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Rick Dangerous

How did the Jaguar lose the battle but win the war (of relevance)?

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As a follow up to this thread:

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/230410-how-did-the-jaguar-possibly-sell-so-poorly/

 

I ask the question, how did Jaguar lose the battle but win the war? That is to say, all the consoles that Jaguar "lost" to are long dead and buried, the realm of collectors only. Each may have a handful of home-brews, but the Jaguar seems to have won out in its continued relevance to retro gamers, programmers and collectors. There doesn't seem to be another system out there with as active a development community (2600, and NES maybe), by sheer volume and ease of programming.

 

 

So what qualities made the Jag go the distance? It supposedly not easy to program for. The 3DO was and there were only a couple of lackluster home-brews. The N64 was amazing, but it's longs dead and gone, no skunk board for that puppy.

 

The Jag is a survivor, and the library and system are more attractive than ever. Is it the rarity, the Atari name, the fact that is was Ataris last system, The fact that the source code and rights were released? What has given Jaguar the staying power and passionate collector, home-brew, and fan base that it has enjoyed since it's early demise in the mid 90's?

 

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I think you're simply not aware of what's going on in the other communities. There are flash devices for both the 3DO and Nintendo 64, etc., with plenty of active collectors. In terms of homebrew programming, if you take out the computer side, the Jaguar is fairly low on the list in terms of output to systems like the Atari 2600, Vectrex, ColecoVision, Intellivision, etc., though I will agree that it does better than the 3DO. It's hard to count systems from the Saturn forward for homebrew because the technical barriers are far higher, so it's not really fair to compare something like the Nintendo 64 homebrew community to the Jaguar's. Also to be fair, what's been produced on the Jaguar in terms of homebrews has not exactly set a high technical bar. For older systems, homebrews often meet or exceed the quality of the original software. A "newer" platform like the Jaguar, with its greater technological power/potential is clearly far, far harder to tap, resulting in modest homebrew releases at best.

 

I think one thing that causes passion for the Jaguar today is the fact that it was Atari's last hurrah, it sold poorly back in the day and didn't get much respect overall, etc., and therefore engenders a certain underdog/sympathy status. If it lacked the Atari name, I think far fewer people would care today because it doesn't have a particularly great software lineup in depth and breadth compared to almost any other major platform, and clearly is not especially easy for homebrewers to tap into its power/potential.

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I think you're simply not aware of what's going on in the other communities. There are flash devices for both the 3DO and Nintendo 64, etc., with plenty of active collectors. In terms of homebrew programming, if you take out the computer side, the Jaguar is fairly low on the list in terms of output to systems like the Atari 2600, Vectrex, ColecoVision, Intellivision, etc., though I will agree that it does better than the 3DO. It's hard to count systems from the Saturn forward for homebrew because the technical barriers are far higher, so it's not really fair to compare something like the Nintendo 64 homebrew community to the Jaguar's.

 

 

I don't know about that. There are C compilers for most of those systems (N64,Saturn, 32x, PSX) readily available. And those don't target a 16/32 bit motorola. It seems to me you'd get far more out of those far easier than you can out of a Jag.

 

The 3do homebrew scene is barely barely there.

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3DO was only recently cracked, as I recall. Homebrew wasn't an option for a long while, only 1:1 copies.

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I like the theme of this thread since it was something I was thinking of earlier today when reading the other "did so poorly" thread.

 

The thought was, while Jaguar was nothing spectacular to warrant the price most of the time back in the early nineties, now days the Jaguar has a lot going for it now.

 

If I were to compare then and now, it would be:

 

Early to mid-90s - Exciting new game system from Atari (which would mean something if I was already a Atari fan), Tempest 2K, Doom, other fun games to play with friends; excitement of things to come.

 

Early to mid-00s - (Jaguar equipment and games fairly cheap)

 

Early to mid -10s - All the games available in the initial release, plus mostly complete games (Songbird), fan games (Scatologic, 3D Stoogers, Jagware, Reboot, etc), development possibilities to fans, excitement of things to come.

 

That is the most important thing. There is the excitement of things to come, and as long as you have that, you have a success I believe.

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So what qualities made the Jag go the distance?

 

It didn't. It just happens to have a small, slightly insane, overly dedicated crowd.

