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Atari Jaguar

The Atari Jaguar is was introduced in November 1993 as a powerful next generation platform. It was infamously touted as the "first 64-bit system". Competing with Sega and Nintendo's 16-bit consoles, the Jaguar was said to be 64-bit. Back then, "bitness" was an important marketing factor in the gaming industry, just as polygon-pushing power is today. The Jaguar did not work off of a solitary 64-bit processor, but instead had a collection of processors with bus widths ranging from 16 to 64 bits. The bit classification of the Jaguar is still a source of considerable debate today. Consensus exists among those who are familiar with the system hardware that, because Jaguar's main data bus and some of the processors are 64-bit, the entire system can be considered 64 bit. It would otherwise be considered a 32-bit console.

Nonetheless, it was technically superior to the leading 16-bit consoles at the time. Unfortunately, this last ditch effort by Atari to find room in the console market failed. A relatively small number of games were developed for the system, but Atari pulled the plug altogether in 1996. The Jaguar was a minor cult success. Jaguar conventions are held to show off rare unfinished Jaguar games that never made it to the shelves. A development company named Songbird Productions still produces games available for sale on the commercial market.

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The Jaguar and the Lynx were the last two Atari systems to be developed, but because the company did not want any direct involvement in hardware production, they were produced by outside contractors. In 1990, Flare Technology, a company formed by Martin Brennan and John Mathieson with Atari funding, said that not only could they make a console far superior to the Sega Genesis or the SNES, but they could also be cost-effective. Atari immediately agreed and the system was released in November 1993 for a sale price of $249.99, under a $500 million manufacturing deal with IBM. The system was initially marketed only in the New York City and the San Francisco Bay areas. A nationwide release followed in early 1994.

The system was marketed under the slogan "Do the Math" (i.e. 32 bit + 32 bit = 64 bit), claiming superiority over competing 16-bit systems. Initially, the system sold well, substantially outselling the highly hyped and publicized 3DO, which was also released during the holiday season of 1993. However, the system was eventually considered a failure, due to a perception of the Jaguar having poor games and an overall lack of software developed. The system was difficult to program for as the hardware had a large number of bugs, including one in the memory controller that stopped some of its processors executing code from the system RAM.

The final nail in the coffin was the release of both the Sony PlayStation in Fall 1995 and the Sega Saturn earlier in the summer. In an interview, Sam Tramiel, CEO of Atari, also touted that the Jaguar was much more powerful than the Saturn and slightly weaker than the PlayStation. He also predicted the price of the PlayStation to be $500 and said that any price from $250 to $300 would be dumping and that Atari would sue to block sales (they never did). The baseless comments were selected as #3 in the Top 25 Dumbest Moments in Gaming.

In a last ditch effort to rescue the Jaguar, Atari tried to play down these two consoles by claiming the Jaguar was the only 64-bit system, causing some controversy. (Some contended that the Jaguar's two 64-bit "processors" were essentially nothing more than graphics accelerators; its GPU was only 32-bit and its CPU was a 16-bit 68000.) This advertising push was futile, and production of the Jaguar stopped after Atari purchased JT Storage in a reverse takeover.

Several peripherals were announced, such as a voice modem and VR headset, but the only peripherals released were the Atari Jaguar CD drive and the JagLink, a simple two-console networking device. Working prototypes of some of the proposed future developments exist (some, such as the Jaguar Voice Modem, in relatively large quantities), and include fully-functional versions of the VR headset, with infrared head-tracking, and a stereo adaptor to allow connection of the Jaguar to a hi-fi system. See Loki and Konix Multisystem for early development.

After Atari was bought out by Hasbro Interactive in the late 1990s, Hasbro released the encryption coding to the Jaguar, finally opening the doors for enthusiasts and hobby programmers to make their own Jaguar games and software, similar to what has happened with another defunct game system, the Sega Dreamcast. Several game companies, including Telegames and Songbird Productions, have not only released previously unfinished materials from the Jaguar's past, but also several brand new titles to satisfy the system's cult following.

