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LutzfromOz

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

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Nintendo got their clock cleaned by Sega in Europe. So it really depends on where you actually lived. Nintendo never had a chance with 8 bit on that continent. Sega also kicked their ass in Brazil. So Sega "won" the 8 bit war in both South America and Europe. Just because it happened in the USA, doesn't mean it happened worldwide.

 

Atari Corporation got propped up by Europe for years -- despite nearly constant failure in their home market.

Hear hear!

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What about 4MB of RAM do you think would've made the system/games better?

Thats more RAM. There was not enough RAM.

Stop comparing RAM.

No more comparing. That is ANNOYING. FACTS.

 

 

oh right, its not cute when I do it. Lol.

Damn fumes I been inhaling made me forget. Lol

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Thats more RAM. There was not enough RAM.

You didn't answer the question. I've heard a lot of theories about the Jag's failure, but I don't believe I've heard anyone complain about lack of RAM. Can you answer my original question? How would more RAM have helped the games/hardware?

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You didn't answer the question. I've heard a lot of theories about the Jag's failure, but I don't believe I've heard anyone complain about lack of RAM. Can you answer my original question? How would more RAM have helped the games/hardware?

More RAM = more textures, you know, exactly what the Jag was awesome at doing.

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You didn't answer the question. I've heard a lot of theories about the Jag's failure, but I don't believe I've heard anyone complain about lack of RAM. Can you answer my original question? How would more RAM have helped the games/hardware?

 

More RAM = More POWA!

duh do the math lol.

Gosh Madman you're just talking in circles now. Lol

 

No but seriously speaking, if the Jag had more RAM it may have been easier for developers to push the hardware more. They would have been able to create slightly more impressive games with slightly better assets. If im not mistaken the number one complaint of Jaguar was it didnt "look" 64 bit. Whatever the hell that means. Lets look at AVP one of the more famous games. They compressed the hell out of the graphics and even made a seperate type of .bmp file for it. Imagine if they had double the RAM to play with on the fly. Stephen made the wise remark about Jaguars shitty ability to display textures in 3D games (and hes right) but lets take a step back and review things like AVP and Battle Morph. They COULD have been far more impressive given the system had more RAM to keep it all going. Look at Skyhammer. After a certain point the game starts breaking. More RAM could have made the game more stable and possibly a financial success on the Jag like T2K.

 

But would this have really helped the console as a whole be successful? Probably not but it certainly wouldn't have hurt. N64 launched 3 years later with 4MB RAM standard 8 MB upgradeable and it did pretty well for itself. But then again that WAS 3 years later and it was NINTENDO controlling the marketing and development on that machine not Atari.

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What about 4MB of RAM do you think would've made the system/games better?

4MB of RAM was pretty pricey in early-mid 90's on top of that, I think I remember it being like 200 bucks retail for a 4MB upgrade to my PC.

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Luckily you guys don't have to argue about this, because Nintendo conveniently publishes their hardware sales by region from the NES onwards.

 

NES sales by region:

 

Japan: 19,359,000

The Americas: 34,000,000 (33,290,000 in the United States)

"Other": 8,560,000 (3,500,000 in Europe)

 

Sega didn't publish their sales so neatly, so these SMS numbers are from various magazines at the time:

 

Japan: 1,720,000

The Americas: 10,000,000 (8,000,000 of which were in Brazil)

"Other": 7,670,000 (6,950,000 in western Europe)

 

The SMS did do better in certain regions and individual countries, but the countries/regions in which it did better were a lot smaller, percentage-wise, than the countries and regions in which the NES did better. Japan's NES/Famicom sales alone beat both Brazil's and Europe's SMS sales put together. Comparing Japan's NES sales to either Europe's or Brazil's SMS sales individually, the amount is almost triple.

 

Japan at that time was a much larger market than Europe. Between the NES and SMS, Japan almost doubled Europe's total sales just on its own.

Hmmmm, this supports what I said earlier about the numbers about global overall numbers for the NES.

 

I personally am happy that in regions outside the US and Japan that Nintendo had a more difficult time as I was never a fan of how Nintendo did business in an underhanded monopolistic way in order to try to choke out all competition in a bid to control the video game market. The original Nintendo was never the best console and seeing how they managed to control the market by choking Atari and Sega out of third party support during the 8-bit era was extremely infuriating to me while better consoles such and Sega Master System, Atari 7800 and Lynx were starved of the key titles that Nintendo had locked up with their non competition agreements that they forced third parties to agree to in order to publish their games on the NES. Atari in those years definitely found more success abroad in the European markets than they did at home and this is something that I was very happy for as I wanted Atari to succeed and hoped that they could make a proper comeback and regain their leadership in the video game market. Unfortunately for Atari they never did get the comeback and become market leader again, but this did buy them enough time and resources to launch the Lynx and Jaguar consoles which were both light years ahead of anything else on the market at the time they launched and there were some great games to be had on those consoles even during those years for Atari.

