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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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Kazumi Ninja

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All Hell is about to break loose. Stop the Evil Ninja Lord Gyaku from opening the Dragon Cloud temple's portal to Hell and unleashing his demon minions upon Kasumi Island and the world. Battle it out in this bloody brawler in 1 Player Story Mode or Two Player versus mode as one of the 8 all time greatest warrior fighters. Gain fighting skill and master special moves from bout to bout as your journey through the Underground Labyrinth to the Dragon Cloud Temple where you'll face your ultimate opponent: The Evil Ninja Lord Gyaku himself!

I-War

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Everyone's worst fears have come true. The supercomputer that handles the world's information is filled with mutated databases and lethal viruses. You must enter the I-Way, clear the clogged channels and restore the system. Choose an anti-virus craft to get you through the vicious attacks, challenging puzzles and tormenting mazes. And good luck. You are mankind's only hope. True 3D world with amazing texture-mapped and Gouraud-shaded graphics. Five different views make you part of the action. 20 levels culminating with a dramatic final encounter.

Iron Soldier

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The Iron Soldier, or I.S., is a forty-two foot tall piloted robot that has been stolen from the Iron Fist Corporation by a bunch of rebels. they want you to pilot it. Arm yourself with a giant Assault Rifle, Oil-drum sized Hand Grenades, or other massive weapons. Use them to stop the evil Machinations of the Iron Fist Corporation.

Hover Strike

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The Ultimate War Machine is Here! You fear the worst for the missing colonists. Terrakian Pirates have taken over the distant planet, with their deadly machines patrolling every section of the surface. The federation has chosen you to launch a pre-emptive strike. Your vehicle is a state of the art armoured hovercraft, equipped with rapid fire cannon and powerful missiles. Anti grav units enable it to float over any terrain. Battle through 30 fully texture mapped 3D levels, including Night Vision missions. Knock out the key targets and make way for the Federation armada. Save the colony before it's too late!

Flip Out

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Congratulations Earthling! The citizens of Planet Phromaj have invited you to their Great Tile Flipping Festival, an honour of the highest sort. Tile flipping influences their customs, their eating habits, and even their vacations. Solve maddening puzzles while watching for the mischievous aliens who think confusing you is part of the fun. If they weren't so cute you'd wring their necks. if they had them!

Flashback

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You're Conrad B. Hart, Galaxis Bureau of Investigation Agent and right now you're stranded on a far-away planet after discovering an alien plot to takeover Earth. You must travel and find your way through four planets back to Earth and foil the aliens' sinister and deadly plans. The award winning sci-fi action adventure comes to Jaguar, and it's gonna rip you right out of your comfortable little century and hurl your smack into time and place that'll have you begging for a nap!

Fight for Life

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Life in the afterlife can be a nightmare for anybody - especially if real life was a mess. In the Spectre Zone, eight people compete in the annual Hell Fighting Tournament for the amusement of the Gateway. The prize is a second chance at life! Defeat each opponent and steal two of their special fighting moves to prepare for the final challenge - a battle against the son of the Devil himself. Show no mercy. There will be only one victor, only one new life. it must be yours!

Dragon - The Bruce Lee Story

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The spirit of marital arts master Bruce Lee lives on in dragon: a dangerously life-like combat simulation game based on his bibliographical film. Apply discipline and a devastating array of age-old fighting techniques to subdue opponents more cunning than the real Bruce Lee ever faced. unite your spiritual and physical strength to confront The Phantom,. the mythical samurai which has plagued your thoughts and reams, in a duel to the death.

Fever Pitch Soccer

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Experience intense high-speed soccer action as you compete boot-to-boot against the world's greatest teams. Recruit star players like Barger, Tricky and Striker and use their arsenal of awesome special moves to destroy your opponents. Fever Pitch Soccer. have you got what it takes?

Doom

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From the outside of the base you hear the carnage: guns firing, men screaming, bones cracking. then silence. Suddenly you're the last surviving marine thrust into a bloody, gore-ridden underworld fifty million miles into the future. It's Doom to the 64th power with 16-bit true colour, advanced lighting effects. and some new parts of Hell you'll wish we didn't include in this new version.

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