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The Atari Jaguar had Arcade level 2D, missed potential.

ZoolNL

Member
heres your controller, bro

I’m probably the only one, but I just love this controller. Only missing L and R-buttons
 

Ozzie666

Member
Just some random thoughts for this amazing, epic, never ending diatribe we are all witnessing. It's really impressive.

Okay, how many people in this thread actually owned an ST or god forbid a Falcon? How many have actually touched a Falcon?

ClickBOOM's Amiga port of Quake required a lot of extra juice, 68020 was the minimum spec but required an upgraded graphics board. It really required 68060 and tons of ram. Where the falcon's DSP and FPU's enough to match an Amiga on steroids?

Also anyone else really want to get a Jaguar now, just for fun?
Truth time, I have a soft spot for the 32X and it's untapped potential. I had more enjoyment out of that than the Jaguar. But I'm first to admit that potential was not great.

Atari released a 6 face button version of their controller, that's amazing.

Wasn't the Jaguar hardware flawed, broken, bugged and bottlenecked and never fixed? Causing grief for developers?

Amiga CD32, anyone actually own one? It was utter crap, even with the AGA chip set. The only redeeming feature was the additional buttons on the joy pad. But the game experience was pretty much the same as an A1200. Sega CD, Turbo CD were better CD experiences. I doubt that would have ever have changed if the system actually lived. There was no saving that trash, it was quickly exposed for the fraud it was after die hard Amiga lovers got suckered into buying one. AGA, limited ram, CD bandwidth, it was going nowhere.

VDP2 is for backgrounds, why are we still debating this? Every source you check, it's very clear what it does. Let's not move the goal posts.

I'd like to see an example of the Jaguar running circles around the competition for a 2D game from CD-ROM and see how it compares. Is there any such game I can go check out?.
 
Strange how someone is claiming I made an argument they themselves made.
Then...nothing.
That was common sentiment at the time, they realy messed up on that.

The controller gets a lot of crap but I thought it was fairly comfortable and forward thinking. Yes, it looks like an old cordless phone with the buttons but the idea was that you put overlays on the controller and it basically turns it into a keyboard or gives you an incredible amount of options. For instance, you slap this on while playing DOOM and you have instant access to all of your weapons.



Sure it's not needed for every game and the controller does look like silly if you don't have overlays but otherwise, kinda brilliant.

Some games didn't have overlaps, but could use to turn a camera, or to access a menu, a map, change modes, it was intended to allow for more complex games without having to limit yourself to 3 (or 6) buttons.

It was a good idea, but it was poorly communicated by Atari. You usually had to buy a game first to learn if any of those buttons were useful or if there was an overlay if they were.

The commercials barely touched on the keypad.

If Atari had a bit more money to support fixing some HW bugs before they finalised the HW and then to produce enough models, it might have had a better chance.

But if they spent money on fixing the hardware bugs, would they have enough money to produce more consoles?

Honestly, i think Ataris biggest mistake was not partnering with a brand that was known for making consumer electronics to design the system, and had them manufacture them too. They also needed people to create tools to allow for easier development much earlier than they did. They had the guys who made checkered flag make the tools.

Yeah, they made AVP too, but while that's a good game it's almost entirely sprites and runs worse than DOOM and Wolfenstein by a mile. They were just lucky they could use the horror game excuse to have gamers sweep that under the rug lol.

If anything they should have have paid John Carmack to make the tools given Wolf3D and Doom. Those are not polygonal 3D, but his team seemed capable of making use out of the Jaguars difficult hardware.
 
Yes. Once PS1 and Saturn were revealed there was no reason for anyone else to buy a Jaguar. Which led to it being discontinued the year after PS1 released in North America.

The Jaguar was already finished before those two were ever a factor, Atari ran out of money to market their games and consoles, or produce them, which they never had money to do in the first place, and officially called it quits in Jan 1996.

Wasn't the Jaguar hardware flawed, broken, bugged and bottlenecked and never fixed? Causing grief for developers?

Yes, but not for sprites.

Amiga CD32, anyone actually own one? It was utter crap, even with the AGA chip set. The only redeeming feature was the additional buttons on the joy pad. But the game experience was pretty much the same as an A1200. Sega CD, Turbo CD were better CD experiences.

Big problem with it is that many of the games were just lazy ports that didn't change the controls with the CD32 controller in mind. Some games didn't use more than one or two buttons, up to jump, and so on. Commodore didn't actually have a plan in place, or a quality assurance team so people just dumped OCS games on a CD.

