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Lost Dragon

Finally i have the proof behind those Jaguar CD screenshots.....

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You sure can.

TECHNICALLY you can, but in both cases, you're using the memory in a way it wasn't meant for and will slow the game. Both companies told devs not to do so, and that doing so will result in a refusal to license the game. Funny enough, Nintendo had the same stance on N64 cart rom - while technically, you can run code in the N64 cart, Nintendo would refuse to license a game that did so. You were supposed to use the DMA to copy code/data to RDRAM and run it there, not run it from the cart. Again, probably for the same reason - the cart is slow compared to system ram, and latencies were bad enough on the N64 without throwing in cart bus issues.

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Just sent questions off to another coder i've been after for bliddy AGES a few mins ago.No Jaguar or Lynx (that i'm aware of) but ST yes and lot of console stuff. So that's 2 more 'out' today....i seriousily need to start branching out, formats wise, but still so many unanswered questions on the Atari platforms alone.

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TECHNICALLY you can, but in both cases, you're using the memory in a way it wasn't meant for and will slow the game.

Depends. For code that doesn't need high performance (i.e. game logic), it works fine in practice.

 

Both companies told devs not to do so, and that doing so will result in a refusal to license the game.

Dunno about Sega. But although Atari told developers not to run code in ROM, I don't recall reading anywhere that they would reject a game for that reason. And when you see the kind of stuff that got released on the Jag, it's painfully obvious that Atari didn't care much about quality control anyways.

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TECHNICALLY you can, but in both cases, you're using the memory in a way it wasn't meant for and will slow the game.

 

It's fast enough for the ObjectProcessor to pull data from in real time...... The Downfall+ backdrop is streamed from cart-rom.

 

 

 

Nintendo would refuse to license a game that did so. You were supposed to use the DMA to copy code/data to RDRAM and run it there, not run it from the cart.

 

There was nobody at Atari clued up enough to know what the hell anything was doing.

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There was nobody at Atari clued up enough to know what the hell anything was doing.

This should be the new Jaguar FAQ. Everything you need to know contained in a single statement.

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Blue Lightning was so bad, though, which I always thought a missed opportunity and contributed to the second of two bad first launch impressions for the Jaguar (the first being the console launch). In any case, knowing what we know, they should have shelved the CD unit and just released more cartridges. Even if it was half of what became the CD library released instead on cartridge, it might have proven a better situation. They could then do CD on the Jaguar 2 (not that there's any scenario they would have gotten there).

 

I think a better question is why they didn't make the Jaguar a CD console in the first place. Even prior to the Jaguar's release, it wouldn't have been a stretch to forgo cartridges and just go straight to CD. That speaks somewhat at least to the lack of vision for the product, which again is in stark contrast to the amazing vision Sony had with the PS1.

 

Blue Lightning on Jaguar CD really was disappointing, especially when the original Lynx game was such an incredibly good game. ATD did good work with both Cybermorph and Battlemorph, too, so it's a mystery why they couldn't deliver the goods here. (I must say, though, the music was very good.)
Why didn't they make the Jaguar a CD console in the first place? I think it comes down to pure economics. If they released a CD-based console in 1993, then it's likely that it would've debuted in at a price tag north of $400.
It's the same with people now who ask why Atari didn't just add another 2 MB of RAM to the Jaguar to make it "even better". It's easy for us here in the year 2015 to say "they should've done this and that" when RAM is so relatively inexpensive, but in 1993 that wasn't feasible without jacking up the price too much.
I think Atari was fine with making the CD drive a separate attachment. I think 2 MB of RAM in the base system was fine, too. Considering the hardware costs in 1993, I don't think either of those were bad decisions at the time. I think Atari made numerous other bad decisions during the Jaguar's development and market tenure, many of which snowballed into other bad decisions and unfulfilled promises...but those two particular decisions were not among the bad ones.

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I think Atari was fine with making the CD drive a separate attachment. I think 2 MB of RAM in the base system was fine, too. Considering the hardware costs in 1993, I don't think either of those were bad decisions at the time. I think Atari made numerous other bad decisions during the Jaguar's development and market tenure, many of which snowballed into other bad decisions and unfulfilled promises...but those two particular decisions were not among the bad ones.

