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Clone Jaguar console - maybe one day?

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2 hours ago, CyranoJ said:

There's also a large group of totally ignorant youtube 'experts' who think the 64 in the documentation means it can compete with the gamecube - and have thus raised a generation of people who believe the same and have expectations beyond all reality.

 

- Everyone only used the 68000 (myth)

- GPU in main will fix everything (myth)

- The console is faster than the PSX (myth)

- The console was hard to develop for (myth)

- The bugs in the hardware cripple the system totally (myth)

 

I could go on and on with 'facts' repeated ad-nausium that are utterly incorrect, but there's no point, and its Xmas Day.

It's a fun console. Enjoy it for what it is, not spending your senior years waiting for what you think it could be (whatever the hell that is)... the cool-aid bottles are long empty... they're just full of fumes now.

Possibly not helped by the infamous Sam Tramiel interview in Edge and Next Generation magazines, where he puts the Jaguar ahead of the Saturn and just behind the Playstation in terms of power.. 

 

 

And Darryl Still's disaster letter to C+VG Magazine, where he stated Jaguar was faster than Playstation for things like link-up games and just needed the CD ROM unit to compete with Playstation and Saturn. 

 

There's also been some nonsense over the years in RetroGamer Magazine Jaguar articles on the Jaguar from certain coders etc. 

 

 

People buy into the issue of it must be true as it's printed in a supposedly credible publication. 

 

 

Like Cyrano says, it's Xmas day, just enjoy the machine for what it is, what it offers and appreciate there are people out there putting efforts into ensuring it still has fresh titles to enjoy. 

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So the real crippling of the Jaguar was 4th rate software developers being the only ones interested in the system.

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2 hours ago, Koopa64 said:

So the real crippling of the Jaguar was 4th rate software developers being the only ones interested in the system.

Despite the sarcasm, absolute truth in its own way.

 

I worked in Electronic Boutique at the time of both the Jaguar and 3DO. The 3DO was hurt by its initial high starting price and the fact that some of the promised great-looking and anticipated titles (Star Trek The Next Generation, EA's hockey, etc.) never made it out. The Jaguar didn't really have the pricing issue, but did have a software issue. I remember we had the same small handful of generally underwhelming initial titles (Trevor McFur, Raiden, etc.) available for the longest time in the store (I want to say a year+). Both the public and magazines were generally incredibly skeptical of the Jaguar (creating a feedback loop), and, frankly, with good reason. As I like to tell, I remember a questionnaire going around to the store managers at the time of whether or not the stores should eve carry systems like the CD32 and Jaguar. Obviously, the Jaguar passed the survey, but the fact that it was even a question whether a major video game chain at the time was entertaining the idea of NOT carrying the console tells you all you need to know.

 

On top of that, a lot of the third party support promised and previewed in early catalogs never made it out (no doubt a lot of development was stopped or never started after poor initial console sales), much moreso than what was promised and never came out for the 3DO. While the 3DO can't really be called a success either, it sold many times what the Jaguar sold and had a much larger library that did a better job of showcasing the system's impressive capabilities. Part of that of course was with the lower risk of CD production over cartridges, but a lot of that was also it being a more resource-rich ecosystem.

 

Atari never had the resources or cache to compete effectively (something Sega would similarly suffer from with the Dreamcast, although they obviously still had a far better go of it). It was clearly a hail mary by the company where every possible thing would have had to have broken right for them to even get to 3DO levels of success. It obviously never came close. As such, we're doomed to a lifetime of "what ifs?" on the Jaguar side and its mythical untapped technical prowess that is just waiting for the right developer(s) to harness it over the "misguided" developers who came before (and sprinkle in "the 68000=bad, the fools!" refrain).

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10 hours ago, Lost Dragon said:

One camp puts the blame firmly on Leonard Tramiel, the other swears blind it was in fact Tiertex bosses.. 

I’d assume Leonard told the bosses, who then told the developer.

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15 hours ago, CyranoJ said:

- Everyone only used the 68000 (myth)

- GPU in main will fix everything (myth)

- The console is faster than the PSX (myth)

- The console was hard to develop for (myth)

- The bugs in the hardware cripple the system totally (myth)

Yes I must admit that some of these myths really scared me from starting to develop games for the Jaguar.

 

- Of course I like to use the 68000, it was, and still is one of the most popular, and most widely used devices in the world. Why can't I use it on the Jaguar?

 

- Is the console hard to develop for? Probably not harder than any other console. I don't know, I only know that is equal hard to develop for as the other consoles I have worked with.

