Jump to content

What could have saved the Jag?

Recommended Posts

What could have saved the Jag?

Ok, guess I'll actually try to answer this question rather than make jokes. 



I suppose if we acknowledge a few things:

  • Jaguar was a great overall system (really was), but release was timed poorly.
  • Perhaps early out of the gate, but lacking in some features.
  • Was up against stiff competition from other systems that came out literally 1 year later.
  • Flooded market of new exciting systems, Saturn, Playstation, Jaguar, 3DO, Sega 32x/CD, NEO-GEO on TOP of already great selling systems, SNES, Genesis, etc.
  • Atari poorly managed money, was in debt when they released the system, and didn't pay their suppliers and / or vendors on time.
  • Jaguar was relatively poorly marketed


So if I had to say, what would have saved the Jaguar? It's all about the games, and the outreach. Atari had a few great hits that they worked hard to get, but Atari's reputation was already old and stale. Even big fans like me at the time wondered what Atari was doing. Atari's problems were deeper than the Jaguar as most people had been "lost" to Atari once the 8-bit Nintendo came out. I think though, biggest problem for them was money. If they had more money, they'd have been able to pay their vendors, and work at getting more and better titles. 


A couple of people seem to get really offended when I bring this up... but most Jaguar games are "beat your high score" games... that's a genre that is decidedly Atari. While I like it, the Nintendo 8-bit system brought a whole new series of games that the Jaguar totally lacked. By the time the Jaguar was cancelled and Atari went bankrupt, there were NO RPG games and NO adventure games. NBA Jam TE was excellent, but it lacked so many other sports games until it was too late. For Platform Games, it had a few good games... Rayman, Pitfall, etc... but they were largely unknown characters and / or they just weren't catchy enough.


The Jaguar did have a bunch of cool interesting games that they filled various niches... either by porting them, or whatever. But there were no "big name" games other than Doom that really drew people in. For most people, Doom was a computer game, and while they did port it to various systems... it was like, why would I play this on my Jaguar when I can just play it on my computer? The people who had money to pay $300+ bucks for a Jaguar +$59 for a Doom cartridge, likely already had a computer.



So... in short:

  • more money,
  • more / better games,
  • better support to vendors.
  • Like 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Imho the truth is the jag didn't need saving because it didn't die and dissappear, it has a community of supporters and is still getting great stuff released for it 26-27 years after it was released.


No need to read on... but...


We got great games that you could argue later got better on other platforms like Tempest 2000, AvP, iron soldier.


We had ports of some popular pc games at the time such as Doom and Wolfenstein 3D, I couldn't afford to buy or put a pc together to play those games that cost similar to the cost of a jag and those carts combined at the time of release.


The Jag CD gave you the VLM that bettered what was on competing consoles in that generation (psx/saturn) and had better versions of hoverstrike and iron soldier 2... and it came with vid grid, blue lightening plus a myst demo and the soundtrack thrown in for free.


If you were in the right place at the right time after it "failed" in the UK the console (£29.99) games (£10-20) were cheap when Game sold off the stock in their "retro section" or from telegames before prices went up.

The cd add-on was available (£150) from Virgin Megastar & Dixons "partsmaster" and they were even cheaper if found at a car boot sale.


To compare jaguar to PSX/Saturn/N64 is unfair, to compare the state of Atari and their choices to Sony/Sega/Nintendo that is more interesting.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Part of the problem with the jaguar is not only the majority of mediocre games that did not maximize the hardware. But in 1994 when I got the jag, i didn't see the games and console available at the major department stores (walmart, kmart, sears) like I did with the older ataris.  I had to get the games at an electronic stores in the mall. 


There also wasn't any great fighting games too when MK and SFII ruled the market.  The sports titles also lacked (ie NBA live, Blitz, Tecmo).  There was so many things wrong when the jag released.  You're going to brand the "64bit" name but then have games like Trevor Mcfur and Ultra Vortek?  Nintendo had Mario.  Sega had Sonic.  Atari just didn't market well, didn't have the funds, no 3rd party support, lack of availability at the main stores, and had a lack of strong software titles.  There was no way it could compete with Sony launching too.   

Edited by phuzaxeman
  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically what has been said, Sega beat Nintendo because they reentered the mkt at the right time, and thought hard toget the type of games that were popular at the time, they could see sports games were big so they spent alot to get big Names attached to Arcade like sports Games, fighting games were big Sega hit them all on their console.


Atari just had no strategy other than following with not enough money to go after what kids buying systems wanted, they had a weird strategy of bringing bug name PC titles to their system honestly a PC was 2 grand so a $300 machine that could play best of PC not the worst strategy yet they didn't advertise it that way, they basically took the ad campaign from Sega, advertised they had 64bits vs Sega and Nintendo 16 bits, so their games should be 4x better, yet the games weren't, some were missing basic elements of sound and control.


Atari's major competitors 3D0 and Cdi didn't servive against Playstation and 3D0, did have the games people wanted (street fighter 2/samurai Showdown/Madden Football/FIFA/Road Rash/etc) CDi had Mario and zelda.


Sega had every major game only losing EAgames in yr 2, it couldn't beat Sony.


Atari was never going to be 1st place, Sega had done the impossible and destroyed Nintendo's dominance, by changing the rules.


SEGA, had money, and their games were the next level, plus Sega had an arcade devision to support them 

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...