 

I would disagree if you put it like that. It was understandable to go with carts and plan a CD attachment for later. To be released when the Jaguar has built a sizable userbase. The way things turned out however, I think it was borderline irresponsible to actually release it. The company was on its last legs, and it must have been clear as day to everyone at Atari that the Jag was a flop and would be gone before long, possibly along with the company. Manufacturing and throwing this thing on the market at that point was irresponsible to the customers in that Atari was well aware it is a stillborn child and can not be supported by the tiny number of Jag owners... those numbers not being sufficient for even the core system itself to stay alive. A last, quick cash grab on the consumers' expense.

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I would disagree if you put it like that. It was understandable to go with carts and plan a CD attachment for later. To be released when the Jaguar has built a sizable userbase. The way things turned out however, I think it was borderline irresponsible to actually release it. The company was on its last legs, and it must have been clear as day to everyone at Atari that the Jag was a flop and would be gone before long, possibly along with the company. Manufacturing and throwing this thing on the market at that point was irresponsible to the customers in that Atari was well aware it is a stillborn child and can not be supported by the tiny number of Jag owners... those numbers not being sufficient for even the core system itself to stay alive. A last, quick cash grab on the consumers' expense.

 

Actually, I agree with you on this. I believe Bill made a similar point, that the Jaguar CD shouldn't have been released so late, and with such a small number of games.

 

When the Jaguar was designed, the intention was (as you said) to go with cartridges, and plan to release the CD attachment later. I think the intention was good at the time. Like I said, there were numerous flubs, foul-ups, bungles, and empty promises, which all accumulated and built up to an undesirable market situation two years later. But I don't fault them for wanting to make a CD-ROM drive as a separate option.

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Nope, a gateway to Homebrew!

I'll wait for an Everdrivish gateway without the annoying quirks the CD drive adds for devs and the reliability and availability issues it confronts players with, thanks. ;)

 

@Agent X

Agreed.

Edited by 108 Stars
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Being an Atari fan myself and owning an ST and Lynx at the time, I was under no illusion that Atari was onto something big with the Jaguar and was returning to the glory days of the late 70's and early 80's. I knew Atari had an uphill battle with the development community, consumers and retailers, but being an Atari fan, I was hoping for the best and figured I would enjoy what I could with the Jaguar.

 

I want to take a moment to reiterate the pervasive awareness that The Fuji had an uphill battle with the developers, the consumer, and the retails. Everybody knew it then, everybody knows it now.

 

Sam Tramiel's task was to redefine Atari's image and inspire confidence with few resources. Like it or not, the '64-bit' marketing went a long way into at least getting people talking without spending much money at all.

 

He was able to secure developers where the Lynx could not. He was able to put the Jaguar places the Lynx was not. There was a time in 1994 where the broader industry at least allowed for the idea that "this wasn't your father's Atari." Atari delivered a surprise hit (Tempest 2000) and delivered a major motion picture license (AvP).

 

However, Lost Dragon's conclusions aren't very surprising. '64-bit' launched Sam's new Atari. The launch had to be perfectly executed to work (it wasn't) and Atari's first big ticket exclusives had to sell systems (too many Kasumi Ninjas and Checked Flags, too late).

 

After 1994 you just see a lot of rumors (Tomb Raider, Jaguar VR), lawsuits (Sega), and announcements (Mortal Kombat III). These were just promises that weren't worth the paper they were printed on. It was really regressive and likely not the Atari that Sam wanted to run. I love some of the '95 titles like Super Burnout... but they almost arrived in spite of, not because of, Atari's efforts

 

Seriously... has there ever been a piece of hardware with more vaporware on the box than the Jaguar CD?

 

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Seriously... has there ever been a piece of hardware with more vaporware on the box than the Jaguar CD?

Probably not. I remember the launch PS1 box having some vaporware on it, but I can't recall which and I'm too lazy to go dig mine out of the closet. But yeah, the majority of the titles on the Jag CD box never materialized.

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Seriously... has there ever been a piece of hardware with more vaporware on the box than the Jaguar CD?