 

- I have never understood what those crippling bugs are? Oh yes, I read that it was a big "bug" that the custom hardware cannot access main RAM, and you have to move stuff. Then people realized that these devices actually could access data from RAM, the data just need to be aligned to the bit-size of these devices, e.g. 32-bit aligned, or 64-bit aligned. Of course it has, that's true for all devices, including the x86 in 32-bit mode (e.g. a PC running Windows), but the compliers handle this without you knowing about it. So how can this be considered a "bug" for the Jaguar, when it is not considered a bug for the PC?

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6 hours ago, Bill Loguidice said:

On top of that, a lot of the third party support promised and previewed in early catalogs never made it out (no doubt a lot of development was stopped or never started after poor initial console sales), much moreso than what was promised and never came out for the 3DO. While the 3DO can't really be called a success either, it sold many times what the Jaguar sold and had a much larger library that did a better job of showcasing the system's impressive capabilities. Part of that of course was with the lower risk of CD production over cartridges, but a lot of that was also it being a more resource-rich ecosystem.

The Jaguar and 3DO aren't even in the same league. Just look at these lists of total released software (not counting recent homebrews)

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Atari_Jaguar_games

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer_games

 

50 Jaguar vs 162 3DO USA releases

50 (?) vs 263 worldwide releases

 

That figure puts the Jaguar in the league of the 32X, even below the TG16. That is a huge failure of a dedicated home console. 50 some games really puts things into perspective.

 

The 3DO being somewhere around 162 to 263 games, depending on included markets, puts it pretty close to the Sega Saturn and kinda the N64, which weren't that much of a failure honestly, the consoles are quite easy to come across. It wasn't until recently I took a closer look at the 3DO and honestly it's nowhere near the levels of failure seen in other consoles. The 3DO is a success compared to the Jaguar.

 

But then, I own a 3DO and a big stack of CD-R games for it and no Jaguar, so I guess my interest is biased there.

 

And yes I know "50" Jaguar games is probably wrong, depends entirely where you put the goalposts between retail releases while the console was supported by Atari Corp. and homebrew games.

Edited by Koopa64

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Oh.


I woke up and this thing is still rambling on. 

 

There's this button at the top... looks like this:

 

image.png.cbb94541b2a435994e5c7c5f255138b9.png

 

There's at least an infinite number of threads exactly like this....

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Then feel free to talk about a clone Jaguar console, because I'd buy one just to play Doom.

 

I understand such a thing would be prohibitively expensive, but it's really surprising to me that it seems there's been no efforts to make clone Jaguars. Isn't it hard selling new homebrew to a crowd of well below 250,000 consoles sold?

Edited by Koopa64

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22 minutes ago, Koopa64 said:

Isn't it hard selling new homebrew to a crowd of well below 250,000 consoles sold?

I doubt it really matters considering that sales of most homebrews for old systems average around 200 copies. Where are the other 249,800 consoles, and what are people doing with them other than listing them on eBay for insanely high prices?

 

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2 hours ago, Koopa64 said:

The Jaguar and 3DO aren't even in the same league. Just look at these lists of total released software (not counting recent homebrews)

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Atari_Jaguar_games

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer_games

 

50 Jaguar vs 162 3DO USA releases

50 (?) vs 263 worldwide releases

 

That figure puts the Jaguar in the league of the 32X, even below the TG16. That is a huge failure of a dedicated home console. 50 some games really puts things into perspective.

 

The 3DO being somewhere around 162 to 263 games, depending on included markets, puts it pretty close to the Sega Saturn and kinda the N64, which weren't that much of a failure honestly, the consoles are quite easy to come across. It wasn't until recently I took a closer look at the 3DO and honestly it's nowhere near the levels of failure seen in other consoles. The 3DO is a success compared to the Jaguar.

 

But then, I own a 3DO and a big stack of CD-R games for it and no Jaguar, so I guess my interest is biased there.

 

And yes I know "50" Jaguar games is probably wrong, depends entirely where you put the goalposts between retail releases while the console was supported by Atari Corp. and homebrew games.

Yeah, that list is by my hand and I could be wrong with the number of games released for each system so, read them with a grain of salt. Speaking of the 3DO, it's actually not that bad of a system. I really like some of the games released for it such as Immercenary, Burning Soldier and Icebreaker, to name a few...

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2 hours ago, Sauron said:

I doubt it really matters considering that sales of most homebrews for old systems average around 200 copies. Where are the other 249,800 consoles, and what are people doing with them other than listing them on eBay for insanely high prices?

