it could have been one of the other early CD based systems that couldn't save worth a damn.  I am pretty sure at least the CD32 had that issue, where it had like 1kb of save memory.)



#59 madman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:03 PM

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).  

The 3DO was launched before the Jaguar. Also the FM Towns Marty beat the CD32 to market as long as we are talking CD systems that weren't released in the US.



#60 leech OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:21 PM

Yeah, I think the CD32 was claiming the first 32bit CD based games console. Of course it didn't help that CD based games at the time were known for being little more than interactive movies. By the Jag/CD32/Saturn/PSX times they were finally becoming more.

Wasn't the FM Towns Marty much like the CD32, in that it was originally a computer, crammed into a console case? Like the XEGS and a few others? (The opposite of the Amiga, ha!)

#61 madman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:35 PM

Yeah the Towns Marty was basically just a computer, 386 SX IIRC, based on their FM Towns computer. Bit of a shame it never took off as it did have some good games and not just FMV garbage. Supposedly the Splatterhouse version on it is pretty good. 



#62 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:21 PM

The 3DO was launched before the Jaguar. Also the FM Towns Marty beat the CD32 to market as long as we are talking CD systems that weren't released in the US.

He's talking about a counterfactual "what if" scenario in which Atari Jag CD came out first, without delays but lots of software support. A cute fantasy but it could have just as realistically been the 2005 PSP that came out early if we're just imagining stuff. 



#63 82-T/A OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:27 PM

I want to beat this horse too. My opinion is that the Jaguar was far too late for the 16-bit wars, and far too early for the 32-bit wars. I recognize the 64-bit argument, but largely the system simply didn't hold up compared to systems like the Saturn, PS1, etc. 

 

Love the Jaguar... but who knows... wrong place, wrong time.



#64 Major Havoc 2049 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:20 PM

 
Ha, yeah though most of them were bundled that were decent.  Battlemorph was basically what Cybermorph should have been.  Hoverstrike : Unconquered Lands is what Hoverstrike should have been.  Highlander needed some serious bug fixing and the sequels finished... MK3 needed to be a launch title, etc.  If I recall correctly, wasn't the Memory Track  released, but  not available anywhere?  (I could be way off base and it could have been one of the other early CD based systems that couldn't save worth a damn.  I am pretty sure at least the CD32 had that issue, where it had like 1kb of save memory.)


I actually had my Jaguar CD and Memory Track pre-ordered from my local Babbage's back then, so I had no problem getting them. I remember seeing a few Memory Track carts at other video game stores around that time as well. The Jag CD wasn't at retail very long, as the last Jaguar game, Fight For Life, was released in January 1996 and then Atari exited the video game market. So unless you were really into video games and the Jaguar scene at the time, it was all gone in the blink of an eye.

#65 leech OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:05 AM

Yeah, I picked up my Jaguar and JagCD from a store called Incredible Universe.  It was this massive electronics store that had everything (to tell you how big it was, it's now the location of a Costco).  It seems about a year after I'd gotten both of them, the store was being liquidated, which is when I went in there and bought all of the remaining games I didn't already have.  They didn't have Fight For Life (which I only bought a year or so ago) but since the store was going out of business I think the employees no longer cared, or a mistake was made (I didn't really pay attention 'til I got home) but the marked down Rayman for 10 dollars only cost me a dollar.  But pretty much all the Jaguar games (and just about every other system, I only owned the Jag at the time (was always a computer gamer outside of that and the 2600)) were on sale for 5-10 bucks.  I think by the time I got there most were pretty stripped out.

 

This was the only store I'd ever seen the Philips CDi as well.  Seems they had all the space for everything, then just lost a crap ton of money.  https://www.deseretnews.com/article/540990/ITS-OFFICIAL-INCREDIBLE-UNIVERSE-IS-DOOMED.html Kind of serves them right though, they sold Packard Bells.  Coincidentally, that's also where we got our first 'PC' with Windows 95.



#66 roots.genoa OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:16 AM

Psygnosis guys made the PSX

I really don't think they did, but I get your point.



#67 leech OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:33 AM

I really don't think they did, but I get your point.


Ha, never can find the info when I need it. But there was some article about how they had been working on some hardware for their games and Siny had approached them. And then Sony had approached Nintendo... and well Nintendo was like "CDs?" And so Sony made the PSX after buying Psygnosis and making them SCE (Sony Computer Entertainment) and went on to make epic games like Wipeout.

Edited by leech, Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:34 AM.


#68 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:06 AM

And in 2012, Sony killed off the studio, soon after their release of Wipeout 2048 on Vita. :-(

 

https://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Psygnosis



#69 pacman000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:27 PM

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.

That's...interesting. Would you mind if I tried and posed something here?

 

 

(From

save2600)

Haha... then years later as formatting changes, things get taken out of context and (some) people will start thinking it's true.

Name changes. Hard to stomach, but no one could mistake it for reality. "Can Dan Trammel save the Atrad Tiger?"



#70 save2600 ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:30 PM

How about a full-blown 'Choose Your Own Adventure' style book? That way... we armchair managers, designers, programmers and investors could have a hand in deciding Atrad's fate.    :rolling:  



#71 pacman000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:37 PM

That might be fun, but anything past 1995 would be pure speculation. Unless Dan's dad takes the company over and merges it with TJ Disks, inc.

#72 Welshworrier OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:45 PM

From a discussion I had earlier today, about the only way the jag would have been successful is if it came with a voucher for a free PSX and had breasts.

#73 pacman000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:09 PM

How about a full-blown 'Choose Your Own Adventure' style book? That way... we armchair managers, designers, programmers and investors could have a hand in deciding Atrad's fate.    :rolling:  

Actually started working on one tonight, in html.

Will I ever finish it? Who knows! But it was kinda fun.

#74 CyranoJ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:53 PM

It was decades ahead of its time, only in the last 5-10 years have people become willing to purchase shallow, open-world games with very little or no content and a promise of immersion.



#75 PeterG OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:41 AM

It was decades ahead of its time, only in the last 5-10 years have people become willing to purchase shallow, open-world games with very little or no content and a promise of immersion.

Haha, I could not stop laughing thanks for this. While I really wish they had finished BIWN and I like the Blade Runner setting and everything I am completly with you on the open-world thing. I do not understand how this got so huge and now more and more games make you run around for ages in huge maps without a point or anything to do. So annoying.







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