 

No, and it's a shame.

 

I also remember Atari running some print ads around late 1994, which featured screenshots of 20-30 different games that were expected to be made available for the system. Even when the Jaguar's commercial life ended (over a year and a half later), about half of those games still weren't out. Some of them likely never even started actual development.

 

Atari clearly wanted to make it seem like they had wide-reaching commitments from developers. The thing with running ads like that is that you call a lot of attention to the game library (which at that time, was still only about 15 games). If a large number of those games made it out the door within 3-4 months, then it would've looked good, and raised confidence from consumers and retailers. On the other hand, if you fail to deliver, then you end up losing confidence, and slide further down the pit.

 

For what it's worth, I just checked my Jaguar CD box and my launch PlayStation box. Out of 10 games on the Jaguar CD box, 6 were never officially released during the Jaguar's commercial life: Brett Hull's NHL Hockey, Robinson's Requiem, Jack Nicklaus' Cyber Golf, Black Ice/White Noise, Demolition Man, and Creature Shock. By comparison, out of 26 games on the PlayStation box, I believe only 3 never saw daylight: RazorWing, Boxing for the PlayStation, and John Madden Football (the original Madden game for that year, Madden NFL 96, was canceled, but later Madden games appeared).

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UK Press cover the 'Expected launch' of the Jaguar CD (May'95 mags) said whilst the device had been planned for launch in'94, it'd be arriving in April'95, Battlemorph 'the most likely candidate' to be packaged with the unit, but Atari had yet to confirm it (so good old UK Press speculation).Jeff Minter was quoted talking about plans for historical sections on Defender 2000 CD and Atari expected to release an 'all-in-one' Jaguar CD Unit by end of'95 where it'd find itself in direct competition with the PS1 and Saturn.

You also had the claim Rebellion would be converting their cart games to CD, something Rebellion themselves said they've no idea where press got that from (so again UK press speculation reported as 'fact').
And that infamous list of Jaguar CD Games in 'development', well we know what became of Creature Shock, Freelancer 2120, Demolition Man, Legions Of The Undead, Lobo, Robinsons Req.etc, Theme Park is listed by Bullfrog, Little Divil Gremlin etc etc.

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And in Feb'94 this was the 'message' coming from Atari UK regarding CD as a medium for the Jaguar:

 

'We felt that CD as a medium storage may well work for the future, but as of now CD software leaves a huge amount to be desired.Programmers need to learn how to use the medium and require hardware strong enough to cover the problems caused by CD'.

 

But they stressed they had a CD Drive planned for '94 expected to retail at £200 and it'd turn Jaguar into fully specced multi-media machine.

 

Darryl Still said (regarding Jaguar CD games) Atari were 'working closely with developers to ensure that future peripherals got software that did them justice'

 

And Agent X was spot on, Atari were keen to promote the software house support, Darryl again on Jaguar 3rd party support:

 

'Every major UK software house is developing for Jaguar-in some cases 3 or 4 titles'.

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Ohh and talking of Vapourware-When i'd shared the quotes from Darryl Still, Mike Fulton etc, plus put up the EDGE interview with Jez San (no Jaguar games) etc to show just what had happened regarding it, there were 'howls' elsewhere that it mean nothing, Virgin were developing it.

 

Well lets see what Vigin thought of the Jaguar shall wse:

 

Steve Clarke New Media Manager at Virgin at the time:

 

'Marketing always wins out in the end and you've got to question Atari's ability to compete.Virgin is a global company and it's got to look at global penetration.At the moment, who's heard of Atari in the states?'.

 

Yeah, so i really could like see Virgin saying well Atari want it, but can't afford it, Jez San/Argonaught won't touch it, as Jaguar far too risky a platform, ohh go on, we'll invest time and money in it and get our teams to code it instead......'

 

Why 'people' cannot accept what became of a game when they have the info from multiple sources, i just cannot figure...

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Why 'people' cannot accept what became of a game when they have the info from multiple sources, i just cannot figure...

 

Yeah, and that's the real value of your work. It will take time for the straight-from-the-developer's-mouth facts to penetrate, but they will. It's far better than informed speculation.