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Super Burnout

Box: 
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£0.00
Manual: 
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£0.00

Open the throttle and let 'er rip! This game will get your adrenaline pumping and pin you to your seat with it's G Force. As you lean into the first bend you'll feel like you're really there. Go for it! Twist the throttle hard and ride that curve like a pro.

Sensible Soccer

Box: 
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£18.00
Manual: 
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£18.00

Take charge of your favourite club or national team from all over Europe in a whole host of different cup and league competitions. With all the atmosphere of European Soccer at it's highest level, you (and your friends) can take a squad of fifteen players on to cup glory! There's no other football game quite like it!

Ruiner Pinball

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Box: 
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£22.00
Manual: 
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£22.00

Multiple Flipper Frenzy! Ruiner Pinball is two fantastic games in one! In Ruiner, a double wide table provides challenging game play and real classic game play and real classic arcade feel as you strive to defend your country from a foreign attack and prepare a strike of your own. In Tower, the triple length table is so eerie you'll think you've descended into Hell. The Sorceress and her wicked minions are after you. Casting three spells will bring the tower crashing down, but can you figure them out before it's too late?

Raiden

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Box: 
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£58.00
Manual: 
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£58.00

Mother Earth has fallen to deranged aliens. Now, as pilot of the Raiden Supersonic Attack Fighter, you must rip through enemy lines and mount a daring counterattack. in Raiden, the ultimate arcade game conversion. Showcasing the Atari Jaguar's 64-bit capabilities, Raiden enhances the vertical-shooter excitement of an all-time arcade favourite with brilliant sounds and exceptional speed and motion.

Rayman

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£0.00
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£0.00

Discover the world of Rayman, where action, challenge and technology await you! Unique powers that develop and accumulate as you advance through the game. Challenging non linear game play with 60 different levels in six amazing worlds. Eye popping animations using 65,000 colours with 60 frames per second. Over 50 different characters, including enemies who learn your playing style and fight back with skill!

Pinball Fantasies

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£0.00
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Turn your Jaguar into the ultimate amusement arcade with Pinball Fantasies - the greatest pinball simulator ever. This classic game offers four scorchingly addictive tables with the most realistic ball movement you'll ever see in a video game. If you're looking for instant playability, speed and excitement, Pinball Fantasies is the game for you. But be warned- one game and you're hooked.

Pitfall

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£22.00
Manual: 
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£22.00

Welcome to the jungle! Pitfall Harry has been captured by the dreaded warrior spirit, Zakelua: Lord of Evil. You, young Harry Jr, must venture into the unknown, armed with only your trusty sling and your father's journal, to attempt his rescue. Keep your eyes peeled for objects that might help you as you sneak through the Mayan Jungle. Stay Alert! One wrong move and you're a Mayan Munchie!

Power Drive Rally

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£26.00
Manual: 
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£26.00

Fasten your seat belt! Get ready for a world class performance with Power Drive Rally. Featuring more exciting tracks, faster game play, outstanding graphics, enhanced sound and co-driver speech. Power Drive Rally will take your breath away.

NBA Jam TE

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£0.00
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£0.00

Your state-of-the-art system demands a state-of-the-art NBA JAM TE - and this is it! Arcade-quality player scaling! Updated player rosters! Want more? We've got all-new secret characters! Monster-jamming stereo music and authentic arcade sounds FX - including voice calls for individual players! NBA JAM TE. Pump it up! 

Missile Command 3D

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Notes: 
This game is brand new and sealed
Box: 
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£40.00
Manual: 
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£40.00

Aliens are out to take over your colonies and it's up to you to stop them. You're armed with an arsenal of lasers, missiles and smart bombs, but it takes more than raw fire power to stop these guys. You've got to be quick and accurate to keep your cities from becoming alien neighbourhoods. This Jaguar update of the arcade classic includes Original Missile Command, 3D Missile Command and Virtual Missile Command. Defend the cities from the relentless alien attack..

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