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

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They could have focused marketing more on relatively small regions (both UK and Germany come to mind for popularity of Atari Corp products -especially UK in terms of games, not sure about France -and numerous other countries, of course). The viral marketing strategy would also be much more viable in that region.

I wonder if they considered the idea of a Europe test launch. It really seems like a good idea, so I'm trying to figure out what made them "go big" in the US instead.

 

One possibility is that they were VERY focused on raising investor capital in 1993. They were just about to run out of money.

 

Maybe the financial situation forced their hand -- they had to look like they were going to make a billion to get investors excited. They did create that impression and they did get the money.

 

Could a slower/European "viral" launch still boost investor confidence enough? Their investors and creditors were mostly in the US, for better or worse.

 

I guess a European launch would have been preferrable. The software houses still publishing for Amiga and ST were mostly European and several of the better Jaguar titles actually came from UBI Soft, Eclipse, Gremlin Graphics, Rebellion. So my guess is that with a wider availability in Europe more European software houses would have started publishing on the Jaguar - especially if Atari had been generous with development hardware and software (and having an idea on how to motivate independent experienced 68K programmers to write for the Jaguar would also have helped).

 

Thorsten

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I guess a European launch would have been preferrable. The software houses still publishing for Amiga and ST were mostly European and several of the better Jaguar titles actually came from UBI Soft, Eclipse, Gremlin Graphics, Rebellion. So my guess is that with a wider availability in Europe more European software houses would have started publishing on the Jaguar - especially if Atari had been generous with development hardware and software (and having an idea on how to motivate independent experienced 68K programmers to write for the Jaguar would also have helped).

 

Being open with dev software/tools could have been possible (though that didn't happen so much, in addition to the tools being limited), but doing so with dev systems might be tougher as that's more cost intensive and Atari was really short on funds at the time.

 

Oh, and as for EU/UK developers, don't forget Jeff Minter/Llamasoft. (though I think that was all Atari published stuff) But he did develop one of the best selling games on the system: Tempest 2000. (as well as the graphically impressive but rather incomplete Crescent Galaxy)

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On hardware again: In terms of mass storage, CD drives were expensive (but CDs were cheap), HD floppies were too low capacity (and prone to piracy -if not proprietary), and ZIP hadn't yet come out either (Superdisl later still), but might the Floptical format have been a possibility? (using a proprietary form factor and/or file format)

Nothing is as cheap as a cartridge port, not even a floppy disk. CD mechanisms weren't terribly expensive... by 1993, you could buy $99 Chinese CD players, so it's likely that a CD would have only added about $100 to the Jaguar's retail price.

 

$100 is still a LOT of money for a console that is aspiring to be $199... It really puts it into a different price range.

 

For what's it worth, one of cheapest Floptical drives in 1993 was from PLI and it retailed at $469. Compared to a $99 CD... doesn't seem like a big win!

 

CD drives aren't expensive to make -- they're actually quite a lot cheaper than almost any other kind of drive (except low density floppies of course). However, all of the technology in CDs, from the chips to the algorithms to the servo mechanisms to the data formats to the lasers are all heavily patented... patent owners didn't license low cost CDs until well into the 90s. Obviously Sony owned many key patents already so they could build CDs much more cheaply than anyone else. Ahh, the world of lawyers we live in.

 

- KS

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The cost of the cartridge port + the cost of goods of the pack in game ( and the lost royalties ) must count a bit against the cost of the CD mechanism.

I still think that it would have been a win for Atari ( even going for a single speed drive rather than a double speed to further save costs )

 

I wonder if it would have been easy to allow the DSP to run 32 bit accesses as a master while still being 16 bit for 68k accesses?

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For what's it worth, one of cheapest Floptical drives in 1993 was from PLI and it retailed at $469. Compared to a $99 CD... doesn't seem like a big win!