 

I myself never purchased a NES console by choice during those years and proudly owned the 7800 and Lynx. When Sega released the Genesis I bought it and feel that they had the best library during the 16-bit wars. Nintendo's arrogance by initially dismissing the the Genesis as competition and ignoring the growing threat Sega posed to their dominance lead Nintendo to losing their stranglehold on market for third party developers/publishers and this was quite satisfying to me to see their fall from market domination. Fortunately Nintendo never fully recovered and still to this day still is now only a shadow of it's former self due in large part to shooting themselves in the foot by setting Sony up to develop what would eventually lead to the PlayStation 1 is definitely nothing short of schadenfreude.

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Um.... I too owned a 7800 instead of an NES. But later bought an NES because it was what I really wanted. Im not sure why you would prefer the Genesis/Megadrive over the SNES. I owned both of those and I have to say the games were better on SNES. There was nothing on Genesis that could compare to the DKC trilogy, Killer Instinct, Zelda, Mario RPG , Super Metroid, F-Zero or Starfox. Lets not even talk about Earthworm Jim. As the arguments over that game being better on which platform will spiral off into a whole new rant.

 

The SNES was also not readily avaialble like the Genesis was in countries like Brazil where it is still being sold today.

 

I fail to see your point other than you hate Nintendo.

 

Am I right?

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Um.... I too owned a 7800 instead of an NES. But later bought an NES because it was what I really wanted. Im not sure why you would prefer the Genesis/Megadrive over the SNES. I owned both of those and I have to say the games were better on SNES. There was nothing on Genesis that could compare to the DKC trilogy, Killer Instinct, Zelda, Mario RPG , Super Metroid, F-Zero or Starfox. Lets not even talk about Earthworm Jim. As the arguments over that game being better on which platform will spiral off into a whole new rant.

 

The SNES was also not readily avaialble like the Genesis was in countries like Brazil where it is still being sold today.

 

I fail to see your point other than you hate Nintendo.

 

Am I right?

No hate towards Nintendo. I just didn't like the monopolistic tactics they engaged in. I did buy a Nintendo 64 and Gamecube while they were still on the market and so no I have hate of Nintendo. I also now own the NES, SNES and Wii as well and have games in my library for each of those systems. Personally I like the Genesis library better but that is a matter of preference and both the Genesis and SNES had an amazing library of games to chose from and choosing one over the other mean you are missing out on some great games. The Super Nintendo was more advanced then the Genesis as the Geneis was on the market for 2 year before the Super Nintendo was released and there is no doubt that the the Super Nintendo with it custom chips for Mode 7 capabilities were more advanced than the hardware in the Genesis, but in spite this of the Genesis competed well with the SNES and gave it a run for its money. Nintendo has never been my first choice for consoles and neither is Sony. Personally I find Sega and Microsoft to have had great titles that appealed to me more than did Nintendo. Edited by Tidus79001
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Um.... I too owned a 7800 instead of an NES. But later bought an NES because it was what I really wanted. Im not sure why you would prefer the Genesis/Megadrive over the SNES. I owned both of those and I have to say the games were better on SNES. There was nothing on Genesis that could compare to the DKC trilogy, Killer Instinct, Zelda, Mario RPG , Super Metroid, F-Zero or Starfox. Lets not even talk about Earthworm Jim. As the arguments over that game being better on which platform will spiral off into a whole new rant.

 

The SNES was also not readily avaialble like the Genesis was in countries like Brazil where it is still being sold today.

 

I fail to see your point other than you hate Nintendo.

 

Am I right?

:_(

 

Well, there was nothing on SNES that could compare with Thunder Force 4, Gunstar Heroes, Sonic series, Ristar, Yu Yu Hakusho ( 4 player fighting game), Monster World 4, Streets of Rage 2, Super Shinobi 1 and 2, Virtua Racing, Road Rash 2, Panorama Cotton, Dynamite Heady, Red Zone, etc :-D. We all have our favorites.

 

There is no argument about Earthworm Jim, its better on Genesis and even better on CD ;). Same for Mickey Mania. Earthworm Jim 2 is indeed arguable.

