Jump to content
Peter Cernuska

Atari Jaguar version 1.5

Atari Jaguar version 1.5  

33 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you like the idea of Atari Jaguar version 1.5 project?

    • Yes
      11
    • No
      22


Recommended Posts

Hi folks! 

 

I'm old Atari fan since about 1988 and I have read recently an article that if Jag games would be highly optimized and some hw constraints/bugs would be removed from the Jag then it could outperform even the PSX. 

 

I would just wonder if somebody would be willing to take that task these days and prove the concept by removing all the hw issues and creating working prototype ideally with simple game demo to show its true potential and maybe it would kickstart the new era for Jag by producing and selling fixed Jag version that would be much more powerful than the original one but not by adding more powerful chips in it but quite the opposite by just fixing the hw issues and polishing it overall and maybe even by removing the 68k chip entirely as Carmack suggested.

 

And if there would be sufficient interest from community about such revised version of Jag then there would be space to start producing and selling games that would be on par with PSX or even better ones and that would spark just more interest about Jag and create an endless loop like snowball effect that would help to prolong Jag lifespan and make it thrive even more.

 

These days by using the crowdfunding option such project would be entirely feasible if I look at how vibrant the Jag community is and if someone would be interested and capable enough to take and deliver that job after first some research would be done and the result would be that there is enough interest from the community to undergo such daunting task.

 

Of course it would be more a hobby project that would just cover the costs and maybe could even make some extra money as to hw devs so to game devs too rather than expecting some serious money out of it.

 

But if anybody would be interested about such project or any other interesting project within or outside of realm of the Jag or Atari that would be innovative enough and had a sufficient potential to invest the time and effort in it especially but not mandatory if it could make some serious money too then I could help with marketing and business side of things cause I used to be quite successful in sales in the past.

 

So what do you guys think about such project? Do you think it could be feasible these days and there would be sufficient interest from the community? 

 

If anybody would be interested about such project or have other interesting project/s that would need the help on marketing or business side of things then let me know and I will gladly give you at least some advices if not get involved into the project directly or more actively.

 

Thanks for your responses!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it is compatible with the original library, I would support this by buying one- after it is built and retail ready- depending on price.

 

Until then, no. I've seen too many similar projects come and go with nothing to show.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I have read and witnessed from their game libraries, it would take a lot more than removing the hardware bugs for the Jaguar to match the PlayStation when it comes to pushing textured mapped polygons with lightning and transparency effects...

When it comes to pushing sprites it may have a better chance to match the Playstation, which for some reason is an underrated console when it comes to 2d, by gamers...

 

About the poll, my answer would be NO... I would rather see more support for the real Jaggy

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Peter Cernuska said:

and maybe even by removing the 68k chip entirely as Carmack suggested

Obviously this would make most, if not all existing Jaguar games incompatible with that new version of the Jaguar, as I would assume that every Jaguar program at least has one initial instruction to be executed by the 68k.

 

I also think that this is a lazy response to not having proper load balancing, because in Asteroite it works perfectly fine to have one high color sprite layer (some sprites cover the whole screen), 2 indexed color background layers in addition to playing mod music, using both RISC processors, and using the 68k. This is because the DPS internal memory is used to buffer sound data, thus reducing the bus bandwidth significantly. That's probably the reason they added local memory to the RISC processors, so you don't have to shuffle every byte around on the bus, all the time.

 

So I would say that many of the original Jaguar's problems is that you have to manage a lot of the tricky stuff in software, which of course is an obstacle for making great games. However, I don't think the solution is to throw out one of the components, because throwing out for example the blitter would also reduce the bus load of a program that doesn't perform proper load balancing.

 

The later statement by Atari that the 68k was just there to read the controllers is contradictory, as the controllers are actually read using the DSP. The developer documentation says that "Jaguar is a custom chip set primarily intended to be the heart of a very high performance games / leisure computer. It may also be used as a graphics accelerator in more complex systems, and applied to work station and business uses." Thus every such system would rely of having a main CPU, e.g. you don't execute the programs primarily from the graphics card on your PC.

 

The main CPU can be any CPU of your choice in such system, but obviously Atari chose the 68k, and now in order to ensure backward compatibility such main CPU must also be present (or at least emulated) in any new system. Just like even modern PCs has to be able to execute 8-bit, 8086 code (be it in hardware, or using emulation).

Edited by phoboz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, we don't need our already small user base fragmented any more, especially with an incompatible device.

 

If you want to do things like this, I suggest looking at the Falcon where it doesn't seem to matter if only 3 people on the planet can run your app ;)

 

Wait for a MiSTer FPGA core.