Wow... OK. Although, that makes Nintendo's DD seem even odder... It's similar to a ZIP drive (including reliability issues) with lower capacity (64 MB) and was released in 1999, it really seems odd that they didn't go for an optical drive at that point. (a secure, proprietary format was obviously one goal with cartridges, but with 3 more years you'd think they could have done so with a CD based format -as they did with the GC's mini DVD derivative) The N64 DD sold even worse than the Jaguar CD, albeit it only got a Japan release. (but the N64 sold far better there than the Jaguar did worldwide)

 

CD drives aren't expensive to make -- they're actually quite a lot cheaper than almost any other kind of drive (except low density floppies of course). However, all of the technology in CDs, from the chips to the algorithms to the servo mechanisms to the data formats to the lasers are all heavily patented... patent owners didn't license low cost CDs until well into the 90s. Obviously Sony owned many key patents already so they could build CDs much more cheaply than anyone else. Ahh, the world of lawyers we live in.

 

The Jag CD coming later facilitated some of that, which makes sense. Later date and several steps taken to minimize the amount of patented components: custom CD-ROM controller (Commodore did such for the CD32 as well iirc), custom data format (with capacity well beyond the standard 550/650/700 MB formats -not sure if 700 MB was even common yet), so they basically just paid for the drive mechanism and invested in custom silicon (plus fabrication costs). They ended up lacking a standard file format, but I wouldn't think that's directly related. (couldn't they used a standard file format like that used for the ST or such?) Regardless of that, couldn't CD based games be done without an actual file system, just raw data roughly equivalent to semiconductor ROM storage? (unless developers took it upon themselved to implement file management for the cartridges too)

 

Though the Jaguar CD ended up costing more than $100 (with a lot of pack-in software) in spite of it being released later, so I'm not sure how the value comes in. (they could have been making a profit from selling the drives, plus the added cost of a separate unit, separate power supply, etc) Though Sega had dropped their CD system to $150 in early '94 and it had 768 kB of DRAM, a 12.5 MHz 68k, graphics ASIC (blitter supporting affine line rendering for scaling/rotation effects), 8-channel Ricoh PCM sound chip and 64 kB of audio P?SRAM, 16 kB P?SRAM (some say 64 kB) CD-ROM buffer, and 8 kB SRAM for save memory. (granted that's a 1x speed drive and after a few million units sold, so economy of scales would help, but that's a lot of added hardware and I don't think they were selling below cost -prior to discontinuation)

 

 

Anyway their efforts with the Jaguar CD for the Jag duo (and Jaguar II) had those materialized: cost optimizations tying in with integrated circuitry, etc. It might have been best to push the Duo unit earlier for a release at or close to the same time as the Jag CD was released. (which was a couple days after the PSX launch -and before depending on when the CD made it to Europe)

Edited by kool kitty89

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The Jag CD coming later facilitated some of that, which makes sense. Later date and several steps taken to minimize the amount of patented components: custom CD-ROM controller (Commodore did such for the CD32 as well iirc), custom data format (with capacity well beyond the standard 550/650/700 MB formats -not sure if 700 MB was even common yet), so they basically just paid for the drive mechanism and invested in custom silicon

A few technical corrections here: Patents cover ideas, not components. (Maybe this wasn't the intention of patents, but that's how tech patents are.) You can't get around them by rolling your own components, you still must pay the patent license just using any of the ideas in CD. For CDs, Phillips and Sony were the primary patent owners. Atari secured their licenses from Phillips. (A good move considering the Playstation...)

 

Next up: When I said patented data formats, I was referring to the way the CD is formatted below the file system level. All CD players (including the Jag CD) use EFM and CIRC encoding, also patented. ISO-9660 is also patented but as you noted, Atari didn't use that -- they made their own (crappy) "file system".

 

Finally: The Jaguar CD doesn't use a custom CD chipset. Butch, the only custom chip in the Jaguar CD, is just a glue chip that adds a few basic functions. The Jaguar CD's chipset is a standard Phillips chipset. Except for running at 2x clock rate (for double speed), it's the same chipset in any Phillips Audio CD Player of the early 90s.

 

To be specific, the chipset contains 4 chips, and includes its own CPU and firmware, and manages seeking, data decoding, error correction, plus all the messy analog stuff involved in driving the laser, maintaining focus, tracking the groove, etc.

