Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

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Crusty Starfish
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Re: Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

Post by Crusty Starfish » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:06 pm

Bill Rehbock 's comments are...m curious.

Whilst it would of indeed been cheaper to mass produce the Jaguar in China, you'd need to factor in extra shipping costs and time, it doesn't answer the question i put to you earlier.
How would it of overcome the component shortages?

Bill himself told people the following when trying to get them on board as Jaguar developers:
Atari has two companies manufacturing the Tom and Jerry chipset. An unnamed Japanese company is the original manufacturer. However, they were
only able to provide 50,000 units this year, hence the low yield for the test
marketing campaign. However, Motorola will begin production soon and will provide 1 million units for 1994.

Atari had been a Motorola customer since mid '85 so why not go to them from the off?.

To me the location of the plants assembling the Jaguar was never the issue, it was getting high yields of the custom chips that powered it.
Bill appears to be giving a personal view, which ignores the reality of the time.

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The Laird
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Re: Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

Post by The Laird » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:29 pm

I can't really answer your questions I'm afraid, I don't have that knowledge.

I was told that the vast majority of manufacturing problems were caused by IBM.

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Re: Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

Post by General Opulence » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:11 am

2 million pre orders in Europe alone smells of BS to me, sounds like investor BS to help share prices, something like the Gizmondo debacle with their inflated pre-orders numbers.

Even Sega and Nintendo would have been more than happy with that and they were market leaders, i highly doubt until the PS1 there was pre-orders of those numbers. i was interested in the Jag at the time but there was no such information or hype of that amount to counter balance claims of that magnitude.

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Re: Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

Post by Crusty Starfish » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:38 am

The Laird,
We have mentioned the Jaguar and the States and Europe, but you never seem to hear people talk about how it was managed in Canada.
.The Jaguar seemed to have such a minimal presence there.

The 3DO, by comparison, was all over the place. Most electronics stores had demo kiosks up and running. .. there were TV ads galore... newspaper inserts...commercials in movie theatres, etc.

Did Atari not consider it a crucial market or what?

It seems daft they'd put so many resources into trying to establish an American branded console in Japan, yet ignore their own neighbour, Canada.

Atari might of convinced all 25 Toys R Us stores in Japan to stock the Jaguar over an essential Xmas period,but for what? 2,000 machines sold?

3DO at 1 point was said to of sold 1460 units in 1 day.

Do you think it arrived in Japan too late for the Xmas market?
December the 8th i think.
Or was it too expensive? 29,800 yen with games around 6,000 yen.

Or lack of press coverage?1/4 page coverage compared to page after page of Saturn and PlayStation?.

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Re: Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

Post by Crusty Starfish » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:42 am

CHICKEN AND EGG: But like Mario or Luigi prancing through a maze oblivious to the lurking danger, both Sega and Nintendo may get ambushed. Last month Atari,
the videogame founder that went belly-up in the 1980s, rolled out Jaguar. At $249, the player offers 60-bit processing capacity that crunches data 100 times faster than SNES or Genesis. The result: color graphics of newr videotape quality, smooth instead of jumpy movement, realistic sounds of screaming jets or human noices and a futuristic three-dimensional game platform. But in a
classic chicken-and-egg problem, software developers have shied from creating games for Jaguar until more units are hooked up in America's rec rooms; shoppers are wary of a system for which there exist a mere four cartridges.Although Jaguar won't be for sale outside New York and San Francisco until next year, it has cybercritics gushing. The magazine Electronic Games called it "one
powerful cat," and GAMEPRO magazine predicted "Atari may well become king of the jungle once again." (Really, that's what they wrote.) If they're right, the
battering that parental wallets take this year will be nothing compared to
what's in store in '94. Or, you could buy your kids a book.

Source:SHARON BEGLEY and JOSHUA COOPER RAMO 1993 Newsweek magazine.

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Re: Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

Post by Crusty Starfish » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:38 am

https://steemit.com/retro/@techmojo/his ... uar-64-bit
As soon as the Jaguars went on sale, they soon sold out, making Atari's trial run a success. So much a success that they had already amassed 2.5 million pre-orders from Europe where Atari still had a strong market share.