CD32/AGA games in some cases did, but the transition to the CD32 was poorly thought out. Commodore did rush it out so it isn't really shocking games didn't take advantage of it, but considering their life hinged on the thing you would think they'd have prepared ahead of time. Of course, making a console based on AGA had it's own problems. They practically handed media over to PC with that one, also no chunky.

I'd like to see an example of the Jaguar running circles around the competition for a 2D game from CD-ROM and see how it compares. Is there any such game I can go check out?.

"from CD-ROM" you mean the jaguar CD?

PS1, but most games on both are FMV. There are only 2 games that can even be compared on the sprite front.

Primary Rage is less colorful, is missing sprites, had cut animations, and had inconsistent frame rates on the PS1 version compared to the jaguar. it also sometimes had to load sprites which can cause some small freezes and you can hear the Playstation getting the data from the disc. However, both the Jaguar CD and PS1 have 2x drives so I'm curious why the PlayStation version would need to load in assets. The only advantage is that the arenas are zoomed, and the sprites are larger on the PS1 version.

The issue with that is, you can't really compare the two, the Jaguar version based on the 3DO port, the 3DO does not have better 2D capability than the PS1. The PS1 also has the longest loading times (generally not just sprites and assets) than any other CD port of the game even though ALL the CD ports use 2X drives, So I can't really say the Jag CD version is better if it's based on the 3DO port, which is worse at 2D than the PS1, the PS1 port is likely just lazy.

<>
The only other (and better) example left that doesn't raise as many questions is Baldies, where the Jaguar port was rushed and is the original, while the PS1 and PC version where "finished" although they are practically the same game.

PS1 version came out 3 years after the Jag CD version in Japan, and nearly 8 years later in NA.

The Jaguar version can handle more moving objects placed on one screen than the PS1 version, which will either slow down or stop for a second and continue. Several of the sprites that move in the PS1 version are missing frames of animation and to cover that up they just speed up the animation cycle, and it looks weird.

So not many examples of sprites on the Jag CD, that were ported on PS1. Nothing more than 4MB cartridges max for most Jaguar games. But they were able to put a lot into those 4 and 2MBs (Super Burnout for example, Rayman etc.), it makes me wonder how many 2D games on the PS1 and Sat could just be put in a cartridge without the large video and audio. Rockman and Forte on the SNES was 2MB and that uses the same engine as MM8 and X4 so if you change the audio to the typical SNES audio and removed the FMVS it may actually fit.

Iron Soldier 2 was a Jaguar CD game of a few hundred MBs, and they released a version later that fit the game in a 2MB cartridge, and it was nearly identical. Makes me wonder how many 2D games actually needed a CD for the actual game itself.
 

Ozzie666

Member
I’m probably the only one, but I just love this controller. Only missing L and R-buttons

Atari thought they were still fighting Intellivsion and Coleco based on that controller design. As funny as it looks, I can admit, it actually wasn't to bad and functioned well. Surprisingly. But that set up should have stayed in the 80's.
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
I’m probably the only one, but I just love this controller. Only missing L and R-buttons

The Jaguar controller is much better than it’s reputation. It’s comfortable to hold, features some good ergonomics, the d-pad and buttons are smooth and responsive. I think most critics have never held one and just can’t get past the keypad. I think what Atari Corp needed were more games that demonstrated what the keypad could do and why it’s essential. More ST/Anita games would have been the best option. But there just wasn’t enough time. The system really only had one year (1994) to shine before Sony and Sega arrived to steal all the attention.

Obviously, what the Jag needed was more quality software. T2K, AvP, Iron Soldier and Doom were great showpieces, NBA Jam TE, Brutal Sports Football and Sensible Soccer were great sports games, and Super Burnout really showed off how good racing games could be if drawn in that “super scaler” style. Atari really needed Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. But then you’d run into problems with the original joypad. Maybe they should have shipped the pro controller at the start?

Ah, well. The truth is that Jaguar only had that small window of 1993-96 to shine, after which the main Gen-5 consoles would arrive and take over. Atari’s plan should have been to concentrate on quality software, then retire the Jag after ‘96 and survive as a software publisher. Too bad the Tramiel Family was in charge.

Anyway, bottom line is that the Jag controller is actually pretty good, and we should all be playing Tempest 2000, which is just about the greatest videogame ever made.
 

