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What's the most innovative gaming feature introduced on the Atari Jaguar?

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The Jaguar had a ton of potential; there's no debating that. Some argue Tom and Jerry still have never been fully utilized together to reach the console's max potential. And the VR would have been cool, but it didn't hit retail. The modem would've been great, but console modems are probably an innovation mostly tied to the Dreamcast, in terms of commercial distribution and trend setting. (Yes, I know about the 2600, Warner and its modem no one under 100 has touched)

 

But games like Alien Vs Predator certainly had some innovative gameplay ideas and mechanics. Is there anything in particular that was introduced with the Jaguar, and we still see today, or it set a trend? Just looking for "Jaguar positives."

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Most innovative feature?  For me it would have been the battery-less backup/saving built into the carts.


I don't believe any mass market console offered that...I believe SNES and N64 carts all used battery backup.  Unless I'm mistaken.

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51 minutes ago, cubanismo said:

I don't know if it counts as a gaming feature, but the VLM comes to mind.

VLM should definitely count since it's appeared on Nuon, Playstation and Xbox consoles since. I loved it then, and still do.

 

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I'm in the minority, but I think the keypad (and overlays) was a great feature that should have been used in more consoles.  It would have made for far better controls in PC ports like Sim City, Warcraft, etc.  I'm not sure how Syndicate controlled on the 3DO (I know it was terrible on the SegaCD and SNES), but it couldn't have been offered as many features as the Jaguar port.

 

Even games like Doom and Wolfenstein, with relatively simple controls, benefitted from direct weapon access on the Jag, thanks to the keypad.  No other port could offer that.

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43 minutes ago, agradeneu said:

object processor.

Maria in the 7800 is technically the first Object Processor, I think?

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56 minutes ago, CyranoJ said:

Maria in the 7800 is technically the first Object Processor, I think?

But can it do 64 bits?  

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12 hours ago, PFG 9000 said:

I'm in the minority, but I think the keypad (and overlays) was a great feature that should have been used in more consoles.  It would have made for far better controls in PC ports like Sim City, Warcraft, etc.  I'm not sure how Syndicate controlled on the 3DO (I know it was terrible on the SegaCD and SNES), but it couldn't have been offered as many features as the Jaguar port.

 

Even games like Doom and Wolfenstein, with relatively simple controls, benefitted from direct weapon access on the Jag, thanks to the keypad.  No other port could offer that.

Though I agree with you on liking the keypad (it worked well to translate certain games that were designed with a keyboard in mind), I don't think it qualifies as "innovative". Instead, it's more like a blast from the past, paying homage to previous controllers like the intelivision,  colecovision, and 5200. The jagpad was more like the last of its kind.

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I believe the Jaguar is the first home (non-portable) console that supported linking two consoles together.

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25 minutes ago, Zerosquare said:

I believe the Jaguar is the first home (non-portable) console that supported linking two consoles together.

 

The Neo Geo AES did. Oddly enough through the carts. There is gray area with the Genesis/MD with Zero Tolerance.

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1 hour ago, RollOut said:

Though I agree with you on liking the keypad (it worked well to translate certain games that were designed with a keyboard in mind), I don't think it qualifies as "innovative". Instead, it's more like a blast from the past, paying homage to previous controllers like the intelivision,  colecovision, and 5200. The jagpad was more like the last of its kind.

Have to agree with this point, as I (just my personal opinion) consider the keypad more a throwback to previous generations, than an innovation.

26 minutes ago, Zerosquare said:

I believe the Jaguar is the first home (non-portable) console that supported linking two consoles together.

Was this with/for Ultra Vortek (95)? I've never met another Atari Jaguar owner in person, so never actually tested linking them up. (I guess I could hook up a couple of my Jaguars together. But it feels dirty; West Virginia dirty.) Does Sega Channel (94) count for the Genesis as linking together? I feel like Japan probably had networked consoles before anyone else, maybe.

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21 hours ago, Leonard Smith said:

Most innovative feature?  For me it would have been the battery-less backup/saving built into the carts.


I don't believe any mass market console offered that...I believe SNES and N64 carts all used battery backup.  Unless I'm mistaken.

Sega Genesis was using battery less saving with it's carts such as Sonic the hedgehog 3. I think the tech is similar to the jag. 

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5 hours ago, RollOut said:

Though I agree with you on liking the keypad (it worked well to translate certain games that were designed with a keyboard in mind), I don't think it qualifies as "innovative". Instead, it's more like a blast from the past, paying homage to previous controllers like the intelivision,  colecovision, and 5200. The jagpad was more like the last of its kind.

Totally true.  But I can grasp at straws if I want to.  :)

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4 minutes ago, PFG 9000 said:

But I can grasp at straws if I want to.  :)

A popular way to pass the time for most Jaguar enthusiasts.

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4 hours ago, Punisher5.0 said:
4 hours ago, Zerosquare said:

I believe the Jaguar is the first home (non-portable) console that supported linking two consoles together.

 

The Neo Geo AES did. Oddly enough through the carts. There is gray area with the Genesis/MD with Zero Tolerance.

 

Various consoles got 3rd-party or add-on support for modems, links, etc., but it was a native feature in the Jaguar. You needed a little adapter to connect them, but all the logic to handle it is built in to the Jerry chip. I agree that was probably a first.