But that article doesn't quote Darryl, it just suggests a figure.
Then i found this:
Q. I remember reading a quote from you that said something to the effect of that Atari UK had massive orders/interest for the Jaguar back in 1993 and they could have sold something like 20 times what they were sent. Can you elaborate on this?
Yeah, nightmare time. Remember we had a really limited budget, but had done an amazing job of building the hype and demand for the machine and then we just could not get supply. I heard stories about failed chip supply and all sorts, but at the sharp end all we really saw was the vitriol and anger of mothers who could not get their kids what they really wanted for Christmas, and trust me, there is no anger to compare with a protective mum! We even had the contents of someone’s dustbin dumped in our reception area in Slough!
Source: http://www.retrovideogamer.co.uk/rvg-in ... ryl-still/
And this:
In fact the boss of Atari in the UK Darryl Still was quoted as saying he thinks they could have sold over 20 times the units they did in 1994 alone had they had the stock to sell.
http:www.atarijaguar.co.uk/2014/11/guest-art ... l.html?m=1
Not being funny laird, but Darryl is doing nothing but suggesting they could of sold upto 20X the units they did.There is nothing from retailers, distributors, High Street stores, mail order firms to give any indication of just how many pre-orders anyone had, anywhere in Europe.
It's all just pure speculation and suggestion.

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Re: Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

Post by WaveRacer » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:51 pm

No way the Jag had over 2million preorders.

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Re: Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

Post by Crusty Starfish » Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:16 am

Busy weekend doing a bit of research:

Darryl Still's statement and the reaction to it, has had me doing a little bit of online investigation work into the Jaguar at retail situation as it's a great talking point.

I started with the commercial market and manufacturing birthplace of the Jaguar, the mighty USA and looked at comments made by customers who'd visited the likes of:Sears, Montgomery Wards, Best Buy, Babbages,Kmart Radio Shack etc, looking to buy a Jaguar and also of course the test Market Toys R Us and Walmart stores.

Judging from comments written at the time and in the years since, so many cases people came away empty handed , the hardware wasn't there or if it was, not in large numbers and stores didn't have the information to hand of when new stocks were due in or games due to be released.

So it does seem distribution/critical lack of availability did hurt the Jaguar at launch and i also found reports of smaller branches of Babbages etc simply dropping the Jaguar within months of stocking it, as it just wasn't selling.

I also took the liberty of looking into the manufacturering issues laird didn't have the information on, here's what I found:

It seems whilst Atari were happy to blame IBM for a multitude of sins, the reality of the situation was very straightforward.

Atari haf been looking for a manufacter for the Tom and Jerry chips,the core components of the Jaguar architecture, ever since the consoles design specifications were finialised in the UK.

But at this stage, Toshiba and Motorola were the only manufacturers capable of producing these chips as they had extremely small die clearances and from a chip design viewpoint, very cutting edge design and involved a complex fabrication process.

Toshiba could tool up faster for mass production, so they were chosen for the initial run of the initial 50,000 chips, but Motorola was the manufacturer of choice for Atari (as i stated earlier, Atari had been in business with them since 1985) and Atari signed a deal with them to produce a further 500,000 chips to meet initial sales forecasts (which Atari later downsized).

The actual IBM contract itself was for 30 months, with IBM sourcing the misc parts (such as RF boxes etc) ,doing the Q/A, building and distributing the Jaguar etc.

There was talk of the IBM plant previously lying idle until the contract with Atari...

I wondered if the issues you referred to Laird, were the RF switch Box issues by any chance? (and possibly the odd dodgy controller and Jaguar console that flaked out?)

Here in the UK it was reported along these lines:

(From a Press Release, 15 Dec 1993) Atari US have reported production
problems with an unusually high failure rate of Jaguars on the production line. Full-scale production has been scaled down until they find the source of the problem, but most people suggest that the Jaguar should be available in large quantities around March next year.

Sam Tramiel went running online as soon as issues started to be reported in large enough volumes to draw media attention, saying: Atari is not in charge of quality control for the Jaguars, IBM is. Direct your complaints accordingly.

Teflon had nothing on this guy :-))

You appeared to down play the importance of the Made In America aspect somewhat as your speaking with hindsight, but at the time, partnering with IBM gave Atari the much needed credibility that multi billion dollar companies like IBM had confidence in Atari.
Bill Rehbock of all people must of understood this, it was after all, his job to relay that message to publishers and developers so they'd sign up and produce the software the Jaguar badly needed.

When you talk of stock shortages in Europe, it's helpful to add real points of definition so readers can put this in context.

