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LutzfromOz

did the jaguar have the ability to be a commercial success?

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Being from australia, the jaguar was unheard of... and i mean after its heyday im surprised unsold units werent sold off to be sold in our dollar and cent thrift stores, but anyways, it had the gems, like tempest 2000, fine ports of doom and wolfenstein, worms, rayman, power drive rally... but also aware of the flops like aircars, fight for your life, white men cant jump and cyber morph. so any ways in a hypothetical scenario do you jaguar enthusiast believe the jaguar had the ability to make it in the console race?

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Being from australia, the jaguar was unheard of... and i mean after its heyday im surprised unsold units werent sold off to be sold in our dollar and cent thrift stores, but anyways, it had the gems, like tempest 2000, fine ports of doom and wolfenstein, worms, rayman, power drive rally... but also aware of the flops like aircars, fight for your life, white men cant jump and cyber morph. so any ways in a hypothetical scenario do you jaguar enthusiast believe the jaguar had the ability to make it in the console race?

 

Yes, if every other console manufacturer had surrendered and walked away into the distance, and it was the only choice available. And even then, its debatable.

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Being from australia, the jaguar was unheard of... and i mean after its heyday im surprised unsold units werent sold off to be sold in our dollar and cent thrift stores, but anyways, it had the gems, like tempest 2000, fine ports of doom and wolfenstein, worms, rayman, power drive rally... but also aware of the flops like aircars, fight for your life, white men cant jump and cyber morph. so any ways in a hypothetical scenario do you jaguar enthusiast believe the jaguar had the ability to make it in the console race?

 

Cybermorph was not a flop. It was the pack in game with the console, which makes it the number 1 selling game for the system. Everyone who had a Jaguar had Cybermorph...  and they still sold it separate as well.

 

Now was it a good game? That's another story

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Cybermorph was not a flop. It was the pack in game with the console, which makes it the number 1 selling game for the system. Everyone who had a Jaguar had Cybermorph...  and they still sold it separate as well.

It was the pack-in early on, yes. Not everyone who had a Jaguar had Cybermorph. For example, those who bought the later 64-bit POWAH KIT.

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Realistically though, it depends on what you consider a success... If you mean sales, then yeah, I reckon a few million might have been possible, but not much more than that

Bah, too early for me to realize I should've multiquoted.

 

At any rate...how do you get a few million? In 2000 new Jag consoles were still available at clearance pricing. Heck, there are still NIB consoles available today, albeit obviously not cheap. How do you figure Atari would've moved millions of them when there is still NOS of 23 year old consoles today of the estimated less than 250,000 made? Fume logic.

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I love my Jaguar, but .. what I imagine most 90's kids looked like getting a Jag on Christmas:

 

4barts_present.jpg

Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge would've been right at home on the Jag since you had to press 7-8-7 to swing.

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I want to say yes, but it seems like even Atari wanted to replace the system by 1996...

 

Software drives console sales. Atari attracted a lot of developers, but few of them wanted to produce games unless the console was successful. Atari didn't have a good support system for the few developers who did produce games, so the few released titles were unimpressive. If Atari had a better development system, or if they had more money to pay developers...then they'd still have trouble. The Jaguar was released at the wrong time. It was too late to really compete against the SNES and too early to compete against the PSX.

 

Then there's Sam Tramiel's heart attack. If he hadn't had it, Atari might've continued, but I can't see them lasting that long. If they weren't merged with JTS Wikipediia might read something like this today:

 

"In late 1996 Atari corp filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which was quickly turned into chapter 7 because no reasonably prudent person actually believed the Jaguar II had any hope to turn the company around. Their assets were auctioned off, with most trademark and IP rights going to Hasbro Interactive. (See Hasbro Interactive.)"

Edited by pacman000

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I love my Jaguar, but .. what I imagine most 90's kids looked like getting a Jag on Christmas:

 

 

I don't know if other kids were more like me...

 

But I only knew one person well that had a Jaguar in 94/95 when I was a sophomore and junior, and we all though the system was cool. Wolfenstein 3D looked really good on the Jaguar, and he also had Alien vs. Predator. We were all impressed, but it was expensive.

 

For the most part, I remember most of my friends didn't really play video games anymore. There seemed to be a "lul" and most of us had moved to computers. That said, a few friends had Playstations, but no one I knew had a 3DO. The N64 became really popular just as I was graduating from high school.

 

 

But... you are like the friends you keep, so it's possible that most kids were playing video games, and my friends just weren't.

 

I had sold off my Nintendo, Game Boy, etc... at garage sales so I could buy other stuff.

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Any console has the ability to be successful if properly supported.  As the old saying goes it's the software that makes the hardware.

