Atari Jaguar
Atari Jaguar
The Atari Jaguar and its controller.
Developer(s) Atari
Release Date(s) North America
November 23, 1993
November 21, 1994
Late 1994
Late 1994
Price(s) $249.99 USD
Colors Black
Units Shipped 250,000

The Atari Jaguar is a video game console released by Atari in 1993. The Jaguar's design was based upon the usage of its custom chip set set to make the device more like a gaming computer.[1]

History Edit

Initially developed by Fare Technology, the Atari Jaguar was said to be not only superior to its competitors at Nintendo and Sega, but also be cost-effective. Atari bought out Flare, and closed the project down, starting a new Flare II company under Atari's funding in the process. The initial release of Jaguar was unveiled in November of 1993.[2] The system was set at a price of $249.99 USD.

The system was released across the United States in the early months of 1994, under the tagline "Do the Math," comparing its superiority to the 16-bit consoles of the day. From the initial release of the system under test markets, the system only sold 17,000 units, but by the end of 1994, Atari had sold nearly 100,000 units.[3][4]

The Atari Jaguar suffered from a small catalog of games when compared to its central competitors.[5] With a loss of large library, the Jaguar fell behind in the numbers quickly, having only a few jewels in its library. The Jaguar caused Atari to lose most of its revenue with the console, and the whole company began to decline fast. Throughout its two-year lifespan, only nearly 250,000 units were sold.[6]

Technical specifications Edit

  • "Tom" Chip, 26.59 MHz
    • Graphics processing unit (GPU) – 32-bit RISC architecture, 4 KB internal cache, provides wide array of graphic effects
    • Object Processor – 64-bit RISC architecture; programmable; can behave as a variety of graphic architectures
    • Blitter – 64-bit RISC architecture; high speed logic operations, z-buffering and ** Gouraud shading, with 64-bit internal registers.
    • DRAM controller, 8, 16, 32 and 64-bit memory management
  • "Jerry" Chip, 26.59 MHz
    • Digital Signal Processor – 32-bit RISC architecture, 8 KB internal cache
      • Same RISC core as the GPU, but not limited to graphic production
    • CD-quality sound (16-bit stereo)
      • Number of sound channels limited by software
      • Two DACs (stereo) convert digital data to analog sound signals
      • Full stereo capabilities
    • Wavetable synthesis, FM synthesis, FM Sample synthesis, and AM synthesis
    • A clock control block, incorporating timers, and a UART
    • Joystick control
  • Motorola 68000 "used as a manager."
    • General purpose 16/32-bit control processor, 13.295 MHz
  • RAM: 2 MB on a 64-bit bus using 4 16-bit fast page mode DRAMs
  • Storage: Cartridge – up to 6 MB
  • Ports:
    • DSP-port (JagLink)
    • Monitor-port (Composite/S-Video/RGB)
    • Antenna-port (UHF/VHF) Fixed at 591 MHz in Europe
  • Support for ComLynx I/O

References Edit