 

That is impossible for 249,800 consoles to still be floating around. In the many years I've hung around here on and off, I've seen a lot of reports of dead Jaguars. Not only that, but rough estimates of sales are often far above what actually sold. 250,000 units could have been how many were shipped to retailers, who knows how many sold. I know one thing for sure, given how rare Jaguar systems are, it must have sold extremely poorly.

 

By comparison, a common ship/sale figure for the Sega 32X is "500,000", way less than that actually sold. The TG16 shipped 750,000 systems to retailers. According to that gamasutra article "Stalled Engine", the vast majority of that 750,000 did not sell and were exported to south american markets or were possibly destroyed.

Edited by Koopa64

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20 minutes ago, Koopa64 said:

That is impossible for 249,800 consoles to still be floating around. In the many years I've hung around here on and off, I've seen a lot of reports of dead Jaguars. Not only that, but rough estimates of sales are often far above what actually sold. 250,000 units could have been how many were shipped to retailers, who knows how many sold. I know one thing for sure, given how rare Jaguar systems are, it must have sold extremely poorly.

 

By comparison, a common ship/sale figure for the Sega 32X is "500,000", way less than that actually sold. The TG16 shipped 750,000 systems to retailers. According to that gamasutra article "Stalled Engine", the vast majority of that 750,000 did not sell and were exported to south american markets or were possibly destroyed.

Yeah, there certainly isn't 249,000 consoles floating around in the wild, but that kinda misses the point. The whole point of what I said was that there were still far more Jaguars out there that did make it into the wild than there are current Jaguar diehards who still play their console and purchase new games for it.

 

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9 hours ago, pacman000 said:

I’d assume Leonard told the bosses, who then told the developer.

Missile Command 3D coder, Martin Brownlow put the blame on the Tramiel family, quote from his interview with JEO at the time:

 

 

MB] Blame Atari... "Oh, and texture this, texture that, texture the other."

"But textures are at least 8x slower than flat shaded" says I. "Actually,"

says Atari, "they're at least 22x slower, but we want them anyway". You saw

how the motorcycle game (Supercross 3D --Ed.) game came out - really slow -

that's because they gave in to Atari and textured everything, which the Jag

just can't handle.

 

 

 

But there was someone online claiming he'd spoken to Supercross 3D coder and he'd said the decision had entirely been that of the Tiertex bosses. 

 

 

I did press him for more information and the full quote, but never heard anymore from him. 

 

 

Shame, it would of been nice to get a bit more insight. 

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There's no holy grail title that'll appear magically on the Jag and make it look like a Saturn or a PS1, period.

 

It was ahead of SNES/MD, and it better be, but it was not strong enough in textured 3d games which is what people wanted at the time, and that defined its fate. End of story!

 

The Tramiel stating that it is more powerful than a Saturn but just shy of a PS1 means zero, do you expect them to tell you it had no chance of competing with either?

 

To the guy that thinks the unified bus is "da bomb" please think again .... what can be done today is very different than way back when, the 68K has 0 caches, so even if it can "take care of something else" while Tom/Jerry are working their magic, if said magic involves using the bus the 68K can't do jack-shit because it has no caches and so it needs the freaking bus to get any other instruction .... the more of the bandwidth goes into gfx/sfx the less the 68K has .... very different to the just released Apple M1, with Unified Memory Architecture .. right .. well guess what? even the memory is on the same chip now (what part of SoC did we not understand?) so they can go back to old patterns and carefully arbitrate who/when accesses what and put caches where they are needed.

 

 

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On 12/25/2020 at 7:09 AM, CyranoJ said:

- The console was hard to develop for (myth)

 

I find a bit annoying that if you write a wrong Object List you can hang the console, I doubt that if you write random values to the SNES/MD tile map or sprite memory you can hang the console, or if you send a wrong command list to the PSX GPU. IMHO it takes a bit more when you code from scratch.

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2 minutes ago, swapd0 said:

I find a bit annoying that if you write a wrong Object List you can hang the console, I doubt that if you write random values to the SNES/MD tile map or sprite memory you can hang the console, or if you send a wrong command list to the PSX GPU. IMHO it takes a bit more when you code from scratch.

Well, I haven't done that since I wrote my library in 2012... so... It's something you only need to do once... and isn't that complicated anyway.... being one of the few fully documented parts of the system.

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18 minutes ago, CyranoJ said:

Well, I haven't done that since I wrote my library in 2012... so... It's something you only need to do once... and isn't that complicated anyway.... being one of the few fully documented parts of the system.

true... so you are 8 years ahead of me XD

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19 minutes ago, swapd0 said:

true... so you are 8 years ahead of me XD

Well, no, because I released my API. So we're at the same point. 