 

So think of the Jaguar CD as a standard audio CD at its core, and then on top of that a bunch more stuff was added: Butch, the boot/VLM ROM, flash memory to store VLM and CD player settings, and the cartridge pass-through interface.

 

Butch is not a pretty chip. In theory, Jerry would have handled all communication with the Phillips chipset using its I2S bus. But then it was found that Jerry's audio DACs were of low quality, so an I2S audio DAC was added on Jerry's CD control port.

 

Butch adds its own way of controlling the Phillips chipset, but it's really buggy. Actually Butch seems to have a lot of bugs, judging from the BIOS listings.

 

Butch is an ASIC, and even though it's a simple one, ASICs are expensive. Look at it this way: Butch would have at least $1-2 million to develop. Now divide that by 20,000 Jaguar CDs made. Not a brilliant financial move.

 

The boot/VLM ROM, flash memory for settings, and cartridge pass-through interface are straightforward, but they add cost and complexity. Open up a JagCD sometime and look at all the connectors and components required for the (4!) circuit boards. Compare that to a later generation cost-reduced Sega CD... It's clear which costs more to make.

 

granted that's a 1x speed drive and after a few million units sold, so economy of scales would help, but that's a lot of added hardware and I don't think they were selling below cost -prior to discontinuation

Economies of scale are the key. You're not talking about physical components, you're talking about patent licenses. Basically, patents are just negotiations. If you are nobody and you'll only sell a few units, you pay $25 a unit. If you intend to sell 10 million units they might cut you a deal -- permanent license for $25 million up front. If you're Sega, that kind of move can drive down prices fast.

 

Of course, these days CD licenses are pennies and most patents have expired anyway. In the early 90s it was a different time, when Sony and Phillips (who both controlled the patents AND sold consumer CD players) wanted to keep CD players expensive and profit margins high.

 

- KS

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http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/132973-comprehensive-atari-jaguar-timeline-1991-2008/page__st__25

I was looking at the compiled timeline again and I realized a few things:

-Atari did announce a modem, but not until September of 1994 (they might have promoted such a year earlier to drum up investors)

 

-They seems to have made a rather notable effort in a Japanese launch in November 21, 1994 (a day before Saturn) and had built up a decent library by then (in the west at least), but I think that was wasted effort: Japan would have been an extremely hard market to crack (low hardware price points being less significant -Sony didn't even dump the PSX's price- extremely competitive -NEC+Sega+Nintendo+Sony- and unfriendly to foreign products), perhaps they were trying to gain interest from Japanese developers, but really that was the wrong direction. (no JP launch at all and pushing more in Europe and North America, would have likely been best)

 

-The Jag's library was more than double the PlayStation (and far more than Saturn) at the end of 1995.

 

-Things had REALLY picked up in late Summer of 1995, the library of games doubled in that time period. (granted holiday releases tend to be strong, but 1995 was far stronger than the previous year -and 1993 was extremely sparse, of course)

Also, a rather large portion of those were CD releases. (almost 1/2)

 

-The price of a (bare bones) Jaguar and CD together was equal to that of the PSX at launch (though the Jag Duo should have been cheaper) and was $50 cheaper before Christmas of 1995. (again, it's a bit of a shame they hadn't pushed the Jag Duo in parallel with the CD -particularly given the high percentage of CD releases it may have been possible to do what NEC had done and made CD the main format)

 

 

The PlayStation must have really stolen their thunder when it took off shortly after, though Sam Tramiel had already had his heart attack back in '95. (though it seems odd that only ~150,000 consoles had sold by that point, yet it had so many games -not that they sold a huge amount of each title either)

 

Had they managed to establish an ingrained user base in Europe (the brand already had an established following and previous Atari users) they might have had a chance at persisting in Sony's marketing onslaught (and "canned" software development libraries), perhaps in a manner such as Sega did with the Master System. (with a much more limited American user base -though they Also had Brazil)

