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Posted Mon Jul 1, 2013 2:44 PM
Posted Mon Jul 1, 2013 3:11 PM
Posted Mon Jul 1, 2013 3:11 PM
Edited by calimero, Mon Jul 1, 2013 3:21 PM.
Posted Mon Jul 1, 2013 3:22 PM
Posted Mon Jul 1, 2013 4:10 PM
There's not much I've seen on it in general, but by Curt's comments it was going to be a "normal" computer form factor, but it certainly seems to have been angled towards the gaming (and lower-end consumer) market compared to the 520ST and was apparently being pushed by an internal effort of former Atari Inc staff at Atari Corp to make the ST more competitive/attractive as a next-gen games platform.
Wasn't the Robin going to be an ST based game console?
The industry as a whole was moving to computer-gaming, even magazines were changing their names to either have computing added or changed from Video to Computer Gaming... Computers like the C64, Apple //C and ][GS as well as the Atari 800XL and XE's were all very inexpensive (well maybe not the GS) and it appeared at the time video gaming was moving in that direction.... the moment the ST's and Amiga hit the shelves, companies saw them as great gaming platforms...
In fact there was a grass roots effort within Atari by Rob Zydbel and several other programmers who actually went out of their way to port games like Star Raiders, Moon Patrol and many other tried and true Atari titles and licenses to the ST with hopes of getting the Tramiels to make the ST technology into a game platform and their efforts almost convinced the Tramiels... There was project "Robin" which was an ST in an XE case that was in the works...
I think that Panther was Atari in-house project for game console (based on ST technology).
They shut it down when Flare guys come in with Jaguar.
Yes and no, and the wiki article is mostly accurate, but isn't super detailed either.
I would said that text on wikipedia is not accurate! Later I will post interview with john mathias where he said that atari already have console project without name, based on st, and that he gave it name Panther!...
Throughout that period we did consultancy work - we did work for Amstrad (we designed a fax machine for them and a hard disk controller). At one point one of the guys from Sinclair joined Atari. He had worked for Perihelion - Richard Miller. He became a director of Atari in Sunnyvale and he had a project called Panther - It wasn't called Panther when I joined. Panther was the name of the car my wife had just bought, a Panther Kallista and the chip had no name and I wanted to give it a handle - so it was called Panther.
The design and specification had already been started, and they said "somebody's left - here's the concept" and it was only the video part of the chip - there was no sound.
It was a novel video architecture that allowed you to create windows of different sizes and different bit depths. Essentially you didn't have a frame store - it was a composite of frame stores - a kind of smart video frame store. It would have allowed a great deal of sprite style animation. Sprites in general in those days would have been of a fixed size e.g. 16x16. The games looked 'spritey' because of that, this would have been quite an interesting departure. I wasn't keen on it, but I designed it and the chip was built.
But while I was over in California in '89, I actually convinced the bosses at Atari that 3D was the way to go, with the experience we'd gained on Flare one - if you didn't just do flat rendering, but shaded rendering you got a 3D appearance.
At the time, I was seeing pictures in magazines where computers were rendering photo realistic 3D wire meshes and I said "these are static images, but they only contain a very few number of polygons - we could take that, animate it and you could produce a game that was a quantum leap away from the current games".
So the Jaguar project was born from the Panther project.
In essence Atari looked at the Panther and looked at what we were promising for the Atari project and said can the Panther project.
Edited by kool kitty89, Mon Jul 1, 2013 4:24 PM.
Posted Mon Jul 1, 2013 4:21 PM
Curt has clarified several times that his comments on the Blossom card were mistaken . . . Panther has absolutely no relation to that (again more akin to the 7800's MARIA and Jaguar Object Processor). It was using a 16 MHz 68000 though. (but due to contention with the GPU for typical games, that "16 MHz" would effectively be less -same way the 7800's CPU is effectively less than 1.79 MHz)
You're probably right - here's a quote from Curt Vendel of the Atari Museum:
"The Atari Panther was going to be Atari's original video game console system before
the Jaguar, it was a kludged combination of the Atari ST and the Transputer Blossom
Specs say it did have a 16mhz 68000 CPU too.
Posted Tue Jul 2, 2013 12:01 AM
Posted Tue Jul 2, 2013 11:01 AM
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