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Atari had a less than 0 chance to be successful.  When Sony and Microsoft decided to enter the arena, the checkbook size also went up.  Also dont forget about Nintendo.

 

Atari had a 'Chase Freedom Card' budget while the other players had American Express Black cards - try getting to the Lebron James club table with your Chase card..........wont ever ever ever ever happen.

 

Its surprising the number of decent titles Atari did bring out though - Ill give them that for th money spent.

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Atari had a less than 0 chance to be successful.  When Sony and Microsoft decided to enter the arena, the checkbook size also went up.  Also dont forget about Nintendo.

 

Atari had a 'Chase Freedom Card' budget while the other players had American Express Black cards - try getting to the Lebron James club table with your Chase card..........wont ever ever ever ever happen.

 

Its surprising the number of decent titles Atari did bring out though - Ill give them that for th money spent.

 

As a kid, Atari was all of dead as far as I knew, outside of the older consoles that had already been released 2600/7800, so it was a bit of a shock to see Atari advertising a 64-bit system in the local Venture shopping center ad we received in the mail. I can't help but wonder how many countless other people thought Atari had already gone bankrupt. This was before the internet so the information was limited outside of the ad and as a kid, didn't really have the thought to actually try to find a way to call or get ahold of Atari for more information.

 

I would see all of 2 or 3 commercials being aired on TV only once each but remember it reinforcing my interest in wanting one that holiday season, even realizing how expensive it was.

Edited by Clint Thompson

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I think most every console could have been successful - at least more successful than they were. It's all about games. Well, mostly about games. As long as it's within reach financially for the average person & it has the games those people want to play then that console has a chance. I remember when the Jaguar came out & there not being any games that I HAD to have.

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With two years head start the Jag had potential.

Unfortunately I think a lot of it was squandered by the short sighted limited mindset of a lot of those running the show behind the scenes. They really dropped quite a few balls that were right in front of them.

The most noticeable out in public short sighted trait was being some 7 years behind OBVIOUS gaming trends. Almost a decade after Mario games featuring adventure like 'worlds' and Castlevania Atari was still trying to exclusively milk the arcadey type games. Not that they shouldn't have made them but also expanded to include the more adventurey style of gaming.

IMO

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Answering this question really depends on your definition of a commercial success.

 

If you go by profitability, then even the poorly launched Atari 7800 was a commercial success --

yet it's  overall market share was dismal compared to the NES.

 

I have very little doubt that the Atari Jaguar could have been a profitable venture

if it had been handled by Jack Tramiel -- but his son Sam really just wasn't as aggressive

a competitor.

 

I really think the Jaguar's failure comes down to its launch titles.  Had the system launched

with games like Alien Vs. Predator, Tempest 2000, Rayman and Atari Karts (and used those

games for pack-in's instead of CyberMorph)....  History would have been clearly different.

 

Do I think Atari was going to ever be as big as Sega, Nintendo or Sony?  No.

Could they have carved out a profitable niche like the 7800 with the Jaguar (with 10% or so

of the market)?  Sure.

 

There were just way too many game machines competing in 1993-94.  SNES, Genesis, 3D0,

Neo Geo, Jaguar, Sega CD, TurboDuo.... with the PSX and Saturn looming in the near future.

It was insane.

Edited by JagCD

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I think you can always play "if this" and "if that" with any console and find a way that it could have been a success if everything fell into place somehow differently. But I think it's more of a stretch with the Jaguar than some other failed systems. You almost would have to wipe out everything that had happened in the decade leading up to its launch both within Atari and with its competitors. Nintendo has shown that you can recover from one failed console (*if* you happen to have a successful handheld to prop you up), but I think three in a row before the Jag (5200, 7800 and XEGS) already kind of puts the nail in its coffin.

 

And like basically every Atari system other than the 2600, the Jag was released at the worst possible time. Even if its games really looked and played a lot better than the 16 bit systems, the utility of its 64 bit-ness was in no way evidenced compared to the 32 bit systems it competed with only a year and a half after release. Even launch games on the Saturn and PS1 looked better than the typical Jag game at the time. So it would have had to launch basically alongside the 16 bit systems to have had any chance, and it wasn't even in development yet at that point. It's almost like Atari wasn't even paying attention to what the competition was doing.

 

I actually think that might not be far off. Atari was an American company and I've never really gotten the sense that they ever had their pulse on what was going on in Japan. If you look at today, Microsoft has basically that same problem with the Xbox and Microsoft is about 1,000 times bigger than Atari. Even when they did put a lot of effort into Japan in the early Xbox days, they just didn't get it. I feel like Atari probably didn't even really make an effort to translate much of the Japanese media or anything at the time or try to get people on the ground there to tell them what was going on at Sony, Sega and Nintendo. If they did, it obviously didn't work out very well because the Jaguar ended up looking like a system created in a vacuum.

