Another potential question to put to him, would if he was trying to get Interplay to port Descent to the Jaguar?
I was a hardcore Descent player at the time, and it's much more sensitive to framerate then a Quake, which controls rather simplistic and primitive, compared to Descent's full 6-DOF (degree of freedom) axis movement.
I could totally perfectly play Quake 1 at sub-10 fps, but that's impossible with Descent, as there's simply not enough frames to hit enemy precisely at fast movement.
Even flatshaded, Descent couldn't run at more than 20 fps on jag. The engine complexity, and full-blown 6 DOF movement removes any hacks, and everything has to be brute-force.
The scene-management of the whole level, clipping, frustum culling, collision detection and all other stuff - I don't believe you can do that in just 1 frame time, you really need 2 frames for that, and rasterizing the polygons will take another frame, hence 60/3 = 20 fps.
Best case scenario. For simple rooms.
If somebody was crazy enough to split all the scene management work across both DSP/GPU, then you could get to 30 fps, but most of the time 20 fps, even with both chips doing scene management.
if you add texturing, then that would cost 3-4 more frames, hence 60/7 = ~8 fps. 8 fps with a joystick is laughably unplayable in 6 DOF. I would argue that 20 fps for such 6 DOF game is at the edge of comfortable playability with joystick.
Couple months ago, when i was doing some engine stress tests, with a Quake 3D scene, I obviously made a quick one also with Descent scene (as it's such a close game), and jag's GPU simply cannot keep up with the workload.
Please, no Hoverstrike comparisons, Hoverstrike is really technologically inferior to what Descent engine pulls off.
Descent is simply next-gen game and required some beefy HW to run smoothly. Much better HW than for Quake. I had Quake running super smooth many upgrades before I could say the same for Descent...