Darryl has made a very bold and very questionable statement, which you appear happy to run with, but without any form of documentation to back it up, let alone accounts from others involved at Atari UK, i am sorry,but just can't be taken as credible.

Let's calmly look at what's been established regarding those stock shortages :

England and France were lucky to of received initial deliveries of a few hundred units each, so of course pre-orders couldn't be completed which resulted in the angry customers, parents especially , cue to accounts Darryl has given during the many times he's been interviewed.Nobody disputes these aspects.

What so far hasn't been established is the background information regarding European markets (prices,distribution chains etc), i will try and fill in some of the blanks for the community.

You could pre-order a Jaguar from a French Jaguar Specialist retailer for 'only' 300$ a unit with Cybermorph and a lot of French gamers indeed did just that.They waited and waited, Xmas came and went and when Atari France did ship Jaguar units out to the said specialist retailer, they only received 50 units...utter disaster.

News soon followed that Atari France had gone bankrupt leaving Atari Europe in the Netherlands and Atari UK the only surving European arms of Atari and even they were running on skeleton staff.

The only other option in France was to import a Jaguar and that would set you back $452 by comparison to an official French model.

Germany and Holland were next in line for limited supplies to trickle in...
In Holland the Sega 32X sold for 449 Hfl compared to the Jaguar at 399 Hfl and Sega invested heavily in marketing the 32X yet it sold poorly.
Both Saturn and Playstation were expected to come in at around Saturn, 999Hfl.

Ironically, Atari did little to no Jaguar advertising, yet the Jaguar sold steadily, a combination of the cheaper price point and strong exclusives like AVP.

As for Germany?
I've seen claims of around 1500 Jaguar's sold and 500 Jaguar
CD drives.When you compare that to it's rivals :
Nintendo sold around 2,5 Million SNES consoles and Sega about 1 Million Mega Drive consoles, so again here i'm just not seeing this European pre-order demand you/Darryl speak of.

The german distributor "ABC SPIELSPASS / RUSHWARE" was waiting since months for
the offical german JaguarCD Drive.

In it's first year on sale the Jaguar was to expensive 599 german marks ($400)...

Christmas '94 saw a price drop to 499 german marks ($330), then in March '95 price was cut again to 379 german marks ($270).
Atari dropped the price again.. to 299 german marks ($210).

The Jaguar drive went on sale in Germany at 299 german marks, with Some dealers importing the USA model and selling them for 449 to 499 germans marks (over $300!!!).
Atari again did little to no advertising.
So with such minimal advertising throughout Europe,just what exactly was building the expectations Darryl feels resulted in such high numbers?

European supplies were an embarrisment for sure, but that's not to say Atari didn't make attempts to spin it :-))

Peter Walker of Atari UK i spotted telling the press here in good old Blighty that demand for the Jaguar in the USA had gone wild and was far more than the IBM plant could meet..yet the lifetime Jaguar sales simply don't reflect this supposed demand from America or Europe..

Again I'm only putting this information up to help people get a greater understanding of the Jaguar before the upcoming feature.

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Re: Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

Post by The Laird » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:03 am

The sales don't reflect the demand because, as I have already pointed out, by the time IBM could produce the Jaguar in high enough quantities nobody wanted one anymore because the Saturn and PS1 were out.

In an ideal world the Jaguar needed to launch Summer 1993 at the very latest, which was the proposed launch date for a long time, in both Europe and America with sufficient quantities of stock. The only way it was ever going to be remotely successful was by beating all the other players to the punch. I was actually talking with Commodore's David Pleasance at the weekend and he was saying that one of the main reasons the Amiga CD32 sold so strongly initially was because they literally had no competition and rushed to get it ASAP as they were aware the Jaguar (and other machines) were coming.

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Re: Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

Post by The Laird » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:03 am

This weekend I was at the Retro Computer Museum in Leicester where I got to have a closer look at one of the very first Jaguar VR prototypes:


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Re: Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

Post by rocky1980 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:07 pm

I remember seeing this video


years ago about the VR unit. Always wanted to try it
King of The Quids 2011 Winner :D

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Re: Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

Post by Crusty Starfish » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:30 pm

I’d ideally like to move on with the discussion here, but what your in effect saying then is, if i understand you correctly. .

There isn't any credible evidence to back up the 2 million or 2.5 million pre-orders depending on which comment you go on, other than a wild claim by Darryl? .

Your honestly going to have an incredibly difficult time selling that if it's been used in the article.If pre-orders really were that high, there would be a paper trail to say the least.

