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Atari Jaguar Interactive Multimedia System

video game console

Released in 1993, the Jaguar is video game pioneer Atari's last console system. Designed to compete with the 32-bit 3DO and to surpass the 16-bit Genesis and Super Nintendo systems, the Jaguar was released with considerable buzz. It was not, however, a commercial success. Atari quietly discontinued the system in 1996, releasing its rights in 1999, making it an open-source gaming system. As an open-source system, it continues to have considerable cult popularity amongst homebrew game developers. Atari marketed the Jaguar as the world's first 64-bit video game system. This claim is controversial as not all its processors were 64-bit. While two of its chips (the graphics processors) are 64-bit, there are five CPUs in the Jaguar. Two of them, nicknamed Tom and Jerry by the developers, are proprietary 32-bit processors. The fifth is actually the same Motorola 68000 chip found in the Sega Genesis, albeit operating in 32-bit mode as a co-processor. A lack of good games hurt the Jaguar more than any question over its technology. An awkward controller design did not help. Ultimately, the Jaguar is yet another system that demonstrates that the most advanced technology cannot overcome a weak stable of games or poor public perception. Jaguar suffered from both.

  • Manufacturer: Atari, Inc.
  • Material: printed cardboard | plastic | metal
  • Origin: Sunnyvale, CA
  • Object ID: 116.7951
  • Credit Line: Gift of Raiford Guins
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