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The world’s first 64-bit console can also claim to be the first true ‘next generation’ machine, as Commodore’s 32-bit CD32 was based on old Amiga technology. Despite beating Nintendo, Sega and Sony to the next-gen punch, the lack of decent software, doubts about the viability of cartridge based software and the ability of Atari to attract high profile developers to work on the machine led to apathy in the marketplace.

The Jaguar was originally developed alongside a 32-bit console called Panther, but Atari decided early that their best chance of succeeding in the competitive games market was to concentrate on the more powerful machine, and so the Panther was dropped.

The Games

Very few games of note were released for the Jaguar. In fact, despite the power of the machine, the only ‘must have’ was the brilliant Tempest 2000, Jeff Minter’s reworking of the old arcade classic, Tempest.

Many other games were ports of Amiga classics, including Sensible Software’s Cannon Fodder and Sensible Soccer and Bullfrog’s Theme Park and Syndicate.

People

Jeff Minter/Llamasoft

Jeff Minter was responsible for the Jaguar’s finest moment, Tempest 2000. He also created the Jaguar CD’s virtual light machine and brought Defender 2000 to the console.

Bullfrog Productions
Bullfrog didn’t only make strategy and god games. Besides their famous titles such as Populous, Theme Park and Syndicate, the company also wrote action games like Fusion and Flood for the Amiga.

Major events

December 1993
US launch price: $200

April 1994
UK launch price: £199

Emulators

Mac OS X

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iOS

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OUYA/Android

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Features

Atari Jaguar

64-bit system architecture
106.4 megabyte-per-second bus bandwidth
16.8 million colours
Picture of the Atari Jaguar
Atari Jaguar
Five processors: GPU, DSP, Object, Blitter and MC68000
16-bit sound

Atari Jaguar CD

Add-on CD-ROM unit
Double-speed, 790MB optical drive
Support for audio CDs and CD+G
Built-in Virtual Light Machine