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, CyranoJ said:

No, we don't need our already small user base fragmented any more, especially with an incompatible device.

I fully agree, it would make more sense to attract additional, competent software developers into the scene.

 

Although there are already some very competent developers present, for example you @CyranoJ, and @DrTypo, I still think the homebrew scene can go even further. @WAVE 1 GAMES has also been in the scene for a while, with some very nice looking games. Recently I have seen indications that other competent game developers, like @LordKraken is picking up an interest to develop a game for the Atari Jaguar. 

 

Good artists, like @agradeneu has already displayed his skill, both for Gravitic Mines, and with his contributions to King of Edom. I also want to praise Krauser for his excellent art, and music contributions to Asteroite, and @SlidellMan for his stylish and clever ideas to that game as well.

 

These are the people I have been in contact with, but please tell me if you think that I have forgotten someone?

(because I am fairly new to the Jaguar scene myself)

 

If we are talking about 3D engines, I tried Fight for Life, and was very impressed with the graphics engine, and how smooth it runs. I haven't seen something like this developed by the homebrew scene yet, so I think that there is still some way to go there. Unfortunately, the gameplay itself leaves very much to be desired, so really, this game would have benefited to have a more professional gameplay programmer involved. (like the ones I mention above)

 

 

Edited by phoboz
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Goochman said:

Didnt Atari essentially make a Jag 1.5 with the arcade hardware?

Yes, and there is also one prototype of the successor to the Jaguar with larger RAM, more powerful 680x0 CPU. The next generation TOM chip even had a heatsink for cooling. It is also supposed to be backward compatible with exising Jaguar games.

Edited by phoboz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is also an FPGA implementation of the Tom&Jerry chipset. Which is based on the actual netlists of the Atari Jaguar chips.

https://github.com/Torlus/JagNetlists

 

Someone tried to get it working on the MiSTer FPGA platform, but there were issues in achiving the required bus bandwith on a generic purpose FPGA.

So this may need very careful routing, and setup of pre-defined timing constraints to work properly.

Edited by phoboz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, CyranoJ said:

Wait for a MiSTer FPGA core.

Unfortunately I don't think this will happen anytime soon, due to the above statement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll probably regret this, but I'm in a good mood. So let's assume than the original poster is serious and rational, unlike the many people who have floated similar ideas before.

 

 

To sum it up, as someone with more than ten years experience in developing that sort of stuff (both in hobby and professional contexts):

 

- don't trust magazine articles ; lots of them are somewhere between "partly wrong" to "complete fantasy". Even with the bugs fixed, the Jaguar would be significantly less powerful than the PSX.

 

- removing the 68k means that your Jaguar 1.5 would be incompatible with 100% of the existing games.

 

- as CyranoJ mentioned, the community is small already. We don't need more fragmentation.

 

- games with the level of quality you're expecting require professional development teams, with matching salaries.

 

- and the elephant in the room: like others before you, you're not realizing how huge and complex the technical part of this project would be. Compared to this, the business part is easy.

 

 

If you still want to go ahead, I only have one piece of advice:

 

Forget about the business for now. Find someone:

- with experience in developing similar projects (ask for proof of actual custom-designed hardware and firmware of similar complexity)

- with experience in low-level retrogaming technology in general, and the Jaguar in particular (again, ask for proof. Putting an emulator on a Raspberry Pi doesn't qualify)

- who's interested in the project

- whose prices are compatible with your expected budget

 

If (not when -- if) you find someone matching all of these criteria... then you can start thinking about market research, fund raising, etc. Not the other way around. Otherwise, your project is doomed from the start, like its predecessors.

Edited by Zerosquare
  • Like 10
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, cubanismo said:

I keep waiting for @ataritiger to show up here and offer to form a dynamic duo of sorts.

He doubtless would have if he hadn't been banned. Lol

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the next gen of consoles are hard to buy  why not make our own versions. I have some breadboards and LEDs . How hard can it be to make a PS5.5 or Xbox1.5 Series X. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Seedy1812 said:

As the next gen of consoles are hard to buy  why not make our own versions. I have some breadboards and LEDs . How hard can it be to make a PS5.5 or Xbox1.5 Series X. 

Could probably get a few Red Hot sponsors for an XXXboXXX :)

  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If only there was some way in 2021 to play existing games on real hardware that outperform those of the PSX.

 

Leia-Help-me-Obi-Wan.jpeg

Help me Jaguar 1.5, you're my only hope.

  • Haha 4

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.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
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.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...