Agent X

Member
I’m probably the only one, but I just love this controller. Only missing L and R-buttons

The Jaguar controller is much better than it’s reputation. It’s comfortable to hold, features some good ergonomics, the d-pad and buttons are smooth and responsive. I think most critics have never held one and just can’t get past the keypad.

I agree with both of you The Jaguar controller was quite comfortable. People who have only seen it in pictures and never used it think it's some awfully bulky monstrosity. In fact, it's ergonomically designed, and the bottom side is contoured so that your fingers curl around slightly as you cradle it, much like modern PlayStation/Xbox controllers. If you can visualize a PlayStation controller, and imagine that there was a numeric keypad in between the two handles, then you might have a better idea of what a Jaguar controller is like.

The only real drawback to the original controller was the relatively low number of readily accessible buttons without having to resort to the keypad (which meant taking one of your hands off of either the D pad or the face buttons). The SNES had six buttons, the Genesis had just released a six-button controller of their own (up from three buttons on the original controller), and even the newly released 3DO had five buttons. Atari rectified this oversight nearly two years later with their ProController, which added three face buttons (X, Y, and Z) and two shoulder buttons (L and R).



One interesting thing about this controller that some people might not know is that the added X, Y, Z, L, and R buttons are not truly new functions, but simply remapped buttons from the numeric keypad. X is 9, Y is 8, Z is 7, L is 4, and R is 6. This means that some earlier games that preceded the ProController's release could still benefit from the added buttons. Some later games had control schemes that were designed with the ProController layout in mind, while still offering an alternate control mapping for people who were still using the original controller.

The only real problem is that the ProController was released so late--around the same time that the PlayStation came out in the US. It would have been nice to have this controller a year earlier, or better yet, right at the system's release (possibly with X, Y, Z, L, and R being distinct functions).

Atari’s plan should have been to concentrate on quality software, then retire the Jag after ‘96 and survive as a software publisher.

That seemed to be the management's intention in early 1996, as they were planning to create games for PlayStation, Saturn, and PC, while gradually winding down on the Jaguar (although they had a next-generation Jaguar 2 system in development). However, when Sam Tramiel suffered a heart attack, his father Jack Tramiel took control, and decided to exit the video game market completely as Atari engaged in a reverse merger with a hard drive manufacturer.
 

Havoc2049

Member
Just some random thoughts for this amazing, epic, never ending diatribe we are all witnessing. It's really impressive.

Okay, how many people in this thread actually owned an ST or god forbid a Falcon? How many have actually touched a Falcon?

ClickBOOM's Amiga port of Quake required a lot of extra juice, 68020 was the minimum spec but required an upgraded graphics board. It really required 68060 and tons of ram. Where the falcon's DSP and FPU's enough to match an Amiga on steroids?

Also anyone else really want to get a Jaguar now, just for fun?
Truth time, I have a soft spot for the 32X and it's untapped potential. I had more enjoyment out of that than the Jaguar. But I'm first to admit that potential was not great.

Atari released a 6 face button version of their controller, that's amazing.

Wasn't the Jaguar hardware flawed, broken, bugged and bottlenecked and never fixed? Causing grief for developers?

Amiga CD32, anyone actually own one? It was utter crap, even with the AGA chip set. The only redeeming feature was the additional buttons on the joy pad. But the game experience was pretty much the same as an A1200. Sega CD, Turbo CD were better CD experiences. I doubt that would have ever have changed if the system actually lived. There was no saving that trash, it was quickly exposed for the fraud it was after die hard Amiga lovers got suckered into buying one. AGA, limited ram, CD bandwidth, it was going nowhere.

VDP2 is for backgrounds, why are we still debating this? Every source you check, it's very clear what it does. Let's not move the goal posts.

I'd like to see an example of the Jaguar running circles around the competition for a 2D game from CD-ROM and see how it compares. Is there any such game I can go check out?.
I was an Atari ST user back in the day and bought a Jaguar at launch. I originally had a 1040STf, then upgraded to a 1040STE. I almost jumped on the Falcon bandwagon back in like 1995, when C-Lab was manufacturing the Falcon, as my local Atari computer dealer had them in stock. (one of the last Atari computer dealers left in the US). Falcon's were still spendy. A C-Lab Falcon with 4MB of RAM and an internal 20 MB HD was like $1299. A fully decked out Falcon with 14 MB RAM and 80 MB internal HD was like $1799. I did mess around with Falcon's at my local Atari Computer User Group meetings, but nothing beyond that. My better judgment kicked in and I joined the Wintel computer kids, as the days of Commodore and Atari were over.

