Top 10 Unreleased Consoles
4. Atari Jaguar II
In addition to the Jaguar’s predecessor (the Panther) which never saw the light of day, neither did the Jaguar’s intended successor, the Jaguar II. Development began early in 1994, and the initial focus fell on correcting the sluggish nature of the original Jaguar with an eye to bring graphics up to the level of Atari’s competitors, an aspect that was severely lacking in both the Jaguar and the Jaguar CD add-on. Another goal was assuring the backwards compatibility of Jaguar and Jaguar CD titles, leading the public to believe that the Jaguar II included both a cartridge slot and CD drive. Specifically, the goals of the Jaguar II’s development team were to improve audio synthesis, render polygons faster, and upgrade both textured polygon mapping and overall processing power / computational ability of the console.
It took almost a year and a half, but by March of 1995, working prototypes had been manufactured and demo games were being tested. By the time summer rolled around however, Atari had already dug itself in too deep with poor sales of the Jaguar. The damage to Atari’s reputation had already been done, and the project was cancelled. During this time the company was acquired by a large hard drive manufacturer and would officially bow out of further hardware development.
It’s difficult to discern if the Jaguar II was envisioned as purely an upgrade for the underwhelming Jaguar, or if the developers were also charged with creating all new titles and properly bringing Atari into the 6th generation. Whatever the case, the prototype was never completely finished and as such I doubt many of these machines are floating around out there. But hell, I’d buy one just to correct the sound issues of my Jaguar / Jaguar CD setup.
Written by The Cubist
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