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How to Save the Atari Jaguar I'm not a programmer, so I can't comment much on the technical side of things,

but as a gamer I have some ways that I think the Jaguar could have improved it's fate. 1) Make it easier to develop for, work out the bugs, and try to court developers. I know that 80% of the thread has already been about this subject, but it still is worth repeating. A delay of 3-6 months would have allowed Atari to work out some of the more serious bugs with their system. Also, whoever suggested free dev kits was probably on the right track. 2) Make it CD based to begin with. I know that the remaining 20% of the thread has been about this, but it's also worth repeating. In addition to the added storage space for FMV (which really DID sell consoles back then, as bizzare as it seems now), CDs had the added cachet of being "futuristic"--cartridges were so last-gen, but CDs represented the shiny new future of gaming. The problems with low drive-speeds could have been worked out in future revisions of the console, or by partnering with another company--say, one that produced CD drives. Which leads us to the next idea... 3) Team up! Admittedly, by the time the Jaguar was in development, Atari didn't have many friends, especially in the US. Overseas, however, they hadn't made nearly as many enemies. Making an alliance with another company would have been a good choice for Atari; depending on the company, they could have gotten either titles, financial support, or hardware support for the Jaguar. What companies might have been willing to work with Atari? Well... 3a) Team up with Phillips Philips is remembered (in the gaming world, at least) for producing a console that was even more poorly regarded than the Jaguar: The CD-i. What isn't nearly as well remembered is that at the time, Philips was the world's largest producer of CD drives. If Atari had partnered with Philips to have a console that used Philips' CD drives and Atari's architecture, we could have gotten a CD based console for the same launch price that the Jaguar already had, plus support from a European company for overseas sales (in territories where the ST was still relatively popular). On the other hand, we could have gotten the Atari CD-i. This sort of thinking cuts both ways :) 3b) Team up with SNK At the same time that Atari was developing the Jaguar, SNK was developing the NeoGeo CD. The Neo-Geo CD had an incredible library, but was weighed down by it's slooooooooow 1x CD drive and a complete lack of any sort of advertising. But what if

they'd teamed up with Atari? The two companies teaming up is almost probable; the corporate headquarters of Atari and the US branch of SNK were, IIRC, across the street from one another, and they were presumably on friendly terms. I remember reading somewhere in this thread that the Jaguar was approximately as powerful as the Neo Geo, so there shouldn't have be many problems porting Neo Geo games (or at least the ones that existed ca. 1994) to the Jaguar, and teaming up with SNK would have ensured a steady supply of third-party titles for Atari. The Jaguar's 2x CD drive would have made most of the Neo Geo CD games much less tedious by cutting out the ridiculous load times between levels/fights. Imagine if our hypothetical CD-based Jaguar had launched with, say, The Art of Fighting (as well as Cybermorph) as a pack-in and had an arcade controller available at launch. The fate of the console might have been very, very different... (see 4b) 3c) Team up with NEC By the time the Jaguar was released, NEC had already released--and canceled--their own CD-based system: the TurboGrafx-CD/PC Engine CD. This left them with a huge stockpile of games (since the system had been quite successful in Japan) and no mechanism to distribute them overseas. Compared the Jaguar, the PCE-CD was extremely underpowered--indeed, the TurboGrafx-16 was only 16-bit in the same sense that the Jaguar was 64-bit--but that should have made it much easier to port games to the exponentially more powerful Jaguar. The biggest problem with the idea is that almost all PCE-CD games looked the same as their Hu-card counterparts (and indeed, most WERE the same save the addition of Red-book audio or a FMV into), which wouldn't have looked very good for showing off their "next generation" system. However, if a way were found to easily port games and NEC could be convinced to release their games as "budget" titles, the hypothetical CD-Jaguar could have had access to a library of over 50 titles...not counting the hundreds of third-party titles that NEC released for the PCE-CD in Japan. If nothing else, they could have considerably expanded their anemic launch library. 3d) Team up with Taito Around the time the Jaguar was being developed, Taito was also developing it's own console, the WOWOW. In addition to having a wacky name, it was intended to use CDs, download games through a Satellite connection (like the Sega Channel), and was presumably based off Taito's F3 system--a system that was based off the 68020--just like the CoJag. It was cancelled, presumably due to lack of support. But imagine if they'd teamed up with Atari; we could have gotten a 68020-based Jaguar, and Atari could have become the official distributor of the Bubble Bobble and Bust-a-Move series in the US, instead of Acclaim! Okay, that last team-up suggestion was pretty weak :) 4) Focus on it's strengths

Although it might not be obvious given all the hate it gets on the internet, the Jaguar was pretty good at some things. Unfortunately, none of those things involved polygonal graphics, which is what most of the games focused on and suffered for. There were two main areas that the Jaguar was good at that Atari should have picked up and focused on: 4a) First Person Shooters The Jaguar was good at FPSs. Even detractors admit that Alien vs Predator was a good game. The Jaguar had the best console version of Wolfenstein 3D, and even Doom, while not great in retrospect, was the best console version available at the time (and was the basis for the GBA port). In the years of the Jaguar's existence, a whole slew of well-regarded FPS came out--Heretic, Rise of the Triad, Duke Nukem 3D, Zero Tolerance, Marathon--all of which the Jaguar was powerful enough to handle (I mean, they ported Duke Nukem 3D to the Genesis, fer godsakes). Were I Atari, I would be buying up the rights left and right and starting work on (preferably exclusive) Jaguar ports for all these games. If the original Xbox taught us anything, it's that you can support a console primarily on FPSs. 4b) 2D Games Let's go back to 3b. Suppose that the CD-Jaguar came out with a reasonably arcadeperfect port of Art of Fighting, and received a steady stream of Neo Geo ports. The console attracts a lot of attention from fighting game fans and people who like Neo Geo games but not enough to pay $200 apiece for them. Atari manages to snag some other licenses too; a good looking port of Mortal Kombat II, some more Raiden games, Tyrian, etc.--in addition to the polygonal shooters that seemed to comprise a significant portion of their library. Then, The PlayStation and the Saturn are released. The CD-Jaguar obviously can't compete with these two juggernauts on the 3D front, so they decide to compete with them in an area that they can win, an area that, luckily for Atari, both companies are actively avoiding going into in the American market: 2D Both Sega and Sony's American branches had anti-2D policies for their consoles, but both consoles had huge libraries of 2D games that were released in Japan. The Jaguar was at least as powerful as the Playstation 2D-wise (I have no idea if it was more powerful than the Saturn; help, anyone?) so it could tap into a huge library of titles to port* that were being actively withheld from American distribution. While Sega and Sony battle it out over the mainstream, Atari manages keep afloat by tapping into the niche market of hardcore fighter and shmup fans who've been abandoned by the major companies, never making waves but remaining a constant presence until [GLORIOUS ATARI REVIVAL THAT EVERYONE HERE DREAMS ABOUT] This probably sounds like a pipe dream; and there's no way to tell if a dedicated 2D

console would ever make it in the mark--Oh wait, there is. The Neo Geo CD lasted nearly six years despite being arguably less successful than even the Jaguar. Hardcore shmup and fighting game fans are an obsessed breed; if a company were willing to cater to them they could enjoy some measure of success. Eventually, companies that wanted market exposure for their 2D titles in the US might start developing for the Jaguar as well as the Playstation and Saturn; can you imagine the Jaguar getting, say, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night? It could have happened. 5) Klax How do you release a console and not port your flagship franchise to it? * How hard would porting from the Playstation to the Jaguar be