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In terms of sales, here are some relevant pull quotes from old discussions:

 

"I think it's fair to say then that eventually no more than 225,000 made it out n the wild (assuming none were destroyed for tax purposes), but probably well under 150,000 in total when it was not in a state of "close out/lquidation." It's not surprising then with two full years on the market having only sold 125,000 units that it was all but ignored by third parties, even after pledging their early support. Even back then, I think most game cartridges couldn't turn a profit if they

sold that number, let alone a console. "

 

"The Jaguar was sold in two SKUs, the original SKU with Cybermorph as the pack-in and the 64-Bit Power Kit SKU with no pack-in game. You would have to find a break down of the different SKUs. When Atari started to sell the 64-Bit Power Kit, is when they started to sell boxed copies of the gimped 1MB version of Cybermorph.

I remember back in the day, it was either Sam Tramiel or one of the senior execs at Atari that said the two best selling Jaguar games were AvP and T2k and that they each sold around 50k each.

If anyone is interested and if you break it down by years based on SEC fillings, here are Jaguar console sales by year:
1993: 17k
1994: 83k
1995: 25k

"

 

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16 hours ago, Koopa64 said:

The Jaguar and 3DO aren't even in the same league. Just look at these lists of total released software (not counting recent homebrews)

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Atari_Jaguar_games

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer_games

 

50 Jaguar vs 162 3DO USA releases

50 (?) vs 263 worldwide releases

 

That figure puts the Jaguar in the league of the 32X, even below the TG16. That is a huge failure of a dedicated home console. 50 some games really puts things into perspective.

 

The 3DO being somewhere around 162 to 263 games, depending on included markets, puts it pretty close to the Sega Saturn and kinda the N64, which weren't that much of a failure honestly, the consoles are quite easy to come across. It wasn't until recently I took a closer look at the 3DO and honestly it's nowhere near the levels of failure seen in other consoles. The 3DO is a success compared to the Jaguar.

 

But then, I own a 3DO and a big stack of CD-R games for it and no Jaguar, so I guess my interest is biased there.

 

And yes I know "50" Jaguar games is probably wrong, depends entirely where you put the goalposts between retail releases while the console was supported by Atari Corp. and homebrew games.

I'm well aware, but they were the most direct competition for each at the time. Both a 3DO and Jaguar are parts of my current collection, each of which I reacquired after getting rid of my initial collection that included both of those systems and way-too-many games and add-ons. The 3DO was an excellent system with a good software library (although oddly missing a few key genres, like SHMUPs, and very heavy on others like FPS games), but it ultimately was not a success by most metrics we typically judge systems. But yes, amongst the general systems of the era, like the CD-i, Jaguar, CD32, etc., it was the most mainstream success and arguably had the best overall game library. With that said, whether it's the CD-i, Jaguar, or most other underperforming systems/platforms, there can be a lot to like about them and enough good games to play to make the systems quite satisfying for those in the know. 

And you can just throw the TurboGrafx-16 talk right out in my opinion. While it wasn't exactly a rousing success in North America, it lived a long, fruitful life in Japan with an active commercial lifespan of 7 years in its PC Engine (and variations) form, selling over 5 million units worldwide. I'd say any system that sold under or around 2 million units is probably easy enough to classify a failure, especially post 1985, although that number has obviously crept up over time, with the Wii U's 13 million units (and "just" 782 games versus several thousand for its contemporaries) classifying it as a failure in the modern competitive environment.

 

The good thing for fans of the Jaguar in all of this is that despite its past commercial failings, there ARE a dedicated group of people who still actively support it, with no end in sight. And the fact that we may never see the Jaguar's "full promise/potential" delivered even through homebrew software doesn't really matter to its fans. They're getting regular game releases and that's more than enough to keep them satisfied. And while I'm no longer a particularly active buyer of most homebrews for any video game or computer platform these days, I do appreciate the handful of homebrews I reacquired for the Jaguar, particularly when it comes to the rotary stuff. That combined with a handful of select original releases, that's more than enough for me to justify having it in my collection. I personally don't need to keep chasing/hoping for that mythical finished game software that finally showcases the "raw power" of the Jaguar after 27+ years of attempts.

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9 hours ago, Bill Loguidice said:

And you can just throw the TurboGrafx-16 talk right out in my opinion. While it wasn't exactly a rousing success in North America, it lived a long, fruitful life in Japan with an active commercial lifespan of 7 years in its PC Engine (and variations) form, selling over 5 million units worldwide. I'd say any system that sold under or around 2 million units is probably easy enough to classify a failure, especially post 1985, although that number has obviously crept up over time, with the Wii U's 13 million units (and "just" 782 games versus several thousand for its contemporaries) classifying it as a failure in the modern competitive environment.

