Jump to content
LutzfromOz

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

Recommended Posts

Unfortunately for the Jag to have succeeded, everything that needed to go right had to go right.  Unfortunately, that wasn't the case and it faded in obscurity until after it had already been dead and buried with many other 5th generation consoles (3DO, CD-I, CD32, etc).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is the problem, you need a top programmer to get a decent frame rate in a 3D game for the Jaguar.


Atari had top 3D programmers. They really did. Unfortunately they were so talented Atari in their infinite wisdom figured they could handle the work of ten men across three to five diff departments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I often wonder what the Jaguar would be capable of if SNK had adopted it as their next 2D powerhouse system, thus keeping it alive.  The 68000 combined with the Jaguar's crazy good sprite-pushing abilities would have produced some amazing games.  SNK tried with the Saturn but I believe the Jaguar had better 2D capabilities.

 

The Jaguar can do 3D in a way that would compliment well designed and fun 2D games, much like the FX2 chip enhanced a few effects here and there in Yoshi's Island 2.

 

I'm sure the Jaguar is capable of some pretty amazing stuff, given the right amount effort.  I imagine the Jaguar CD could maybe even do a great port of Metal Gear Solid.

 

It's not bad hardware.  Complex and with a few bugs, however, with a talented and dedicated studio with skilled programmers and a lot of money the Jaguar is capable of something that makes AvP look archaic in comparison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I often wonder what the Jaguar would be capable of if SNK had adopted it as their next 2D powerhouse system, thus keeping it alive.


It would have crash and burned because 3D was "all the rage", 2D was dying and/or was already dead. Hence why SNK later went with a platform that could do 3D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yea you have to keep in mind the era, the arcade style single screen games were dead and buried, and by the time of the jag we had scrolling games for 15+ years

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would have crash and burned because 3D was "all the rage", 2D was dying and/or was already dead. Hence why SNK later went with a platform that could do 3D.

Yeah, NeoGeo64's theory makes no sense for a number of reasons. People who get angry at facts, please stop reading now.

 

The Neo was launched in 1990, when the Jag launched nationally in '94 the best of the Neo Geo's library still was yet to come. The KoF series would be launched that year, the first Samurai Shodown was released a year earlier and Metal Slug was still a couple years away. It was a time when the Neo was moving from the earlier games around 50-70mbits in size, many of which are still classics, to the much larger and more advanced games that people tend to associate with the system. So there would've been no reason to drop their hardware in favor of the Jaguar.

 

Also, in 1994 SNK would release the first of 3 versions of the Neo Geo CD. 

 

Also, SNK mainly cared about the arcade. The home Neo Geo was largely an after thought and I'd be surprised if there was much profit tied to it compared to the arcade hardware that sold orders of magnitude more software and hardware. That was their meat and potatoes, the home console and CD systems were a condiment. 

 

Also, SNK was a Japanese company. The Jaguar had almost no impact in Japan. Let's be honest, it barely had an impact in the States. If SNK was aware of the Jag they probably laughed at the idea of new hardware coming out in 1994 with only 3 action buttons.

 

Also, when SNK did develop games for 3rd party hardware in the form of the Saturn and PSX they were on CDs. Theoretical SNK Jaguar games would've needed to be CDs not only for ports of existing titles but also for the quality that was associated with SNK by that time, which would've ever further limited the customer base. 

 

A Puzzle Bobble port would've been possible, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed with the above. I'm still not convinced the Jaguar was even as good as the Neo Geo was in many areas important for 2D-style gaming.

 

I wouldn't have thought it was even close.  The Neo Geo is a 2D Powerhouse, while the Jag is a supped up Genesis (ok that's a bit harsh).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't have thought it was even close.  The Neo Geo is a 2D Powerhouse, while the Jag is a supped up Genesis (ok that's a bit harsh).

I see no evidence that it's anywhere near close, the Neo Geo hardware was very well designed which is why it had a 14 year lifespan. It put up a heck of a fight against hardware that was to come out years later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Comparing the Neo Geo (and the Neo Geo CD) against the Jaguar is a bit like comparing apples to oranges.  True, they share some common traits, but the Neo Geo was geared toward a totally different gaming market than the Jaguar was.  However, I will say that the Neo Geo executed their console vision a heckuva lot better than the Jaguar.  While I do like the Jaguar, things like leaving the mother board exposed in the back like it was is just plain baffling.  And that is even before you get into the whole 64 bit argument. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It also helped disgrace Atari by 1) Rasing consumers expectations beyond what was possible, and 2) making it look like Atari was lying about the system's specs.