-Hmm, that's another possible point... Brazil: the Jaguar was cheap enough that it may have appealed to some secondary markets where very low cost was critical. (like South America) Profits would have been very slim, but that's an interesting thought. (in SA in particular, their biggest competitor would have been Sega/TecToy's MegaDrive, unless they opted to license the Jaguar to TecToy and have them handle the software conversions/translations/licensing for that region too -Sega eventually did that, but not until 1995 iirc)

Edited by kool kitty89

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I remembered a point that came up in this discussion several months ago on the topic of the Jaguar in Japan. Perhaps staying out of Japan completely wouldn't have been the best option, but looking for a Japanese company to license the Jag to would have been. Specifically, NEC came up before and they seem to be the ideal candidate if such a partnership was possible:

They were strong in the Japanese gaming market with their PC Engine/CD (second behind Nintendo prior to the PSX and Saturn coming on the scene) but their system was aging and they lacked a really competitive system of their own (they ended up pulling out their shelved "Iron Man" project and releasing it as the PC-FX which didn't do well at all).

In addition to that, they didn't have conflicting issues in western markets with the TG-16 petering out (never being a huge success and not even released in Europe) with the last couple games tricking out in 1993, so they might have entered into a deal to have rights to the Jaguar in the Japanese/Asian market.

 

One thing (also mentioned before) would be that NEC would definitely want a CD based platform, so either they may have facilitated acceleration of the Jaguar CD (and Duo) either with added funding or aiding with their own engineering staff, or dropping the custom Jag CD drive and using a standard NEC CD-ROM drive. (obviously with its own cost advantages of vertical integration -though possibly not avoiding as many patent/license costs as Atari's drive -with custom data format)

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In answer to the title of this thread,

 

I would have put emphasis on updates of Atari arcade games, like for example what was done with Tempest. I would have drawn from remakes of the classic Atari game library while trying to woo big name developers. Trying to get a few Capcom fighters on board even if they were old stuff just to push the system into the hands of gamers, with titles like X-Men Children of the Atom, Marvel vs Capcom, Final Fight, Street Fighter 2, etc. I would have went the route of arcade to home translations of games as a foundation to work from and venture out from there.

 

:cool:

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That was to be a major plan, at least they claimed so, and others were in the works, but only a couple other remade classics (not all atari) made it to the platform. Like missile command 3D (better than the PSX missile command remake I think) and Defender 2000. (I think there's a few more) There was supposed to be a Centipede 3D I think, and possibly Asteroids 3D.

There was a Astroids remake on the N64 -plus the Space Invades multiplatform game later on -simple enough that it could probably been done on the Jag, and the rare DarXide on 32x might have been what a "virtual" mode in Asteroids 3D would have been like if it ended up anything like Missile Command.

 

More than just the classics though, they should have pushed for more recent Atari Games arcade titles, particularly with Time Warner acquiring Atari Games (and having a shared interest in Atari Corp) and the Cojag tie-in.

Preferably with Atari Games/Tengen development for the ports, or reputable outsourcing (Primal Rage on the Jag CD was pretty weak, like a rather simple port form the SNES by Probe...).

 

Hard Driven or Race Drivn perhaps (maybe spruced up liek the Saturn version in some ways), STUNN Runner would be a big one to go for though (especially with added 2-player support). T-Mek was planned, but canceled, and also a rather suitable title.

Moto Frenzy might be a good one, particularly compared to Supercross 3D... (and maybe related games like Road Riot or Road Riot's Revenge)

 

 

A remake of the classic Atari Star Wars arcade game (and Empire Strikes back) might have been interesting, simple arcade style cyclic gameplay but very fun. (and nice if done like T2K with classic and upgraded modes -the latter with filled polygons -probably gouraud shaded)

Not sure on the licensing though, they owned the rights to the originals, but I'd think Lucas Film would have some tie in it, and possibly some conflict with Sega's Star Wars Arcade. (though Atari was in a good negotiating position with Sega by mid 1994, winning the lawsuit and all) Ports of Sega's Star Wars Arcade might have also been a possibility (given their settlement), but honestly, I think the Atari classics are more fun in general. (and could have had graphical upgrades to look similar to better than Sega's -Sega was all flat shading- plus a classic wireframe mode, of course)

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While updating classic games would of been a great idea, Atari originaly didn't develope any bcause all market research stated that #1 customers of the mid 90's hated classic games (may be true we were into Madden Football, most EA Sports games, Mortal Kombat/Street Fighter and the thousand of clone fighter games, Final Fight type games, and Sonic).

