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A_Gorilla

Its 1993, you're in charge of the Jag, what do you do?

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So I've started this on other forums with other systems that didnt a get a chance and got some pretty intersting responses on how some people would've handled them. So any here it goes:

 

 

What would YOU have done differently when it came to Marketing/promoting/developing for the Atari Jaguar when it was first released?

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Waiting a full year to release the console would've been the best option. That would've given them time to polish up the launch games and have more available (especially AvP), fix the stupid hardware bugs, beef up their developer support, and maybe even do some cross-promotions with the Lynx (and still fully support it). They still would've beaten everyone but 3DO to the punch for the "next gen" systems while being able to build a full nation-wide promotional campaign with more and better games available for the launch.

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Another thing I would have done is made the Pro Controller the standard controller from the get go, cause face it, the original one is a POS

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I would have done whatever was possible to launch with a version of Street Fighter II. An arcade perfect version of Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo would have went a long way in the market then.

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The Virtua series from Sega were pretty hot at that time - If Atari had the resources I wouldve held back on the release getting Doom finished (hardware bugs wouldve shown themselves and possibly been corrected) along with getting a real fighting game finished

 

Though I doubt Atari couldve done much different - none of the major software houses really wanted to do busines with Atari - im some respects its amazing at how much Atari got out on the Jag back then.

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I think I may have made it a super hot *2d* games machine, it may not make mass appeal. But like the neo geo it would have a cult following.

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I think I may have made it a super hot *2d* games machine, it may not make mass appeal. But like the neo geo it would have a cult following.

 

I think that was the initial plan - but we know what happens to the best laid plans ;)

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I think it was here(may have been Jaguar sector two), that one of the developers of Iron soldier said , that they were hoping the Jag would be the next neo geo. But Atari wanted to go in the same direction as sony and sega.

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I would have done a few things:

 

1) push back release to November 1994, just in time for christmas. I would use this delay to accomplish the remaining

 

2) substitute a 68020 for the 68000. The 68000 was useless for anything but just looking at, compared to the other chips. The 68020, as demonstrated in CoJag units, would have given an extra hand without suffering the rest of the design.

 

3) RAM RAM and More RAM. 6-8MB of RAM. The year wait would have seen the prices on RAM go through the floor, allowing for less expensive units while still boosting the RAM content and the faster CPU.

 

4) CD-ROM based, not cartridge based. By the time Jaguar got rolling, CD-ROM was the new standard for game distribution. Integrating the CD-ROM elements into the motherboard along with the new CPU and RAM, with the price drops from that year (which were very heavy drops with the introduction of new plants in Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia entering the field) would have kept the production price comparable.

 

5) stockpile. Begin rolling the units out in July, but just sit on them, warehouse them, then, on the Wednesday before black friday.... super massive drop-shipments, big displays in the major stores, "Worlds first 64-bit gaming console!" ads on all TV stations. One big blitz to push everyone into a shopping frenzy. So when people hit the store on Black Friday, there they are, fresh, new, eyes staring at you.

 

6) this is a longer term strategy that should have been persued, develop and release a desktop computer using the Jaguar components. Using even beefier CPU's and more RAM would have further improved the system performance, but now you'd encourage homebrewing of content for the Jaguar. If you hit the magical pricetag of $600, then you could even push into new, larger space. Plus, being able to run your Jaguar games, instant hit, a potential Commodore 64 level hit.

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Immediately I think to myself "Release the Jaguar WITH Tempest 2000"

 

But Tempest 2000 was not ready at that time.

 

Neither was the 32-bit Panther gaming system, which is why the Jaguar was released instead.

 

I think Atari, as they tended to do, focused on the new widget rather than existing strength. Amazingly, the Atari 2600 was outdated when the Intellivision came out, but yet the Atari 2600 reigned supreme in the 80's. That should have taught Atari something. It would have taught me something, so I would have...

 

.... taken a game system and designed it around the already existing LARGE programmer base of the ST/TT/Falcon world. Amiga released the CD32, why not one for the ST?

 

Since the Atari line stopped with a bird (Falcon) and the last game system was a cat (Lynx) would have combined the two to make "The Atari: Griffin"

 

Then like the XEGS I would have licensed with companies that released games for the ST and ported them to cartridges for sale. The game system would have had HUNDREDS of games to choose from.

 

Kits would have been released to developers to easier convert games from ST to Griffin format, since there would be SLIGHT differences since this would have been a STE/Falcon in design, but with some component differences.

 

Unlike most other game systems at the time, the Griffin would have had an optional external keyboard from the start, and FROM THE START the ability to connect through the modem to log onto existing BBS's of the time, as well as external storage media (Floppy disks, hard drives).

 

In short the Atari: Griffin would have been a stripped down Atari STE/Falcon. You get a game system with one controller, a cool pack in game, and a way to connect to a TV or monitor. I think I would have started with a 68K STE at first, but sold MODULES. The modules would have been...

