Atari Jaguar

Manufacturer: Atari
Predecessor: Atari Panther
Successor: -
Release Date: 22/11/1993
Discontinued Date: 31/12/1995
Additional Sizes: -
Display Palette: 16.7 million colors
Initial Price: US$249.99 | GB£199.99-299.99 | AU$700 | DM550-600 | JP¥29,800 | SPtas39,990
Supported Game Media:

Controller with 17 keys. 67 games in total. Sales estimated under 250.000 pieces. 64-bit technology when competition was playing at 16 and starting to discover 32. This was the Jaguar in numbers, the last console of the former Atari, a gaming company synonymous with gaming. In the early 1990s, it was still struggling to overcome the 1983 crash in the US gaming industry.

So Jaguar came to succeed the completely unknown XEGS in 1993. Atari had already made its presence felt in handheld gaming with Lynx, the first handheld console with a color LCD screen, but wanted nothing more than to get into the "big league", home consoles, where Nintendo and SEGA were fighting and Panasonic trying to steal their share with the 3DO. So while SNES and Mega Drive were playing at 16-bit, Jaguar came to shake the waters, offering 64-bit graphics. In terms of technical characteristics it was clearly superior to its competitors. It was accompanied by a rather strange keypad with three face buttons and a numeric keypad that although it set the expectations high, in the end, it only managed to cause finger cramps.

On 15 November, 1993, Atari decided to launch Jaguar in the US market battle. What she was expecting on Monday had nothing to do with what she finally got from her new console: a big zero and an even bigger hole in her cash register. There were no agreements with many third parties from the beginning, so Jaguar's library of game titles was limited. Aliens vs. Tempest 2000 Predator, Wolfenstein 3D and Doom were its most successful games. So with just 67 game titles available, Jaguar is one of the smallest line up consoles, but without achieving the absolute record of Nintendo's 22 Virtual Boy games.

So with so few videogames available and with a tiring controller, people turned their backs on Jaguar. Its 250.000 sales were nothing in front of 2 million 3DO's, 9 million Saturn's, 33 million Nintendo 64's and 102 million PlayStation's. At least thanks to Apple's Pippin and Casio's Loopy, Jaguar avoided the last place in sales of fifth-generation consoles... This certainly didn't help Atari, and three years after the console was launched, the company merged with JTS Group, a manufacturer of hard drives. In 1998, she sold everything related to Atari to Hasbro for just $5 million.

As for the Jaguar console? Hasbro made all of his patents available to the public, making a favor to homebrew that found a new "toy" to deal with. Some creators even released game titles years later that had never been released for the console, which even made its appearance in the United Kingdom in 2001 to sell the latest stocks. The motherboards of the console and its cartridges were purchased in December 2014 by Retro Magazine publisher Mike Kennedy to create a new, retro console.


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