 

Temptest was made on the side as a project of love by Jeff M., it was cheap for Atari since they owned the rights to the game, so they figured what the heck, it was a surprise hit so they started developing more classic remakes under the same formula, Arcade/modern version/2K addition, you ended up getting Pong, Temptest, Missle Command, and Defender aout of it...we would of got a Centepede and Major Havok if Atari would of stayed around for another Christmas.

 

I agree this is one of the areas where they failed, but truly if asked the question did I want to see a newer version of Defender on my 64 bit machine without seeing Temptest 2K I may of answered the same way, Atari has the same 20 or so games on every generation of their machines 2600/5200/7800/XE and the only difference is grafix and sound, why would I pay $50 for the newest version of Defender when the one I own for 7800/NES is close enouth to the arcade for me.

 

 

Also I as a consumer purchasing the system not knowing that Atari Arcade and Atari Home where 2 different companies assumed that Jag would at least have Arcade perfect at system launch Hard Drivin, Race Drivin, Pit Fighter, Gauntlet, T-Mek, Paperbay, Stun Runner, Area 51 etc.

 

but I am in agreement if Atari would of said screw the research we are going to bring the classic games home again, at least they could of started out w/the core clientell then moved away from it as the system matured, Also Mortal Kombat 2 or 3 should of been released ASAP, all the money you had to prusue those titles, would of saved the system at the time it was the 90's Pac-Man, just having blood in MK on Sega made them #1 in the USA

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Separating the Arcade division from the Consumer division was a fatal flaw later exposed. Nintendo and Sega could bring their arcade hits to their consoles - Atari didnt really have any brand name hits to bring to the Jag except a few that Time Warner provided to them.

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Separating the Arcade division from the Consumer division was a fatal flaw later exposed. Nintendo and Sega could bring their arcade hits to their consoles - Atari didnt really have any brand name hits to bring to the Jag except a few that Time Warner provided to them.

 

Thats wrong actually. Atari Corp had an agreement in place at the time of the split that they could convert anygame from Atari Games to their home machines, because of Warner still holding a share I believe. Hence why the Lynx saw so many Atari arcade conversions and had so many more planned that didn't see release.

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Separating the Arcade division from the Consumer division was a fatal flaw later exposed. Nintendo and Sega could bring their arcade hits to their consoles - Atari didnt really have any brand name hits to bring to the Jag except a few that Time Warner provided to them.

 

Thats wrong actually. Atari Corp had an agreement in place at the time of the split that they could convert anygame from Atari Games to their home machines, because of Warner still holding a share I believe. Hence why the Lynx saw so many Atari arcade conversions and had so many more planned that didn't see release.

 

It wasn't any games from Atari Games. The properties were split, Atari Corp. owned all console and computer versions of pre-split game properties, and Atari Games owned all coin-op versions. Atari Corp. didn't need permission from Atari Games on any home console or computer port - they owned them and the titles in that domain. They would have needed Atari Games' permission to do an arcade game with the properties for instance. Just as Atari Games/Tengen could not release the properties on a home platform without Atari Corp.'s permission. We're still not clear on the trademarks/copyrights regarding the properties at the time, as there was additional closed proceedings in '98-'99 between Hasbro and Midway that further redefined the agreement. It appears they were shared up to that point as well, until the Atari name and logo and all game copyrights/trademarks defaulted to Hasbro/Atari Interactive. What was interesting that Keita told me, us during the Nuon development they could have licensed the Tempest rom from either Hasbro or Midway. The actual name and such is a different story.

Edited by wgungfu
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Atari didnt really have any brand name hits to bring to the Jag except a few that Time Warner provided to them.