 

1) the 68030/68040 module and added memory

2) Floppy drive module

3) External floppy drive module

 

Now that I think about it, being 1993 and considering what the Atari computer world had at the time, I would have had the Atari:Griffin come with an internal hard drive of about 40 mb of space (consider.. this is 1993) and made a service where you could call in with the TERMINAL cart (and a regular modem) to the Atari Corp line. While online (this would have been a BBS format, again considering the internet was just starting up to the public) that you could pay for games with a credit card and then download games onto the 40 mb hard drive.

 

40 mb of space would go a long ways, and would provide HOURS of gaming fun, and think of how many maxed out credit cards there would have been for Atari gamers? :) The idea of downloading games was done on the Atari 2600 believe it or not, and people were doing this on AOL and compuserve, so why not Atari right?

 

Oh, and the 40 mb hard drive was full of games? Well that's too bad, but you know, the Atari: GRiffen does sell modules that comes with ANOTHER 40 mb, or a drive that you can easily put another hard drive into.

 

The shape of the Griffen? Well, Atari has decided to get back to gaming roots? Well, the game system would be a cool saucer shape with doors/ports that you can push aside for controllers and cartridges. The console would have the circular hole in the top missing (for the CD add on later)(which is one thing I think was cool the Jaguar did), and then there would be a wedge missing on the side would would make room for the hard drive and processor upgrade modules.

 

The starting console would look like the picture I've added to this message....

 

(Picture image from...)

http://www.joystiq.com/tag/Make/

 

... yes... it's a PAC MAN. :) But as you go you can make it look more like the Apple Airport module (also enclosed) when all the modules have been added. Gamers would want, if nothing else, to have a the cool shape of their Griffin completed. :) And for some of the 8-bit Atari would, the game system would remind some of the saucer shape that "Starcross" from Infocom came in.

 

So if I was at Atari in 1993 I would have been like "Hmmmm... a lot of gamers and support with the ST users, we need a 16/32 bit gaming system... yep, the Griffin!"

 

In 1993 I as a gamer had moved on the Atari 8-bit world. I had a Macintosh, but by 1993 I was ready to upgrade to something other than the 9 inch black and white screen wonder.

 

Had the Griffin come out, with the change for games, AND something I could do reports on at college (and hook to a printer BTW) The Griffin would have been PERFECT for me.

 

Think about it... how old were you when the Jaguar came out? Atari should have thought about the aging gamers and realized there was a need to be a bit more functional. I didn't get into the ST, but I might have gotten into it if I started with a starter computer/game console like this.

 

But yeh, liking this Griffin idea. I might have to make it. :D

post-4709-1199377523_thumb.jpg

post-4709-1199378439_thumb.jpg

post-4709-1199378617.jpg

Edited by doctorclu

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Partner with Philips. Get them to kill the CD-i in favor of the Jag, thus making the Jag a native CD system, with the price subsidized by one of the world's largest CD-ROM manufacturers.

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For the Pack-in Game I would've pulled a Sega and put my best Title (aliens vs Predator) with the Jag, instead of the incredible mediocre Cybermorph

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Well, Aliens Vs. Predator is ok, but shooter games are not for everyone.

 

I might have included something more like TRevor McFur, again, thinking about what was available at launch.

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I would have done a few things:

 

1) push back release to November 1994, just in time for christmas. I would use this delay to accomplish the remaining

 

2) substitute a 68020 for the 68000. The 68000 was useless for anything but just looking at, compared to the other chips. The 68020, as demonstrated in CoJag units, would have given an extra hand without suffering the rest of the design.

 

3) RAM RAM and More RAM. 6-8MB of RAM. The year wait would have seen the prices on RAM go through the floor, allowing for less expensive units while still boosting the RAM content and the faster CPU.

 

4) CD-ROM based, not cartridge based. By the time Jaguar got rolling, CD-ROM was the new standard for game distribution. Integrating the CD-ROM elements into the motherboard along with the new CPU and RAM, with the price drops from that year (which were very heavy drops with the introduction of new plants in Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia entering the field) would have kept the production price comparable.

 

5) stockpile. Begin rolling the units out in July, but just sit on them, warehouse them, then, on the Wednesday before black friday.... super massive drop-shipments, big displays in the major stores, "Worlds first 64-bit gaming console!" ads on all TV stations. One big blitz to push everyone into a shopping frenzy. So when people hit the store on Black Friday, there they are, fresh, new, eyes staring at you.

 

6) this is a longer term strategy that should have been persued, develop and release a desktop computer using the Jaguar components. Using even beefier CPU's and more RAM would have further improved the system performance, but now you'd encourage homebrewing of content for the Jaguar. If you hit the magical pricetag of $600, then you could even push into new, larger space. Plus, being able to run your Jaguar games, instant hit, a potential Commodore 64 level hit.

Wow! I'm no marketing expert, but I think you came up with the best possible idea. You're marketing strategy could potentially have made Atari rule the western gaming market, or at least be very competitive in it! :-o

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Bring the VR unit to fruition :cool: . I want that VR unit sooo bad.