I still have a 65XE w/XF-551 disk drive and 1040STE (w/4MB RAM, SC1224 monitor, 60 MB Supra HD) set up in my computer room. I have a pretty large Atari 8-bit and ST boxed game and software collection. I also still have two Jags (for Jag-Link Doom and Battlesphere), Jag CD, two Pro-Controllers and a complete retail Jag/Jag CD collection, along with a bunch of home brews. I also have an Atari 2600/5200/7800/XEGS and a Lynx and all kinds of Atari swag and junk.. Lol

Here is my Jag and STE:

 

Ozzie666

Member
I was an Atari ST user back in the day and bought a Jaguar at launch. I originally had a 1040STf, then upgraded to a 1040STE. I almost jumped on the Falcon bandwagon back in like 1995, when C-Lab was manufacturing the Falcon, as my local Atari computer dealer had them in stock. (one of the last Atari computer dealers left in the US). Falcon's were still spendy. A C-Lab Falcon with 4MB of RAM and an internal 20 MB HD was like $1299. A fully decked out Falcon with 14 MB RAM and 80 MB internal HD was like $1799. I did mess around with Falcon's at my local Atari Computer User Group meetings, but nothing beyond that. My better judgment kicked in and I joined the Wintel computer kids, as the days of Commodore and Atari were over.

I still have a 65XE w/XF-551 disk drive and 1040STE (w/4MB RAM, SC1224 monitor, 60 MB Supra HD) set up in my computer room. I have a pretty large Atari 8-bit and ST boxed game and software collection. I also still have two Jags (for Jag-Link Doom and Battlesphere), Jag CD, two Pro-Controllers and a complete retail Jag/Jag CD collection, along with a bunch of home brews. I also have an Atari 2600/5200/7800/XEGS and a Lynx and all kinds of Atari swag and junk.. Lol

Here is my Jag and STE:


I know people joke about the Jaguar and how it looks like a toilet bowl, but I really do like the look of the console. The 6 button pad, two of them! nice.
The ST is a thing of beauty, but I think the XEGS or whatever is even better looking and a neat set-up to continue the 8 bit line.

Out of curiosity - your Atari 8 bit games, do a lot of the originals contain the C64 version on the front and the Atari on the back? Such an odd early 80's thing.
 
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Havoc2049

Member
I know people joke about the Jaguar and how it looks like a toilet bowl, but I really do like the look of the console. The 6 button pad, two of them! nice.
The ST is a thing of beauty, but I think the XEGS or whatever is even better looking and a neat set-up to continue the 8 bit line.

Out of curiosity - your Atari 8 bit games, do a lot of the originals contain the C64 version on the front and the Atari on the back? Such an odd early 80's thing.
Oh ya, I have a bunch of C64/Atari flippy-floppy releases. Epyx and Datasoft did it a lot. SSI even had a few Atari/Apple II flippy-floppy releases.

 

Havoc2049

Member
Here is a cool article with Carmack talking about the strengths and weaknesses of the Jaguar hardware.

Thea Realm Fighters, an unreleased Mortal Kombat type fighting game looked pretty slick on the Jag. Part of the cast was from Mortal Kombat. It would have been High Voltage's fourth Jaguar title and it looks like they were getting the hardware down. It's sad it didn't get released, as they said the game was about 90% complete and was shown at the 1995 E3.



I
 

Redneckerz

Those long posts don't cover that red neck boy
Just some random thoughts for this amazing, epic, never ending diatribe we are all witnessing. It's really impressive.

Okay, how many people in this thread actually owned an ST or god forbid a Falcon? How many have actually touched a Falcon?

ClickBOOM's Amiga port of Quake required a lot of extra juice, 68020 was the minimum spec but required an upgraded graphics board. It really required 68060 and tons of ram. Where the falcon's DSP and FPU's enough to match an Amiga on steroids?
Actually never, but i am glad you are saying the same thing in regards to Quake - A 020 wouldn't really cut it and its basically a 060 game (or a very fast 040 iteration)

