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A_Gorilla

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

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Also, look at it from a publishers point of view:With MD/Genesis and SNES, they had the nightmare of 10-to-12 week lead times on manufacturing runs of cartridges, production run numbers based on best guess type estimated sales and had huge issues reacting to actual demmand once game hit.

 

Sony comes in, offers an order system based on just 7-to-10 days, huge shift in terms of economics involved, along with offering publishers a chance of not only doing buisness in a totally new and faster way, but on a CD based , 3D capable console.

 

Sony simply offered what a lot of publishers had been waiting for, for a very long time-a new way of doing buisness, less risky to boot.

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I believe Coolkitty mentioned this somewhere, but I would have dropped the 68000, one of the RISC, the OP, and put the rest into one chip. With the RISC, audio DACs, a frame buffer for the billter and the Jag CD-Rom instead of the cart. The one RISC would have needed to be optimized to be the main CPU(a small cache too). Also, I would have tried to get every arcade game of the 16-32 bit arcade era that had not been represented as arcade perfect.

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Also, look at it from a publishers point of view:With MD/Genesis and SNES, they had the nightmare of 10-to-12 week lead times on manufacturing runs of cartridges, production run numbers based on best guess type estimated sales and had huge issues reacting to actual demmand once game hit.

 

Sony comes in, offers an order system based on just 7-to-10 days, huge shift in terms of economics involved, along with offering publishers a chance of not only doing buisness in a totally new and faster way, but on a CD based , 3D capable console.

 

Sony simply offered what a lot of publishers had been waiting for, for a very long time-a new way of doing buisness, less risky to boot.

I don't know how different things were in Europe, of course, but here in the States in the early to mid 90's there was a glut of systems in the marketplace. It was like the pre-crash period all over again -- too many options on the marketplace, and everyone was fighting for scraps behind Nintendo and Sega. Besides the SNES and Genesis, you also still had the NES doing well (games coming out till 1994), the 3DO, the CD-I, the Neo Geo, and the Turbo-Grafix 16. Plus you had the Sega CD and 32X add-on's for the Genesis. There was simply no room for ANOTHER system in the marketplace with the Jaguar. Atari should have focused all their efforts on the Lynx, or gone totally over to PC's, where they had a chance. Hell, even a large company at the peak of their power like Sega spread themselves too thin during this time period with too much in the market...how did Atari think they could handle all the stuff they tried? IMHO, the 'second shakeout' that happened in the marketplace circa 95-97 was a godsend, with all the small players vanishing and leaving the 'Big Three' of Nintendo, Sega, and Sony. And then Sega ran into the EXACT same issues and problems that doomed Atari in the late 90's and they had to pull out of hardware to survive, with Microsoft taking their place. On top of all this, signs are that market can't support three major companies for much longer....with the trends shifting to mobile gaming and all that. I predict in the next 3-4 years Nintendo is going to give up on hardware and go over to software only also, leaving Sony and MS to fight it out. You have to have BIG money to make it in the hardware business these days, and few companies have that warchest anymore. It's the same things we saw 20 years ago, just made worse by a factor of 10. Seriously, what made Atari think they had the money, resources, and ability to be anything more then a forth rate player in the marketplace?

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Chris Deering has talked about the European market only being 60% the size of the US market at the time Playstation was due to be launched, but rather than be put offf by it's smaller size or it's cultural patchwork, Sony Europe set about to change that, even upsetting Sony Japan in the process, by launcing in far more countries than Sony Japan wanted (Japan only wanted to launch in UK, France+Germany to keep advertising costs down).Deering saw Playstation launched everywhere in Europe on Sept 29th, except for Scandinavia, which got it by end of Nov.

Using his contacts and exp.in Sony's film and music publishing businesses, SCEE ended up covering Russia, India and the Middle East in time.
Atari (and Sega) used to make a lot of sound bytes about how Sony lacked the years of exp and understanding of the videogames industry they had, yet who on earth thought they could really face off again'st Sony's huge cash resources for marketing alone?

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Seem to recal Trip Hawkens being very open and honest regarding 3DO VS Sony and there simply was'nt anything 3DO could of done differently.3DO had about $100 Million of capital to work with Sony spent $2 Billion and they offered cup the Playstation a at very low price point in the west (so low Nintendo scoffed at it and thought they were crazy, loosing so much money on the hardware), but it was done as an investment in terms of seeing the user base grow very quickly and thus draw 3rd party developers away from likes of 3DO to Playstation.

 

So really given pityful resources (in comparison) Atai had, i really don't think there was anything they could of done that would really have made any difference.Changes to hardware would have made for better games, yes, but they were still facing competition with far higher budgets than themselves.

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@SoulBlazer:Despite what you might have read in UK press over last few years, the NES made very little impact here (it certainly did not 'save the UK industry), we'd seen so many pieces of hardware annouced, dropped, never released here or at all or just poorly concived (Commodore CDTV, A600, C6GS, Atari 65XE, STe, Falcon and Panther, Amstrad GX4000, PC Engine, you name it).

 

Publishers were desperate for a machine to appear that could make a 'difference' as they simply were'nt making anything near as much profit as they expected (or would have liked) on systems by Sega or Nintendo, as they set very tight profit margins.Prior to CD32 (CBM) and Atari's Jaguar being annouced, last great hope for something to shake UK market up had been the Konix Mukti-system, crashed and burned before being released.