 

Both systems rock. The one that sucks is the people who cant afford both to have the best of both worlds. :)

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the first DKC I think gets over rated with nostalgia goggles

 

dont get me wrong its a good game, but almost all the love for it was for the "3D GRAPHICS" and the omg factor of that. I didnt play it till post PS2 era on emulator and, yea strip away the fuzz of the funky old CRT and your left with a pretty generic platformer, with frankly pretty garish graphics once the 1980's zenith low pass filter is removed ( I mean honestly go play it on like the SNES classic on a HDTV, it looks like a macromedia flash installer for AOL)

 

I like games on both systems but I much prefer genesis

 

back on topic, the jag had the ability to be a success, every product on the market does, no one makes a thing saying "thats utter shit!" but as with any fledgling thing you do have to put some effort into it before shoving it out the nest ... seems like atari of the day kind of forgot that

Edited by Osgeld
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The question of the Jaguar lacking Ram was raised by Peter Molyneux of Bullfrog, when Gamesmaster magazine previewed the Jaguar Hardware.

 

But only with regards to it making PC conversions to Jaguar a bit tricky.

 

I've never heard any publisher say it was a reason they wouldn't be supporting the machine.

 

Fears over Atari's ability to properly market and support the machine came out as main reasons they weren't going to risk developing for it.

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Thankfully the nonsense of if only Atari UK had more units available at launch, things could of been so different...ST still selling well in late 1993/early 1994..hasn't cropped up.

 

It's true a good few pre-orders went unfulfilled, as so few units initially made it into the UK and so retailers often had single digit deliveries, but the machine needed to sell in the thousands, not hundreds, to gather anything like even token support.

 

 

The ST had been fading fast ever since Commodore dropped the price of the A 500. .

 

Companies like Sega paid developers well and on time..

 

 

Atari did neither.

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Jaguar with 4MB of ram... cool you have more ram than most of carts size.

IMHO It's better if the blitter could expand 1, 2, 4, 8 bits textures to 16bits on the fly.
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The short and sweet answer is always and forever going to be same: not under Atari. Never stood a chance.

 

The excessive laundry list of issues that crippled the system from the beginning was the sure fire sign of failure. That wouldn't be realized until many years later though. Now having 20+ years of internal documents leak showing not only how much of a nightmare the management really executed everything, how 3rd parties were handled and treated, how retailers had been treated, the endless amount of hardware bugs and software development issues encountered and fed back to Atari (only to have them push back blaming developers, despite there being a dozen of them saying the same thing across the board), it's all incredibly shocking and unreal. There's a book to be written on how not to run a business. Reading through a lot of the e-mail exchanges and faxes, you almost feel sorry for all parties involved but at the end of the day, none other than Atari themselves are to blame. They were bullish, big headed and cheap. Disrespecting the very people you need to have develop for your console sure as hell isn't going to do you any favors.

 

The Jaguar was the Titanic of all consoles and even though riddled with bugs, was still an incredible piece of technology. The majority of the early titles were developed by people with very limited experience mixed with deadlines and more than one curve ball, such as the countless bugs mentioned constantly throughout the life of the Jaguar and even to this day. Both Checkered Flag and Crescent Galaxy are prime examples of the inexperienced work mixed with unrealistic deadlines. Someone may be able to confirm Club Drive as well, but I don't remember.

A lot of people are taking for granted the massive amount of information readily available to someone wanting to program the Jaguar today and all the listed issues and workarounds as to someone stuck in 1994 during crunch time and revealing new bugs on the go with a deadline to be met in a matter of months, only for Atari to never fix them and give them shit over it instead. Atari expected results that Jeff Minter provided with Tempest 2000 to all of their titles and games, somehow not realizing that his many years of experience made a ton of difference, and it shows. You have gems like Tempest 2000, Alien vs. Predator, Iron Soldier, Rayman and somehow even SkyHammer that uses voodoo magic trickery and are developed by people who are not only very intimate with the system but passionate about their work and are incredibly talented. Many others seem to have viewed the Jaguar as a quick buck, knew Atari was desperate for titles and released whatever the hell they wanted. That or Atari forced their hand and turned what could have potentially been a decent game into 3FPS of textured hell.

 

There are a lot of examples proving that 2MB simply wasn't enough RAM in terms of fully realizing what the system could have been capable of (Native is a good example, there are interviews as to why) and Peter from 3DO was right. Then there are games like Area 51 on the CoJag and Maximum Force requiring 4MB/6MB that simply couldn't have been done otherwise, obviously. As Stage1 pointed out however, memory was probably far too expensive during that time. With the target price of the Jaguar expecting to be at $200, it does raise the question as to what ultimately brought that price to $250 at retail. Does anyone remember if the cost of memory was the reason for the $50 price increase?