 

 

Atari Corp. had access and co-ownership of every single title from '72-'84. They could release any game from that period on the Jaguar, update, etc. just as they did with Tempest.

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I was specifically talking about games after the spilt not before. I know about the retainment of rights on the old games.

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I was specifically talking about games after the spilt not before. I know about the retainment of rights on the old games.

 

Thats what I was referring to also - If Atari Corp had the ability to produce any Atari Games Arcade release on the Jag then they were idiots not to chase after everyone they could.

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Thats what I was referring to also - If Atari Corp had the ability to produce any Atari Games Arcade release on the Jag then they were idiots not to chase after everyone they could.

i don't know anything about the agreement.

 

But, usually those agreements pertain only to trademarks anyway, not to the actual artwork and code. Just because you can make a game called "T-Mek" doesn't do you much good if you have to recreate every last line of code, pixel, sound effect, and musical note from scratch.

 

Atari Games was making some pretty high budget arcades in the mid-90s and a big part of that budget was in artwork. Why would they give that to Atari Corp for free? If they were nice they would license out all the assets for an amount similar to the original cost of development. If they weren't nice they could charge a profit on top.

 

Atari Corp was all about making CHEAP games for the Jaguar. They were too busy salivating over bargains like Dino Dudes to pay millions for arcade conversions.

 

I bet there were at least conversations along these lines between the companies, but... Atari Games had all the cards, why give Atari Corp a killer deal? At best it would just cut into their arcade revenue... unless Atari Corp gave back most of the profits on their cart sales. And then how is Atari Corp benefiting?

 

And so other arrangements are possible... like Atari Games getting a big chunk of the profit and Atari Corp providing free labor... but these kinds of hypothetical situations only happen in a world where Atari Corp really believed their own contracted developers were incompetent. Otherwise why bend over for Atari Games?

 

I'm having s hard imagining a win-win arrangement between the companies, which might be why we never saw much.

 

- KS

Edited by kskunk

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I agree this is one of the areas where they failed, but truly if asked the question did I want to see a newer version of Defender on my 64 bit machine without seeing Temptest 2K I may of answered the same way, Atari has the same 20 or so games on every generation of their machines 2600/5200/7800/XE and the only difference is grafix and sound, why would I pay $50 for the newest version of Defender when the one I own for 7800/NES is close enough to the arcade for me.

They could have done more than that though, they could have used the licenses (for any home or arcade title to '84) for actual remakes, not just classics. (though William's had their rather successful arcade hits compilation in '96 with direct arcade conversions -obviously some predating that too, like Microsoft Arcade and Return of Arcade in DOS)

 

I'm not sure about Star Wars due to Lucas, but if they didn't have any red tape to work though, an update of SW and ESB -not the 2600 game- with full polygonal graphics and maybe a bit of modifications would have been nice IMO. Sega had their Star Wars Arcade in '94 on the 32x, and Atari could probably have gotten a license of their due to their arrangement with Sega, but honestly I think Atari's own Arcade classics may have been better to go with. (and they could have started earlier, assuming no difficulties with Lucas licensing)

 

But specifically, I wasn't talking about anything but Atari owned games: no Space Invaders, Pac Man, etc from 3rd parties unless the licenses were cheap/easy to get. (it would probably be better to go for some of the less common games, especially popular arcade titles than didn't have proliferous home ports, or no good home ports -Tempest wasn't until 1993 with MS Arcade)

Battlezone would have been a good one too, granted games like Stellar 7/Stellar Fire used a similar formula, but that really had potential. (Activision did their own, rather different remake a few years later on PC, of course -with an N64 conversion)

 

And again, just as one facet of the system, not the biggest selling point, but still a notable one. Not simply new ports, but remade classics, likely with a classic/arcade mode included. (for Star Wars/ESB arcade games some modifications would be needed for digital directional control rather than analog, simplest would be a cursor moving around, but better would be the entire camera/perspective moving in a more modern 3D fashion)

 

 

Also I as a consumer purchasing the system not knowing that Atari Arcade and Atari Home where 2 different companies assumed that Jag would at least have Arcade perfect at system launch Hard Drivin, Race Drivin, Pit Fighter, Gauntlet, T-Mek, Paperbay, Stun Runner, Area 51 etc.