 

European console market in Autumn'93 was described by some pundits as a 'commercial gorefest'.

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(Cont).Atari's UK reputation was pretty much in tatters. The Falcon Atari had claimed would wrestle power back from console brigade, put computers back on the map, going to be in every major high street chain, it flopped, a CTW survey putting it in a mere 12% of independent stores.

 

Then Atari annouces a (another) new console (so hang on, Falcon going to wrestle power back from consoles to computers, now Atari wants power kept on consoles? err what? mixed messages) and press scoffed at Atari's £199 with 2 controllers, 1 game for UK launch claim, saying no-one's belived a word Atari has said for the last 2 years, unless supported by evidence of their own eyes.

 

Atari talked of writeoffs, restructuring again'st a backdrop of posting yet more crippling losses, market share decreased even further, turnover lower than year before etc etc.

 

Atari annouced they had $40 Million set aside for launch of Jaguar.Compare that to budget 3DO had, let alone Sega for Saturn or Sony for Playstation.

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Oh, I know full well the NES didn't have the success in Europe that it did in the US. I was talking mostly about the US marketplace -- which doesn't subtract a whit from your great posts. I just know as a teen in the early 90's in high school, I had and was still heavily playing both my NES and SNES, swapped for a Genesis on a regular basis with a good friend, and what little money I had went into buying more games. Forgot about getting a $400 plus system. There was no way I could save that much on limited income, nor would have the parents have allowed it.

 

My main points was that the shakeout of the market in the mid 90's was a good thing, and that Atari didn't have a snowballs chance in hell in succeeding with the Jag -- at least, in North America.

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:-) I had to mention UK and NES as seen reality being reported as very fdifferent over the years in magazines dependant on Nintendo advertising revenue for survival.

Looking back at over the Jaguar/3DO era in terms of press coverage...man alive it's horrendous just how much stuff was being reported on at any given time.In no particular order:
Genesis/MD VR System, scrapped, but we'll show you what could of been....CD-i, Pioneer Laser Active, SVP chip, Super FX Chip MK II, Jaguar, Neo-Geo CD, A1200, CD32, PC Eng CD, Konix Multi-system resurfacing as TXE Multi-System, Sega talking about Jupiter, Mars, Neptune, Saturn etc, Nintendo with Project Reality, mags like C+VG reporting Nintendo working on a 32 Bit add-on for SNES to combat Sega's Mars (which turned out to be VB), Sony's PS-X, Sega Japan claiming Saturn had a 64 Bit GPU, 3DO M2/Bulldog, Atari talking of Jaguar MK 2, etc etc.....utter madness.Real 'arms race' and it was fine for the mags to hype up, then turn on hardware, they were given review machines

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I felt like a bloody fool having spent 1st £270 on a UK MCD on day 1 only to see Sega squander it's potential, i then bought a Jaguar on Day 1 (£229 i think i paid) only to see that fall by the wayside.I was bloody lucky at that era as job i was in had a lot of overtime, so i pilled in the hours, had the disposable income, could walk to work etc.But it was a nightmare period looking back.

 

The Jaguar has been described as the console that should have replaced the SNES/Genesis as an affordable, cart based machine, but when the (combined) marketing budget for UK alone for SNES and Mega Drive was £30 Million and Atari only had a total budget of £27 Million to launch Jaguar everywhere, let alone USA (assuming budgets in UK press are correct), then i'm actually surprised it did as well as it did.

 

You had 3DO manufactuers like Panasonic refusing to take losses on hardware, CBM claiming no-one could sell a 32 Bit CD based console at a cheaper price than they could.Where was there for Atari to go?

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armchair economists.

 

There is also the emotional/advertising aspect of this Atari was further crippled by a prejudiced press that refused to be fair or balanced to any sort of realistic degree.

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Touching on the whole NES vs UK thing... it really was all about the Master System, C64, Spectrum, ST, Amiga etc here at that time.

 

Nintendo didn't really start to make a dent here until the arrival of the SNES, and even then, the MegaDrive was still more popular really.

 

It was Nintendo's handhelds that made the impact here bitd tbh, not the home consoles themselves.

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I felt like a bloody fool having spent 1st £270 on a UK MCD on day 1 only to see Sega squander it's potential, i then bought a Jaguar on Day 1 (£229 i think i paid) only to see that fall by the wayside.I was bloody lucky at that era as job i was in had a lot of overtime, so i pilled in the hours, had the disposable income, could walk to work etc.But it was a nightmare period looking back

 

Sounds like me when I bought the Gamecube. Decided to get a new game system and looking back aside from a feeling of I needed to not live so much in the past I bought the Gamecube and shortly afterwards realized what a limited game base the system had compared to say Playstation 2. And I ESPECIALLY kicked myself when Battlestar Galactica came out for PS2 and not the Gamecube.

 

I'm sure I would have felt the same with the Jaguar had I bought it back in the day, but BACK IN THE DAY I saw a Jaguar in used electronics store. I said "Atari?" feeling like someone was ripping off the name of a game company I liked what felt like a lifetime before. Store said "Expensive and not many games to be honest" and I replied "Alright" and moved on.

 

Really was not too far off on the description. And I like the Jaguar, but then I like the Gamecube a lot years later too. ;)

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