 

Very true.  However, it was still quite a capable console.  Shame it never really had a chance to succeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sure the Jaguar is capable of some pretty amazing stuff, given the right amount effort.  I imagine the Jaguar CD could maybe even do a great port of Metal Gear Solid.

 

 

Sure, just use the Highlander engine :-D. MGS is pushing the Playstation a lot... even as a FUMES addict, i dont see how the Jaguar could pull off such a game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I like to think it could have.
I always found the Jag to be a really great system. With a pretty cool but undeniably underwhelming library, at least in terms of number of solid titles.
When I became aware of the Jag's poor reputation I was kind of confused as to why. I'd read up on it a little when I began collecting and saw some gameplay footage. Admittedly Tempest and Kasumi Ninja didn't blow me away but AvP, Iron Soldier and Cybermorph all seemed impressive, especially considering the time in which they came out.
When I actually got to use the controller I found it comfortable and completely adiquate for the games, a little like a mix between the Genesis and OG Xbox controllers. I still think the D-Pad isn't the best - would have preferred a more saturn-like pad.
I never disliked the console, and after getting one and playing around with it for a year or two it's quickly become one of my favorite if not favourite home systems! (Out of the 35 or so different ones I have).
I'm not exactly an Atari history buff, and I can only speak for myself ,but it seems to me that the console itself was solid. It's just that almost everything else about the Jaguar project was a mess up.
It's sad what a reputation those things earned the Jag... I work in a game shop and 9/10 people who check the Jag console or games out are either proclaiming it the worst pile of shit in history or have no clue that it never existed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to think it could have.
I always found the Jag to be a really great system. With a pretty cool but undeniably underwhelming library, at least in terms of number of solid titles.
When I became aware of the Jag's poor reputation I was kind of confused as to why. I'd read up on it a little when I began collecting and saw some gameplay footage. Admittedly Tempest and Kasumi Ninja didn't blow me away but AvP, Iron Soldier and Cybermorph all seemed impressive, especially considering the time in which they came out.
When I actually got to use the controller I found it comfortable and completely adiquate for the games, a little like a mix between the Genesis and OG Xbox controllers. I still think the D-Pad isn't the best - would have preferred a more saturn-like pad.
I never disliked the console, and after getting one and playing around with it for a year or two it's quickly become one of my favorite if not favourite home systems! (Out of the 35 or so different ones I have).
I'm not exactly an Atari history buff, and I can only speak for myself ,but it seems to me that the console itself was solid. It's just that almost everything else about the Jaguar project was a mess up.
It's sad what a reputation those things earned the Jag... I work in a game shop and 9/10 people who check the Jag console or games out are either proclaiming it the worst pile of shit in history or have no clue that it never existed.

 

I can tell you that I was very stoked when this system was coming out back in the day.  Had I not been a fool and swallowed a little bit of pride, I would have gotten one.  Alas, I never did get one despite liking the console as it look distinctly different and stood out amongst the crowd. 

 

It got a bad reputation by proxy because of Atari's failings as a company.  It was a cool, capable system that just did not have much of a chance to succeed.  However, the same could be said of the 3DO, Neo Geo, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MGS is pushing the Playstation a lot... even as a FUMES addict, i dont see how the Jaguar could pull off such a game.

Well, it certainly wouldn't run in 60 fps, but I'd actually argue MGS would be totally playable on jag in 256x200, we just need to differentiate between two radically different sections of the game (performance-wise):

1. Top-Down gameplay

  - 20-30 fps easily since you have axis-aligned texturing, which is exactly what I did on my H.E.R.O. engine.

  - Of course, since this MGS has more [than H.E.R.O.] of those expensive perspective walls that are not axis-aligned, it would take 2 frames (e.g. 60/2 = 30 fps) to render them

  - Obviously, once the camera zooms out and shows larger section of level (with more objects), expect another frame drops to 15-20

  - then again, I was driving Blitter from 68000, yet reached 60 fps, so it's entirely realistic to expect that if I ported this codebase to GPU/Blitter, I'd texture more perspective walls per frame

  - Render characters on DSP in parallel (fits under 3 frames, thus 20 fps)

 

2. FPS gameplay

  - this would be slower, 3-4 frames would be needed, hence 12-15 fps

 

It's weird, because I just watched it on YT, but I totally don't remember MGS running so smooth on PS1, where I played it about a decade ago. I suspect they're either recording upconverted version through PS2/3 or something ?

I'd swear it ran maybe 30 fps, it most certainly wasn't so silky smooth as those YT vids now show.

