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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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Double Dragon

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£22.00
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£22.00

Twelve big, lightening fast characters, four to six special moves for each fighter, set your own strength, defence, etc. Three different fighting modes, secret moves and codes, customisable controls, unique final moves, one hundred and thirty sound effects, hot rock music tracks.

Dino Dudes

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£28.00
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£28.00

As the proud leader of the Dino Dudes, it's up to you to lead your hairy band of Cro-Magnons to the top of the food chain. Discover fire, weapons, The Wheel. battle dinosaurs and rival tribesmen. and do everything you can to survive - so your kids and someday invent cool stuff like malls, video games and of course, the bacon double-cheeseburger.

Defender 2000

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£65.00
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£65.00

You whomped the aliens from the Alpha Proximian Empire in classic Defender and sent them home to cry. Now they want the planets that Earth is mining for desperately needed, life-sustaining minerals. Your job is to protect the space miners as they perform their vital work. The aliens will try to capture them and use their life-energy to turn their ships into hyper-fast mutants. Rescue the captives and destroy the aliens or Earth is history! Play Defender Classic, Defender Plus, or Defender 2000.

Cybermorph

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£18.00
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£18.00

Club Drive

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£0.00
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£0.00

Sure, you've always wanted to blaze down the streets of San Francisco in a souped-up hot rod, just like in those action movies. But have you ever wanted to scramble across the living room floor playing tag in a miniature racing car with a buddy?

Cannon Fodder

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£30.00
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£30.00

Don't wait 'til you see the whites of their eyes. don't kid yourself it will be over by Christmas. don't try to shut out the screams. and don't forget to wash your hands afterwards. Cannon Fodder - war has never been so much fun!

Checkered Flag

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£18.00
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£18.00

Get ready to burn rubber! Race for the Checkered Flag behind the wheel of a turbo powered speedway racer in real-time, 3D rendered action. Choose from 10 high performance tracks and see the speedway from 6 distinct views. Alter features and attributes on your racer to improve your times or even change the weather conditions. Action so intense and realistic you'll swear you feel the wind in your hair as your tires screech around the curves. Keep your sweaty palms on the controller!

Bubsy

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£30.00
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£30.00

Bubsy to the rescue! Only Bubsy can protect the world's kids from these silly stories and tangled up tales as he leaps and bounds his way through fifteen frantic chapters of fabulous furry fun. In Fairytale land, Bubsy attends a twisted tea party, climbs a giant beanstalk, voyages under the sea (without getting his paws wet), heads to Ali Baba's desert and even meets Hansel and Gretel, who should be up on kidnapped charges. Will Bubsy be able to set all the fairy tales straight?

Brutal Sports Football

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£0.00
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£0.00

Do you like action but reckon that chainsaw massacres are for grannies tea parties? If you do then Brutal Sports Football is for you, league, knockout or unfriendly tournaments. Football with a new set of rules - No Rules!

Attack of the Mutant Penguins

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£40.00
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£40.00

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