How many successful mass-market VR units have there been?

 

Zero, that's how many.

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Bring the VR unit to fruition :cool: . I want that VR unit sooo bad.

How many successful mass-market VR units have there been?

 

Zero, that's how many.

 

True, what I REALLY wanted to see the light of day was the modem. Would've loved to play Doom with someone half a world a way, oh well, one can dream :(

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I would have made sure that Mortal Kombat 3 really was a Jaguar exclusive

 

 

Got me sold on that one! :D

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I think it would still have made sense to keep it cart-based because as you recall the early CD systems including the PS1 had very bad load-times and used the CD a lot for "FMV shovelware" and streamed digital audio. Really, a great polygonal 3D game doesn't need a CD that much. If it did offer CDs, it should have also offered a cart port like the Saturn.

 

I do think that the Jaguar's hardware bugs are severe enough that there is no way in hell they should have released it until they were resolved. Doing that and building a real SDK with 1st rate software 3D routines would have given it the best chance of success, although it's still hard to imagine it holding up that long against the PS1, just as the Saturn was defeated for similar reasons.

 

The thing is, the only reason the Jag sold at all was its timing. It came out earlier than the other systems. So it was kind of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Edited by mos6507

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Add more RAM (8MB), more key registers for developers to use in making games, replace the M68000 with a M68020, fix the uart bug and any other known bugs in the hardware, release JaguarCD Player sooner w/ BIWN as an additional pack-in, develop the Jaguar Cortina & Voice Modem into production, push Virtuality to finish the JaguarVR, MPEG cart, be nicer to developers, invest in making better dev tools, hire Jeff Minter :D full time -not just by contract as was done, support promising developers like Scatologic, and concentrate on software, software, software, software!

 

Software is the only thing that really matters, software sells systems ;) - not the hardware.

 

Get a friggin' marketing crew in there that can do their damn job,....Really Well!

Edited by ovalbugmann

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So I've started this on other forums with other systems that didnt a get a chance and got some pretty intersting responses on how some people would've handled them. So any here it goes:

 

 

What would YOU have done differently when it came to Marketing/promoting/developing for the Atari Jaguar when it was first released?

 

I would have held back on the dumb "test market" release in San Fran and New York and waited another year for a full roll out with a couple dozen titles in tow.

The Jaguar's biggest problem in the beginning was the test market release of the system with half a dozen games, half of which were sub-par. This was a bad idea becuase the magazines and industry in general still considered the "test market" introduction as an official release of the system, then quickly turned on Atari when no more titles came out for a year. Waiting until the '94 holiday season would have allowed a nation-wide roll out, with enough units made by then to supply retailers nation wide, and would have been released on the wave of hit titles all coming out at once like Tempest 2000, AvP, Doom, Cannon Fodder, Iron Soldier and many of the other great titles that were released that year! Imagine all those Jaguar hits all hitting the market on launch day with the Jaguar! It would have becom the instant must-have system instead of being considered a cripple in the market by that time. And that would have given more time for some of the rushed, sub-par games like Checkered Flag and Club DRive and others to get polished and finished correctly.

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I think it would still have made sense to keep it cart-based because as you recall the early CD systems including the PS1 had very bad load-times and used the CD a lot for "FMV shovelware" and streamed digital audio.

 

Problem is that "FMV shovelware" sold a lot of PS1's. CD's were a new medium and people wanted to see things done with them that couldn't be done with carts. Quality didn't matter initially.

 

Really, a great polygonal 3D game doesn't need a CD that much. If it did offer CDs, it should have also offered a cart port like the Saturn.

 

Saturn cart port is not used for games.

 

The thing is, the only reason the Jag sold at all was its timing. It came out earlier than the other systems. So it was kind of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

 

I agree that if Atari had waited as some have suggested, they just would have been toast even earlier. *Unless*, as one or two people have said, they took the additional time to redesign the system almost from the ground up, including the addition of a CD-ROM and a different processor.

 

One thing nobody seems to have mentioned yet (or maybe you can count the Sega comments) is that they really should have partnered with some Japanese developers. They should have recognized by 1993 that Japanese games were hot; it's not like the NES, SNES and Genesis hadn't already taken the world by storm. They should have seen that Atari's own games didn't have the cachet that they once did, that their first-party development wasn't what it once was and that what people wanted was all coming out of Japan.

 

At that time, before Sony and Sega went and locked everybody up, Atari should have been aggressively courting Konami, Namco, Capcom, Squaresoft (they were in Nintendo's camp back then, but Sony managed to pull them away so I don't see why Atari couldn't have beat them to it), Bandai, and maybe one or two others. They should have locked up several exclusives from these companies for launch. Arcade games were still system-sellers back then - remember how Ridge Racer and Battle Arena Toshinden sold PlayStations initially?

 

The biggest problem with the Jag was clearly the game selection, and everything that had to be done to remedy that should have been... whether that means more overtures on the biz dev side or redesigning the hardware so developers could better take advantage of it more easily.

Edited by spacecadet

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