 

There's just one problem - who would create all those levels ?

What about in-game scripted plot sequences ?

 

You really need a big art team for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No way it would be successful. Bought the Jag new back in it's release. Tried so much to like it. The games honestly felt incomplete and the selection available was terrible. AvP and Tempest were solid but the rest were really bad. Lynx destroys the Jaguar. Jaguar had no soul. Edited by phuzaxeman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering the Neo Geo CD has almost 8MB of total RAM to play with, there's really no comparison at all. The same applies to the original for that matter, since it's so far back the opposite direction technically speaking, you can't compare fairly at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it certainly wouldn't run in 60 fps, but I'd actually argue MGS would be totally playable on jag in 256x200, we just need to differentiate between two radically different sections of the game (performance-wise):

1. Top-Down gameplay

  - 20-30 fps easily since you have axis-aligned texturing, which is exactly what I did on my H.E.R.O. engine.

  - Of course, since this MGS has more [than H.E.R.O.] of those expensive perspective walls that are not axis-aligned, it would take 2 frames (e.g. 60/2 = 30 fps) to render them

  - Obviously, once the camera zooms out and shows larger section of level (with more objects), expect another frame drops to 15-20

  - then again, I was driving Blitter from 68000, yet reached 60 fps, so it's entirely realistic to expect that if I ported this codebase to GPU/Blitter, I'd texture more perspective walls per frame

  - Render characters on DSP in parallel (fits under 3 frames, thus 20 fps)

 

2. FPS gameplay

  - this would be slower, 3-4 frames would be needed, hence 12-15 fps

 

It's weird, because I just watched it on YT, but I totally don't remember MGS running so smooth on PS1, where I played it about a decade ago. I suspect they're either recording upconverted version through PS2/3 or something ?

I'd swear it ran maybe 30 fps, it most certainly wasn't so silky smooth as those YT vids now show.

 

There's just one problem - who would create all those levels ?

What about in-game scripted plot sequences ?

 

You really need a big art team for that.

MGS on Jag, you actually think it would be possible?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MGS on Jag, you actually think it would be possible?

OK, what exactly are you seeing there that looks impossible on jag ?

 

- Those lowres level textures with prebaked lightmaps (hence no runtime cost during rasterizing) should easily fit into 1024x1024 = 1 MB

- Great majority of gameplay is with only 1 character and 50-polygon environment in a top-down camera angle with axis-aligned texturing (exactly same as I did for RoadRash proto or H.E.R.O., both of which runs fullscreen at 60 fps on jag).

- While GPU is driving Blitter, the DSP is rasterizing the character in parallel. At the given screen coverage of the gameplay, the character drawing will come close to 1-1.5 full frame. So the worst case scenario is 30 fps for that.

- Each additional character will bring the framerate down linearly.

- So, if you got 3 of them, it will fall down to 15 fps. But, since GPU will be done drawing in second frame, it would be just plain stupid for it to wait on DSP for full 2 frames, so GPU would take over remaining characters and render them after it's done with the cheap environment.

 

Cutscenes, where the characters occupy majority of screen space (the slow generic texturing ) would fall down to ~10 fps, but cutscenes don't affect gameplay, so who cares about that.

 

 

 

Without the cutscenes (no hours of audio discussions, and scripted sequences with hundreds of animations), this could easily fit a 6 MB cart. The 3D mesh for any given screen takes literally couple dozen bytes (per object - just index (1 byte)  into the object array which further indexes into vertex array and material ID). The 3D environment for the level would take under 100 KB, so it's easy to page from cartridge at level-loading time.

 

I'm busy with other stuff on jag, so can't really be bothered to tweak my H.E.R.O. engine for MGS-style.

 

 

If I did, I'd much rather go for something like Alien Breed on PS3 - camera fixed at both an angle&position above character, and lego-like environment with jag-friendly axis-aligned walls. Render characters as sprites, and you got 20-30 fps action game. I never really liked the constant movie-style interruption of the gameplay in MGS, so I really only played it for few levels just to see what the hype is about. But Alien Breed, you fight constantly and don't get distracted by the camera (like in MGS).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MGS on Jag, you actually think it would be possible?

 

Yes, but with an unplayable frame rate, I bet that it will look like old text adventures without the text XD

Edited by swapd0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No way it would be successful. Bought the Jag new back in it's release. Tried so much to like it. The games honestly felt incomplete and the selection available was terrible. AvP and Tempest were solid but the rest were really bad. Lynx destroys the Jaguar. Jaguar had no soul.

 
You have critically failed to understand the question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...