 

The fact is that the video game press isn't held to any higher standard than your basic British tabloid. Atari, like any B-list celebrity, didn't benefit by shooting down the rumors that keep their name in the news. I think that Darryl Still and Sam Tramiel might have wanted to run a different style of company, but they just didn't have the caché or the cash to do that.

 

The only real "surprise" here is that Edge, which presented itself as a serious gamer alternative, would also stoop to baseless rumor mongering.

 

ü

Edited by Schmudde
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Probably not. I remember the launch PS1 box having some vaporware on it, but I can't recall which and I'm too lazy to go dig mine out of the closet. But yeah, the majority of the titles on the Jag CD box never materialized.

 

6 out of 10 games on the Jag CD box never materialized in the Jag CD's lifetime. 1 was later finished and releases by songbird (Robinson's Requiem), and 3 others were released as protos by B&C (Hockey, Golf, Demolition Man.) LOL!!

 

Even the regular Jag box has some vaporware on it (Tiny Toons)

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It's fast enough for the ObjectProcessor to pull data from in real time...... The Downfall+ backdrop is streamed from cart-rom.

 

 

There was nobody at Atari clued up enough to know what the hell anything was doing.

 

 

I think Adisak was decompressing sprites on the fly from rom in NBA Jam TE as well.

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Jaguar can push sprites like nobodies business. How do you figure Jag is not as good as Saturn and PS in 2d? [sNIP]

Hate to burst your bubble, but the PSX can absolutely wipe the floor with the Jag even in 2D sprite pushing.

 

From another post here:

PSX - "3000 sprites of 16x16 at 60 FPS in 640x480 ! Eat this !" https://twitter.com/onorisoft/status/347104806692872193/photo/1

Jag - highly gpu optimised code + the OP pushed to the limit, that the Jaguar can display 1900 4x4 sprites at 60fps in 320x240

 

So, we have the earliest code available for PSX, coming from the SDK and it's doing FOUR times the screen area, 16 times the sprite data, and nearly double the number of sprites that the Jag could do when using the best (so far) pure assembly code on multiple processors.

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As far as I recall, the PSX doesn't have any sprite capabilities. They're all textures being pushed onto a polygon.

 

So what you are saying is that the PSX texture-unit (or, possibly, blitter) can 'wipe the floor' with the Jaguars Object Processor, which given that it:

 

1) is faster

2) has dedicated v-ram

3) came out over a year later

 

is hardly a shock.

 

These threads are pointless. You can argue all you want. Or you can put, say Soul Edge or Tekken against Fight For Life and get laughed at.

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As far as I recall, the PSX doesn't have any sprite capabilities. They're all textures being pushed onto a polygon.

 

So what you are saying is that the PSX texture-unit (or, possibly, blitter) can 'wipe the floor' with the Jaguars Object Processor, which given that it:

 

1) is faster

2) has dedicated v-ram

3) came out over a year later

 

is hardly a shock.

 

These threads are pointless. You can argue all you want. Or you can put, say Soul Edge or Tekken against Fight For Life and get laughed at.

Or say Gran Turismo against Checkered Flag, Need 4 Speed against Club Drive :)

 

I like my Jag, it's just getting beyond annoying hearing every couple of months for the past 5 or so years, someone come along and say how much untapped potential it has, how it can equal or beat machine X, etc. It hasn't, it can't, it won't. Just enjoy it for what it is.

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Well, it DOES have a lot of untapped potential... just not anywhere near the PS1 or Saturn. :) The 32X has a lot of untapped potential. Doesn't mean it can take on the Saturn. To get some idea about how games COULD have gone on the 32X, the GBA is roughly the same power (32X has more processing power with its dual SH2s, but otherwise very nearly identical in all other areas). So just look at the game they came out with on the GBA. The Jaguar is easily more powerful than the 32X or GBA, so we know that anything that came out on the GBA could have easily been done for the Jaguar as well. Think about some of the last few racers for the GBA, then look at Checker Flag or Club Drive... :D

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Hate to burst your bubble, but the PSX can absolutely wipe the floor with the Jag even in 2D sprite pushing.

 

hah, the battle of the jagwares - thanks for posting that :)

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