Edited by spacecadet

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I remember seeing a preview of the Jag in a local paper (I want to say it was mid-93).  They had a screenshot of Trevor McFur and I thought "Holy hell, this looks amazing!" I can't wait to buy one!  Then I saw it was from Atari and I got even more excited since I good memories of my 2600 and Atari 8-bit computer.  Then for whatever reason I didn't hear much about it for a long time, I was quite happy with my Super Nintendo and 486 PC so I didn't really look into it and kind of forgot it even existed (I was still buying up old Lynx games at that point though IIRC).  The next time I heard anything about the Jag was when they were desperately trying to sell them at Electronics Boutique around 95.  I remember looking at it and not being impressed at all as I was into my PC phase at that point.  What a difference a few years make I guess.

 

Could the Jag have been a success?  Possibly if Atari had the resources and money to throw at it, but with the way Atari was being run at that point, no, not really.  The Jag had way too much of a 'European gaming' vibe to it (which makes since given many of the games were just Atari ST or Amiga ports) when the industry was all about Japanese style games.  

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Let's face it, the 2600 was the only Atari console (not computer, settle down) that was ever significant in the market. And that was due to many reasons, the most obvious being that it was pretty much one of the first home consoles. There was no well-defined market or future for Atari to blissfully ignore. The crash obviously affected the life of the 5200, but not as much as that horrible POS controller. The 7800? Already been covered. Who wants a bunch of old one-screen games when you can have Super Mario Bros? I love the Lynx and the hardware was amazing for its time, but it wasn't developed by Atari and it got slaughtered by the Gameboy. That really wasn't Atari's fault in this particular case. And the Jag? Nuff said. Atari lived off their fame from the late 70's and early 80's way longer than they should've.

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I'm glad Atari went bust in the end, really, REALLY glad. Face it, both it and Commodore were part of the OldSkool, and that had had its day. Gaming was big business, and there was no fucking chance in HELL that those two could possibly, POSSIBLY compete with Microsoft and Sony.

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I'm glad Atari went bust in the end, really, REALLY glad. Face it, both it and Commodore were part of the OldSkool, and that had had its day. Gaming was big business, and there was no fucking chance in HELL that those two could possibly, POSSIBLY compete with Microsoft and Sony.

 

Well, I definitely disagree with your assessment of Commodore.  I'm pretty sure Commodore would still be alive today it if wasn't constantly being pillaged financially by Irving Gould and Mehdi Ali.  

 

Under proper management, I suspect Commodore would have evolved into a modern day Dell.  Selling PC clones to the mass market (they were already doing it) and selling Amigas to the high

end consumers (where Alienware is currently in the market).   Apple nearly died too when they lost their founder -- but Apple lived because they were smart enough to bring him back.

 

I also think Atari Corporation could have kept going.  They just got a massive cash infusion from the Sega lawsuit -- they could have gone software only (like Sega) and would have been fine.

It was the hardware side of Atari Corporation that truly sank them.  

Edited by JagCD

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I also think Atari Corporation could have kept going.  They just got a massive cash infusion from the Sega lawsuit -- they could have gone software only (like Sega) and would have been fine.

It was the hardware side of Atari Corporation that truly sank them.  

Yeah, who could forget all those great games developed by Atari in the mid 90s like Club Drive and Trevor McFur. They absolutely could've survived as a software company with franchises like those to their name.

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Yeah, who could forget all those great games developed by Atari in the mid 90s like Club Drive and Trevor McFur. They absolutely could've survived as a software company with franchises like those to their name.

 

If Club Drive ran on a PC with a video card of that era (3DFX glide) at 60 - 90 frames per second....  Would it really have the bad reputation?   The game concept itself was actually pretty solid --

it was the execution on the Jaguar that IMO was responsible for its bad reputation (the Jaguar really wasn't well suited for 3D games).   

 

Not only that -- but development tools and programmers that know x86 architecture are everywhere.  The Jaguar is a bitch to program to its full potential.

 

Club Drive could have actually be well remembered like Whiplash was for the PC:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgzGLrh6YMc

 

They could have milked their IP on the PC with games like Battlezone, Breakout 2000, etc. -- It really was a missed opportunity.  I really don't know why Jack didn't 

let Leonard take the company in that direction (and let Sam retire).

Edited by JagCD

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They could have milked their IP on the PC with games like Battlezone, Breakout 2000, etc. -- It really was a missed opportunity.

Yeah, I'm sure PC gamers would've loved to play Breakout 2000 instead of all the other PC games. Just like all the 7800 fans who loved playing Scrapyard Dog vs SMB on the NES, or Hat Trick instead of Blades of Steel.

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