A 030 + DSP either needs some modifications to the rendering to render through DSP or that combo is still too slow.
Amiga CD32, anyone actually own one? It was utter crap, even with the AGA chip set. The only redeeming feature was the additional buttons on the joy pad. But the game experience was pretty much the same as an A1200. Sega CD, Turbo CD were better CD experiences. I doubt that would have ever have changed if the system actually lived. There was no saving that trash, it was quickly exposed for the fraud it was after die hard Amiga lovers got suckered into buying one. AGA, limited ram, CD bandwidth, it was going nowhere.
Some saving grace: It can run standard CD's just fine. Meaning people have created compilation disks with patches to make then CD32 native (Earok), which is honestly kind of impressive. That alone makes the CD32 go from rather useless to a pretty darn good machine in terms of replayability.
Strange how someone is claiming I made an argument they themselves made.
Far as i can tell you are the one saying the Falcon could run Quake. I mean, i can literally screenshot that exact statement. You will say its out of context or ignore that ive conceded that you weren't saying that Quake 2 could be a direct port, but everything else is just the way it is.
 
Obviously, what the Jag needed was more quality software. T2K, AvP, Iron Soldier and Doom were great showpieces, NBA Jam TE, Brutal Sports Football and Sensible Soccer were great sports games, and Super Burnout really showed off how good racing games could be if drawn in that “super scaler” style. Atari really needed Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. But then you’d run into problems with the original joypad. Maybe they should have shipped the pro controller at the start?

Ah, well. The truth is that Jaguar only had that small window of 1993-96 to shine, after which the main Gen-5 consoles would arrive and take over. Atari’s plan should have been to concentrate on quality software, then retire the Jag after ‘96 and survive as a software publisher. Too bad the Tramiel Family was in charge.
That seemed to be the management's intention in early 1996, as they were planning to create games for PlayStation, Saturn, and PC, while gradually winding down on the Jaguar (although they had a next-generation Jaguar 2 system in development).

The issue with a lot of these ideas, some of which would have improved the systems reputation like actually releasing games like Mortal Kombat 3 which they were supposed to have, is that none of it would have really matter if Atari only had 250,000 Jaguars to sell in 3 years. That's not even touching on the games, look at these low numbers on this chart:

https://content.invisioncic.com/r322239/monthly_05_2016/post-3404-0-50118900-1463543063.png

If I was an Atari executive, these numbers would have scared the shit out of me lol. This goes beyond just being a Tramiel problem.

BTW, this gives some guidance as to how expensive console gaming was becoming, By April 1st, 1995 Atari collected $13 million in software profits but it wasn't enough to keep them afloat, even with the other new games coming out soon like Rayman, Super Burnout, and whatever they made off the Jag CD games. Saturn and Dreamcast were losing hundreds of millions in the later years for Sega and that was only 3 years after 1994 when that started. 3DO's hardware strategy makes a lot more sense when you have the right perspective.

They should have just doubled down on the Falcon and Lynx.

The Jaguar controller is much better than it’s reputation. It’s comfortable to hold, features some good ergonomics, the d-pad and buttons are smooth and responsive. I think most critics have never held one and just can’t get past the keypad.
I agree with both of you The Jaguar controller was quite comfortable. People who have only seen it in pictures and never used it think it's some awfully bulky monstrosity. In fact, it's ergonomically designed, and the bottom side is contoured so that your fingers curl around slightly as you cradle it, much like modern PlayStation/Xbox controllers. If you can visualize a PlayStation controller, and imagine that there was a numeric keypad in between the two handles, then you might have a better idea of what a Jaguar controller is like.

The only real drawback to the original controller was the relatively low number of readily accessible buttons

The Jaguar controller received a new round of mockery once internet videos took off, but it's actually well built for many of the games that released on the system.

My one complaint about the original controller is that the C button is in an odd place and gets in the way for a few titles. For example, in Atari Karts the C button is used for power ups which is in an inconvenient position, but it's not that bad and you get used to it.

Atari Karts supports the pro controller and buttons take place of using the keypad for sharp turns, which works much better than pressing 7 and 9 I believe it was, either that or 4 and 6. Very strange choice.
 

Hastelander

Neo Member
AtJ has some nice games, too bad its emulation is worse than basically most other consoles. And despite the differences in hardware, Jaguar and Atari's fate is very similar to that of Dreamcast and Sega's, right to the point of having a dediacted fanbase and homebrew developers.
 
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Futaleufu

Member
AtJ has some nice games, too bad its emulation is worse than basically most other consoles. And despite the differences in hardware, Jaguar and Atari's fate is very similar to that of Dreamcast and Sega's, right to the point of having a dediacted fanbase and homebrew developers.

You can play Sega games made this year
 
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