Yes, but luckily Time Warner acquired Atari Games in 1993, so perfect timing to set-up a good licensing deal (as Warner still had holdings in Atari Corp). There's more than that too to consider: http://www.system16.com/museum.php?id=2 Like Moto Frenzy or possibly Road Riot as I mentioned, perhaps steel talons too.

T-Mek and Primal Rage, of course, and the latter did appear on the Jag CD, but a rather pitiful port by Probe compared to the PSX version, particularly knowing the Jag's excellent 2D capabilities and games like Ultra Vortek clearly illustrating how Primal Rage could have looked. (and on a cart)

Really, they should have pushed for Atari Games/Tengen programmers to do the conversions if possible.

 

Area 51 was a CoJag game (demonstrating the relationship between Atari Corp/Warner/Atari Games), using the Jaguar's hardware, though with a lot of streaming video making it impractical outside of on CD. (of course, the lower bitrate compared to the arcade's HDD and weaker hardware of the Jag vs Cojag would have meant it being cut down somewhat)

 

Paperboy was a bit old to really consider IMO, the same might be true for marble madness and such. Blastroids might be interesting due to a lack of home ports. (DOS was the only one in the US I think) Same with the Gauntlet series. (and those did indeed appear on Atari Corp's ST) Pit fighter wasn't as old, but it was fairly mediocre and the Jag had better fighting games of its own (and poor ones too), going for a Mortal Kombat II license would have been wise though. (Street Fighter might be tougher without Japanese interest, but that's been mentioned previously)

 

 

Also interesting to note that Atari Games had an multi-game arcade classics machine in the works in 1992, but was cancelled: http://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=776

 

 

Thats wrong actually. Atari Corp had an agreement in place at the time of the split that they could convert anygame from Atari Games to their home machines, because of Warner still holding a share I believe. Hence why the Lynx saw so many Atari arcade conversions and had so many more planned that didn't see release.

 

I'm not sure about any such formal arrangement for the newer Atari Games titles, but I doubt such would apply to the Lynx as Warner didn't come back to Atari Games until 1993, coinciding with the Jaguar. (Warner dropped it to Namco in '85, Namco dropped it as an independent company in '86 and TIme Warner picked it up in '93, then Midway got it in '96 and disbanded the related division in 2003)

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I was specifically talking about games after the spilt not before. I know about the retainment of rights on the old games.

 

 

That's what I was talking about as well. You stated:

 

"Atari Corp had an agreement in place at the time of the split that they could convert anygame from Atari Games to their home machines"

 

They did not. Once again, it was an equal sharing of the Atari Inc. (1972-1984) game IP, with Atari Corp. owning the home rights to said IP and the Atari Games owning the arcade rights. Games of course also took all the coin patents. They did not come away with right to games developed by Atari Games after the split. Those would have to be licensed like anyone else.

 

This is still in place. Time/Warner (thanks to the recent Midway purchase) owns the actual arcade roms. Infogrames/Atari Interactive/the current Atari Inc. had to get and license them from Midway for their arcade collections over the last 10 years.

Edited by wgungfu
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Thats what I was referring to also - If Atari Corp had the ability to produce any Atari Games Arcade release on the Jag then they were idiots not to chase after everyone they could.

 

They didn't. As stated, they had the ability to produce any Atari Inc. arcade release ('72-'84). That's up through I,Robot I believe. Marble Madness/Jedi would start the first Atari Games releases. Atari Games period games were not on the table unless they sought to license those from Atari Games/Time Warner Interactive.

Edited by wgungfu

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Well I read in a UK magazine back in the day that the reason so many Atari Games/Tengen conversions appeared on the Lynx was because Atari Corp had a licensing agreement in place that meant they could port any Atari Games coin-ops to the Lynx (and I pressume the 7800 and 2600). This meant they were able to choose whatever games they wanted and release as many as they wanted (I do however assume they had to pay some sort of royalty to Tengen).