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I think you're simply not aware of what's going on in the other communities. There are flash devices for both the 3DO and Nintendo 64, etc., with plenty of active collectors. In terms of homebrew programming, if you take out the computer side, the Jaguar is fairly low on the list in terms of output to systems like the Atari 2600, Vectrex, ColecoVision, Intellivision, etc.,

 

I definitely don't claim to know everything about these other groups and acknowledge that there may be plenty of other stronger "collectable" and "home-brew friendly" consoles (PSX?). I suppose I should have worded this to say, how did it wind up on top of the other consoles from its direct era (CD-i, 3DO, 32x) in terms of the combination of collectibility, home-brew titles available, AND the feeling that things are still happening and the console is very much so alive. I know that last part is a little subjective, because 3DO collectors may feel like their system is living as well, but I feel like this is especially the case for the Jag because titles are still being developed, whereas the others are considerable more static, which I think based on releases in the last 12 months is an objective point.

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Well, I think we all know why it's on top of the 32x...and I bet the CD-based system caused a barrier to a homebrew scene for the other ones. But I really have no idea, I'm just wildly speculating.

 

And from someone who is learning to code for the Jag, I wouldn't say it's easy per se...

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I like the Jaguar, but I don't see it as having won anything... then or now. Many 90s consoles have a larger homebrew library than the Jag. Indie hardware development is also much more active on other platforms.

 

I don't need to compare the Jaguar to anything else to enjoy playing my favorite Jaguar games. It didn't have to beat anything else, and it still doesn't have to.

 

Likewise, I enjoy playing Virtua Racing and some other games on 32X. I don't care what people think about the 32X. When I'm enjoying a game, nobody else has to like it but me. I don't care if it was the #1 selling game or not.

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3DO was only recently cracked, as I recall. Homebrew wasn't an option for a long while, only 1:1 copies.

 

On the other hand, if there was as big a push for furthering development on the 3do as on the Jaguar, they would of cracked the encryption or figured out a bypass years ago. Like this community did.

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On the other hand, if there was as big a push for furthering development on the 3do as on the Jaguar, they would of cracked the encryption or figured out a bypass years ago. Like this community did.

 

Maybe. Maybe not. I've misplaced my seer stone. Maybe there's less drive to get crackin' on a console when it has a decent library to begin with.

 

 

Also, the PS1 saw more homebrew than the topic creator realizes (some were even included on official demo discs in the 90s), and there probably a half-dozen ways to load up ROM images on an N64, many also going back to the 90s. And have you seen Yeti3D on the 32x? I'd like to see something that nice come from the Jag programming community.

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Maybe. Maybe not. I've misplaced my seer stone. Maybe there's less drive to get crackin' on a console when it has a decent library to begin with.

 

 

This is probably a good chunk of it. Its most likely the reason why coders from other communities come here because their offering aren't really noticed anywhere else as much.

 

And it's Atari's last console system. Atari fans have always been fuggin nutty. Combine these two things together and welcome to the asylum.

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The Philips CD-i is pretty powerful, has a crap library, and was produced in quantities 5 times that of the jaguar. Where is that homebrew scene?

 

I also did acknowledge the ps1 and other big consoles like the Nes and 2600, which win by sheer market saturation and fan base install. I should have been more specific in my first post that I meant compared to the early 90's "next gen" consoles.

 

I still think the jag scene is a lot more lively than the N64 regarding new titles.

 

Don't get me wrong I'm a big 32x fan, but yeti is a doom hack and I think I've seen more impressive stuff come out on the jag these past few months in terms of artwork, playability, and production value. If they ever polish it and release it, sign me up.

 

The other interesting point which hasn't been mentioned yet is the releases per capita (of machines on the market). Jaguar has to be the most popular after the fact commercial failure (for the original parent company) ever. Ps1 sold 102,500,000 consoles worldwide, and the Jag sold 150,000. And how much bigger is the PS1 scene? Per capita (console units) the jag is the most popular "retro" system to develop for. Regardless we as enthsusiasts are very lucky to have such a thriving fanbase and group of people developing for it.

Edited by travistouchdown
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This is probably a good chunk of it. Its most likely the reason why coders from other communities come here because their offering aren't really noticed anywhere else as much.

 

And it's Atari's last console system. Atari fans have always been fuggin nutty. Combine these two things together and welcome to the asylum.

 

I'm going with this. The same thing with the Dreamcast. Last console, short run, while great library, dwarfed by PS2 and even somewhat by GameCube and Xbox, too. You hear nothing at all concerning a homebrew scene with PS2 and later, but the DC has had quite a few after market releases.

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I still think the jag scene is a lot more lively than the N64 regarding new titles.