 

4 hours ago, Jag64 said:

Was this with/for Ultra Vortek (95)?

 

Doom was the only commercial release to use the JagLink I believe, and it was buggy for various reasons discussed elsewhere on the forum. Ultra Vortek uses the same hardware on the Jaguar but also relies on an external modem to set up the link. In practice, the only game worth playing in this mode is Battlesphere IMHO, which is really fun.

 

4 hours ago, Jag64 said:

I've never met another Atari Jaguar owner in person, so never actually tested linking them up.

 

There haven't been any Jagfests since I got into the Jaguar. I don't know if this is because I got here right when COVID did, lack of interest these days, absorption into bigger retro-gaming conventions, or both, but I for one would love the chance to play some networked games and don't care to share the fun with a bunch of NES/Genesis/etc. superfans. My brother and I played a few months ago, and it was a lot of fun. Plus, imagine the fun of arguing about what could have saved the Jaguar or whether GPU-in-main is critical to good gameplay, but in person and with more beer involved! Can't beat that.

 

Also, I was looking at the 8bit hub the other day, and was wondering how tolerant the existing games would be of having their JagLink/CatNet networking tunneled through an IP network, especially a relatively high-latency one like the internet. I saw a few others have tried using generic serial-to-ethernet adapters for this in the past, but has anyone seriously attempted something like this? It would be cool to have a serial-to-ethernet adapter just for the Jaguar that supported:

 

-A configuration mechanism available on a cartridge/CD or skunkboard (I guess not GD since it uses the serial lines) program that could be used to configure the device and save network settings on it locally so they would persist when not using the program.

 

-Default to a mode where it emulated a JagLink and/or CatNet connection and established a link to a pre-configured remote address as client or server, for compatibility with Battlesph^H^H^H^H^H existing games. Perf here might not be great depending on how the networking code works in the games, or might not work at all. They probably assume a more or less fixed-latency connection and don't do any predictive updates or other stuff networked games have relied on since ~Quakeworld, but it'd be interesting to see how good/bad it actually worked in practice.

 

-Provided an API for modern games to include multiplayer using something more like a regular TCP/IP stack interface so they could provide actual decent perf for modern internet multiplayer, have server browsers, etc.

 

-Bonus: Emulate the Jaguar modem for Ultra Vortek. I assume it just uses some regular AT command interface, so probably not a big incremental effort after emulating a JagLink.

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Posted (edited)

Has there ever been a peripheral modelled after bathroom fittings since? I guess it never caught on.

Edited by prog99
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16 minutes ago, prog99 said:

Has there ever been a peripheral modelled after bathroom fittings since? I guess it never caught on.

1712070770_JaguarBootupWTFBro-Small.gif.52d43514b37c7571f5c9ee0047fc9d69.gif

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On 4/10/2022 at 3:20 PM, PFG 9000 said:

Totally true.  But I can grasp at straws if I want to.  :)

It's only their because the I'll fated Atari Stealth had those controllers developed for it. And Atari was like, good enough for them, the later version 6 button controller, was to this day one of my favorite controllers.

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Posted (edited)

Gaming innovations (not so much about the architecture of the hardware):

 

- first entry for the AVP franchise as an horror 3D action game

 

- first Tempest Reboot/Remake

 

- first fully shaded 3D game on a console (Cybermorph)

 

- first networkable 3D game on a home console (Doom), first over 8 players

 

- first home console with 3D capabilties/games under 300 $

 

- first Mech Action game in a polygonal 3D game world on a home console (Iron Soldier)

 

- first 3D action game with destructable enviroments on a home console (Iron Soldier)

 

- first showing of RAYMAN on a home console

 

- first VR system/game for a home console (not released)

 

.- first modem for a home console (not released)

 

- use of the cotroller numpad as "hotkeys" for simulation/action games

Edited by agradeneu
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Still grasping a little, but that's a long list, and deserves an entire box of straws.

db5ead8b-deb9-4bda-bc59-e577ce552920_1.886cfde576ef0493413c80f07232b185.thumb.jpeg.bb9873ae46eb6166476bf277a5223d90.jpeg

 

*And just so you know about the modem, because someone, somewhere will counter with this - GameLine for the Atari 2600 was technically a modem. This, of course, was more similar to SEGA Channel for the Genesis than SegaNet for the Dreamcast, but packets, data, etc. etc. ... modem.

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Its a fair list, what you would actually do with the SNES as well, e.g. first mode 7 game, rotating backgrounds, shoulder buttons  etc.

 

For innovation, it does not matter if it was *technically the first* and in the most vague sense possible,  rather how it was used to create unique gaming expierence.

 

So, technically, the OP of the Jag was not the first OP ever in history , but it was unique with it's features like CRY and its potential to create gorgeous graphics in 4 bit, 8 bit and 16 bit color, flexibel sprite sizes and so on.

 

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Some of the things on this list are fair, but others are really stretching it. I mean, if you allow things like "first showing of Rayman" then the bigger consoles would have literally hundreds of entries, rendering such exercises pointless.

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I think first 3D Polygon mech game on a console goes to Vortex on SNES which was released 3 months before iron soldier.

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