 

I was wondering if this was still in place at the time of the Jag launch.

Edited by The_Laird

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Well I read in a UK magazine back in the day that the reason so many Atari Games/Tengen conversions appeared on the Lynx was because Atari Corp had a licensing agreement in place that meant they could port any Atari Games coin-ops to the Lynx (and I pressume the 7800 and 2600). This meant they were able to choose whatever games they wanted and release as many as they wanted (I do however assume they had to pay some sort of royalty to Tengen).

 

No, the magazine was wrong if that's what they stated. It was a per title license for the Lynx, 2600, 7800, and ST that Atari Corp. had to wind up issuing stock to pay for. They finally had to do a settlement for 70,000 shares of stock to cover owed money on the licenses, all covered here:

 

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/736157/0000736157-94-000002.txt

 

These were for back payment on individual title licenses for the 2600, 7800, Atari ST, and Atari Lynx. A full listing of the titles and licensing dates is here (copied from the above SEC filing of March 29th, 1994 - Pre-Jaguar):

 

 

LYNX TITLES DATE EXECUTED MARKETING DATE

 

Gauntlet 1/5/90 7/4/92

 

APB 2/8/90 8/8/91

 

Cyberball 2072 2/8/90 8/8/91

 

Klax 2/8/90 8/8/91

 

RoadBlasters 2/8/90 8/8/91

 

Vindicators 2/8/90 8/8/91

 

720 2/8/90 8/8/91

 

Paperboy 4/24/90 10/24/91

 

S.T.U.N. Runner 6/7/90 12/6/91

 

Xybots 6/11/90 12/10/91

 

Hydra 7/9/90 1/9/92

 

Pit-Fighter 8/28/90 2/28/92

 

Hard Drivin' 10/19/90 4/18/92

 

Rampart 7/24/91 1/23/93

 

Road Riot 4WD 8/19/91 2/19/93

 

Steel Talons 8/19/91 2/19/93

 

Relief Pitcher 3/31/92 9/30/93

 

Escape from the Planet 4/15/92 10/14/93

of Robot Monsters

 

 

ST TITLES DATE EXECUTED MARKETING DATE

 

Steel Talons 8/19/91 2/19/93

 

Road Riot 4WD 8/19/91 2/19/93

 

Relief Pitcher UNSIGNED

 

 

7800 TITLES DATE EXECUTED MARKETING DATE

 

Klax 2/8/90 8/8/91

 

Pit-Fighter 9/11/90 3/10/92

 

Rampart 7/24/91 1/23/93

 

Steel Talons 8/20/91 2/20/93

 

Road Riot 4WD 8/21/91 2/21/93

 

 

2600 TITLES DATE EXECUTED MARKETING DATE

 

Klax 3/8/90 9/8/91

Edited by wgungfu

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Atari Games period games were not on the table unless they sought to license those from Atari Games/Time Warner Interactive.

 

Given Warner's shared interest in Atari Corp (and Time-Warner obtaining Atari Games in '93), such licensing would likely be rather forthcoming though. (and there seems to have been a good amount of exchange between the 2, the CoJag being a big one, at least)

 

Well I read in a UK magazine back in the day that the reason so many Atari Games/Tengen conversions appeared on the Lynx was because Atari Corp had a licensing agreement in place that meant they could port any Atari Games coin-ops to the Lynx (and I pressume the 7800 and 2600). This meant they were able to choose whatever games they wanted and release as many as they wanted (I do however assume they had to pay some sort of royalty to Tengen).

 

That's interesting, I wonder how that arrangement worked (assuming it's true), and when that occurred. It sounds like Marty didn't know of any such, and he should be a authority on that, so it seems a bit odd.

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Its interesting how quite a few of those titles were never released such as 720 Degrees, Road Riot 4WD, Vindicators and Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Mosters on the Lynx. All of the 7800 titles and none for the ST but Steel Talons and Road Riot 4WD were released for the Falcon so I wonder if that is a mistake.

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