 

Don't get me wrong I'm a big 32x fan, but yeti is a doom hack and I think I've seen more impressive stuff come out on the jag these past few months in terms of artwork, playability, and production value. If they ever polish it and release it, sign me up.

 

 

I wasn't saying that the N64 has a glut of homebrew, rather, pointing out that "there's no skunkboard" isn't totally correct. But yeah, very little homebrew... I think that's more to do with the availability of development tools + oddball custom chips though.

 

What have you been seeing for the Jaguar?

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I wasn't saying that the N64 has a glut of homebrew, rather, pointing out that "there's no skunkboard" isn't totally correct. But yeah, very little homebrew... I think that's more to do with the availability of development tools + oddball custom chips though.

 

What have you been seeing for the Jaguar?

 

Chilly Willy would know. He develops on the N64. I think there is a compiler readily available for it.

 

Here we go. It looks like gcc is available for it and has been. Just needs to be recompiled when a new version comes out.

 

http://www.neoflash.com/forum/index.php?topic=5959.0

Edited by JagChris

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Maybe. Maybe not. I've misplaced my seer stone. Maybe there's less drive to get crackin' on a console when it has a decent library to begin with.

 

Definitely has something to do with this.

 

Not only that, but people who are fans of the Jaguar will never get over the 64-bit element vs what was put out for the console, even if they understand the technicalities for themselves.

 

All this digging around for proof of Tomb Raider and Quake proves this mentality; clutching at straws, basically.

 

The console is what it is: and intermediary between the Saturn, PS1 & N64 era, as were many other consoles (inc. 32x, 3DO etc). If ANY of those machines could have potentially tried to stay relevant via better software releases, it *could* have been the 3DO. But that didn't happen either.

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Per capita (console units) the jag is the most popular "retro" system to develop for.

 

You completely forgot about the Dreamcast, which imo, and many others, would be T H E popular "retro" system to develop for. Not only that, but the quality of the official releases is of a very high standard. Sure, not SEGA AM2 standards, but Arcade standards...

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You completely forgot about the Dreamcast, which imo, and many others, would be T H E popular "retro" system to develop for. Not only that, but the quality of the official releases is of a very high standard. Sure, not SEGA AM2 standards, but Arcade standards...

 

I think the Jaguar has it beat for percentage of units sold in its mainstream life to how big the homebrew scene is. Plus I think the DC has like zero encryption. Or really easy to beat encryption. The Jaguar has some pretty tough encryption but this community clawed its way through it.

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I think the Jaguar has it beat for percentage of units sold in its mainstream life to how big the homebrew scene is. Plus I think the DC has like zero encryption. Or really easy to beat encryption. The Jaguar has some pretty tough encryption but this community clawed its way through it.

 

I think one factor in the fight to decrypt the Jaguar is the myth that it had these hidden powers just waiting to be properly exploited. That idea I think proved tempting to many who believed they had the programming chops to break ground that hadn't been broken before. In that regard, it's understandable that that would be a driving force. As was stated earlier, many of these other systems clearly got their power fully tapped back in the day and have far better libraries to boot, so there's likely been less incentive to crack them wide open.

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I think one factor in the fight to decrypt the Jaguar is the myth that it had these hidden powers just waiting to be properly exploited.

 

I'm not sure its a myth. Eclipse wanted to do 2D stuff because they said they would of showed us stuff we'd never seen before. But instead Atari pushed them into 3D. There's no doubt there is untapped potential there still. In all areas.

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I'm not sure its a myth. Eclipse wanted to do 2D stuff because they said they would of showed us stuff we'd never seen before. But instead Atari pushed them into 3D. There's no doubt there is untapped potential there still. In all areas.

 

For now, it's a myth, since we've still yet to see an example.

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I think one factor in the fight to decrypt the Jaguar is the myth that it had these hidden powers just waiting to be properly exploited.

 

Bingo. Unfortunately many of the long time 'small, slightly insane, overly dedicated crowd' keep beating this drum endlessly throughout the years with zero proof of said imaginary power IF ONLY SOMEONE WOULD PUSH IT THAT HARD!!!

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Bingo. Unfortunately many of the long time 'small, slightly insane, overly dedicated crowd' keep beating this drum endlessly throughout the years with zero proof of said imaginary power IF ONLY SOMEONE WOULD PUSH IT THAT HARD!!!

 

Remo! Wassup buddy! Our little ray of sunshine.

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