 

Yeah no, TG16 stays in the discussion. The PC Engine has absolutely nothing to do with the failure of the TG16 in the USA. It couldn't even clear 100 Turbo Chip games, with about 20 on CD-ROM2 and another 20 some on Super CD-ROM2. The card games were even region locked so you couldn't easily import games, not that imports have EVER been a major selling point for any console. The vast majority of people don't care about imports at all. The TG16 was its own system and its own failure, it did play a role in the eventual decline of NEC and Hudson Soft's home console effort.

 

The PC Engine is a success, it even did better than the Japanese Mega Drive. That is true. The TG16 had nothing to do with that success and it ended up costing NEC and Hudson a ton of money.

 

Also, that Wii U figure is really flawed. That is counting all retail and digital game releases. For most of the past 10 years, retail games remained what people usually buy, digital has only recently come out of niche status.

 

According to this list (see below), the Wii U had only 162 USA releases on physical disc. That paints a far more accurate picture of the system's 13 million worldwide sales figure. The Wii U is Nintendo's worst selling home console, behind the NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii and Switch. Not counting the tabletop Virtual Boy which isn't strictly a home console as it officially supports batteries and has its own screen and speakers. 13 million puts the Wii U in the neighborhood of the Dreamcast and Saturn.

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EqWL5tfSUjJIxrHQFLdPDRaMUhqf0HqydPSVRgcIqmo/edit?usp=sharing

 

9 hours ago, Bill Loguidice said:

The good thing for fans of the Jaguar in all of this is that despite its past commercial failings, there ARE a dedicated group of people who still actively support it, with no end in sight. And the fact that we may never see the Jaguar's "full promise/potential" delivered even through homebrew software doesn't really matter to its fans. They're getting regular game releases and that's more than enough to keep them satisfied. And while I'm no longer a particularly active buyer of most homebrews for any video game or computer platform these days, I do appreciate the handful of homebrews I reacquired for the Jaguar, particularly when it comes to the rotary stuff. That combined with a handful of select original releases, that's more than enough for me to justify having it in my collection. I personally don't need to keep chasing/hoping for that mythical finished game software that finally showcases the "raw power" of the Jaguar after 27+ years of attempts. 

 

It's just a shame the consoles have gotten so overpriced in recent years. Even the CD-i is a hard system to find for under $300. The amount of upfront cost on a system one has never tried before does make a big difference in perception and willingness to give it a try. Going by the 50 some retail games, $300 for a Jaguar is really stiff and many of the games are very underwhelming. 3DOs can still be had around $100 - $150 in some cases, Japanese systems are very affordable and there's over 250 games worldwide for it with many great home computer ports and games that started on the 3DO.

 

Edited by Koopa64
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22 minutes ago, Koopa64 said:

Going by the 50 some retail games, $300 for a Jaguar is really stiff and many of the games are very underwhelming. 3DOs can still be had around $100 - $150 in some cases, Japanese systems are very affordable and there's over 250 games worldwide for it with many great home computer ports and games that started on the 3DO.

I imagine it's a lot easier to be interested in a failed machine if the upfront costs are just that of the core machine itself (even if slightly more expensive) and a way to flash the entire library of games than it is to get a Jaguar in hopes to spend less than $3,000 to try the entire library at some point. If anything, it suggests that there are more people interested in trying or playing the games on the Jaguar than there are those who are strictly collectors, whether those collectors are also players is irrelevant to the point.

 

Guessing it's going something like this:

 

Jaguar in 2015: No way to play the entire library of games easily on a single cart? Have to pay $80 just to play AvP? Screw that... that system sucks anyways.

 

Jaguar in 2020: I can put the entire library of games on a single SD and it's only $300? Sweet. Sign me up!

 

Certainly the homebrew developments have also played a role as well. The last 5-years have been quite tremendous in the way of homebrew activity and appears to only be growing.

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On 12/20/2020 at 1:37 PM, phoboz said:

There was a project to clone the Jaguar hardware on FPGA. The work was based on the real netlists from the Tom&Jerry chips, which were made public when the Jaguar was declared an open platform.

Had that also included the the Jaguar firmware/bios? (jagboot) Or just that development for Jaguar was then considered "open"?

 

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1 hour ago, bhall408 said:

Had that also included the the Jaguar firmware/bios? (jagboot) Or just that development for Jaguar was then considered "open"?

 

It was primarily focused on re-implementing the hardware. So if you mean if someone was to write a source code to supplement the bios, then I don't think so.

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