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There are a lot of examples proving that 2MB simply wasn't enough RAM in terms of fully realizing what the system could have been capable of (Native is a good example, there are interviews as to why) and Peter from 3DO was right. Then there are games like Area 51 on the CoJag and Maximum Force requiring 4MB/6MB that simply couldn't have been done otherwise, obviously. As Stage1 pointed out however, memory was probably far too expensive during that time.

While 3D games, especially gourard-shaded/flat-shaded ones are more than fine with 2 MB, it's kind-of ironic, that such a 2D power-house that jaguar is - due to the Object Processor, has so little RAM for the 2D sprites.

 

Take fighting games, like MK/SF. With only 6 MB at the cart, you have basically 3 choices how to cram it there (assuming some kind of reasonable image compression here, of course!):

- remove half (or more) of the playable characters

- remove half (or more) of the animation frames

- reduce anim.frame resolution by 50% (or more)

 

It's a disaster any way you look at it. Thus, 2D games actually really need CD storage - quite an irony indeed ....

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I don't know ..... the Playstation 1 had 2 MB of EDO DRAM, 1 MB of VRAM (allegedly for framebuffer usage) and 512KB for Sound.

For a moment let's pretend we don't want sounds .... and we are playing 320x200 in 256 colors (that's 64KB framebuffer total) ....

 

[yeah I read the

http://hitmen.c02.at/files/docs/psx/psx.pdf

so the ps1 "framebuffer" is also the texture mem, don't get me wrong I understand there's a lot more to it but we are not talking a humongous difference in mem here (yes I know the VRAM is dual ported) .... I think we would all be fine if the Jag 3D textures in games were low-res more like the N64 and the vast majority of the poly flat/gourad shaded instead ....]

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Poor treatment of developers was a huge issue during the Tramiel years. I don't really know much about Jaguar developers other than what I've heard, but I've done a bit of research on 7800 developers and they were generally treated like they weren't really wanted. Poor pay, missed payments, poor developer system documentation, lack of development systems, hostile management, etc. I think the only reason they had any outside developers was because those people genuinely loved Atari, otherwise there's no reason they'd put up with being treated like they were.

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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?

 

To be successful, the Jaguar would have needed a few things done differently

 

1) a much bigger marketing budget

2) Tramiel to have taken videogame consoles seriously from the start. Instead he pissed away Atari's lead in this area by first not taking consoles seriously, then returning late, half-assing (let's just release the hardware we have, with the old games from 1984 and profit!). He ceded leadership not just to Nintendo, but Sega as well in the process.

3) More and better titles

4) probably released a bit earlier than it was

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There was definitely buzz around the Jaguar around its launch, and much of it - at least tentatively - positive. I think the problem started when, after the at-best "mixed" quality of the small batch of launch titles, there were fairly long droughts between future releases. This sparse library mixed with too many mediocre games that were too close to their 16-bit counterparts never allowed it to pick up steam. It's hard to tout your console as the most powerful - and of course Atari did exactly that - without a high percentage of titles in the library that could easily back up such a claim to the average person. That was certainly compounded by competing against 16-bit consoles that were well into their primes and could be relatively easily exploited for maximum audio-visual quality and gameplay depth.

 

Of course, even if there were regular, high quality game releases that showed off the Jaguar's maximum capabilities, Atari would have still been at a significant disadvantage and still unlikely to make it through to release a successor system. It's much like Sega with their far more successful Dreamcast. There were just too many financial hurdles to overcome more or less no matter how well the actual console was doing in the marketplace. And again, Atari was at an even greater disadvantage in that regard than Sega was, so there's no realistic sales scenario that I can envision that would have actually made things turn out any differently.

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While I didn't read all of the posts in this discussion forum, I will answer the question that was posed when the discussion started. The answer, in my opinion, is 'No'. The reason being is that Atari did not have the capital, market share, nor sway with the general public to make it a success. While I was very close to buying a Jag (which would have been my last console bought new), it just didn't and couldn't get enough support from developers, businesses, and the buying public. It was an underrated system that definitely had a lot of promise, but just simply too little, too late from a company nearing its end. Just my two cents, but it definitely seems to have more notice and recognition decades after its release than it ever did while it was fresh and new.

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I bet that with a better hardware (blitter cache, command queue for the blitter, less bugs) and better demos (like cybermorph with textures) it would have attracted more developers, but as soon as the playstation were released it would be wiped from the market.

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