Now again no disrespect to David Pleasance, but again what your saying just doesn't collaborate with what actually happened.

Commodore had already seen it's CDTV face no competition from Atari, despite Atari saying it too had an all in 1 CD machine...the CDST, i still have my copy of Zero magazine with the news being reported.
The A500 was never threatened by the STE, the A1200 then hammered the Atari Falcon into the ground and yet despite what we've already quoted David as saying about him not being at all worried by Atari and it's talk of a lower priced CD drive for the Jaguar, he suddenly saw Atari as a major competition with the Jaguar?.

Sorry but that's utter nonsense.
Commodore 's entire marketing strategy was to take the fight to the consoles and saw it's competition as the Sega Mega CD.
Magazine adverts ran technical comparisons..TV adverts made a big thing out of the 16.8 million colour palette vs the 512 on Megadrive and the CD32 hardware was designed to try and make PC to CD32 conversions as easy as possible.
David knew the battle ground saw Commodore facing several Golaith's.

The PC, Consoles from Sega and Nintendo.
Commodore already had support from likes of Virgin, Core Design, Team 17 etc Atari could only dream of.

Did you see Aladdin, Super Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat II, Captive II:Liberation, Banshee, Chuck Rock II, Dark Seed, Elite II, Gunship 2000, Heimdall II, Subwar 2050, Xcom (UFO) on Jaguar?
Atari would of killed to have those.

Commodore knew it was battling for it's own survival and Atari was in an even worse state than it was.Commodore had come out of the ST AMIGA war a clear winner, had ended the 32 bit home micro fight with Atari before it even started and had managed to keep the Amiga alive during some of the strongest competing it had ever faced from 2 Japanese/American giants.

And now your honestly saying he though Atari of all people was going to pull a rabbit out of the hole after already annoucing then cancelling a previous super console?
Nobody in the industry took Atari seriously.

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The Laird
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Re: Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

Post by The Laird » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:41 pm

I think I am just going to step away from this thread now completely. It seems you just want to argue everything I say and paint anything do with Atari as negative as possible. Doesn't matter who I quote or what I say, you will just dismiss it and carry on with your own agenda.
Last edited by The Laird on Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

Post by Crusty Starfish » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:45 pm

Excuse me?

So your happy to label Commodore as a failure for what? The C64GS? The CDTV? both?

Yet happily gloss over the massive failure of the Atari 5200 and XEGS..or are you going to say 'different Atari'..won't even discuss Atari's failures in Japan or the UK with the 7800 and XEGS..

Atari might of had fantastic success with the 2600 and out sold the Master System in the USA..but it's history is littered with failures.
Computers..consoles Hand Helds and that's just the hardware they actually got out. 😁

I really don't understand your attitude here.Earlier on i asked for your opinion on the Jaguar in Japan..you ignore that completely.

You said earlier you were going to leave this thread as you felt unwanted, but returned soon after.

How on earth is finding and sharing research done to add a degree of clarity to your rather vague statements, trying to start an argument? .

Your a writer of years of experience and Atari appears to be your field, i was hoping you could expand apon the European points alone i had brought up.

If your not going to be grateful even for the time i put in finding the manufacturer issues you didn't have information on (and again you ignored the question i asked if it was the RF boxes you made reference with)...then there's nothing to discuss further.

I will end by wishing your Jaguar article the very best and hope it adds to what's been put up here if your unwilling to do so yourself.

Are you singling me out? Others have poured scorn on the 2 Million pre-orders and made no further comments to explain why they feel that statement is unjust. .i at least put some time in to reason my comments and yet you jump down my throat.

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Re: Happy Birthday ATARI JAGUAR!

Post by Greyfox » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:59 pm

Some very interesting reading here, to see that research has been poured into bringing to the surface of potential facts that otherwise seemed to be the make-believe of wishful perspectives of people that simply refuse to possibly except that the above could be and was true. And to be honest need to go back to the books before distortion of facts gets fantasized in the future.

Although I never own a Jaguar myself so I can't relate to it with any connection, it has both a dedicated and in many cases a volatile following, all that I have read above if true has been something of an enlighting insight, so many thanks for that 👍. I also think the homebrew scene on the Jaguar is a special one too, with what I've seen lately some great games appearing on it from the few dedicated teams, there even one on Dizzy of all things. I might start to look into its undiscovered titles at some point. Thanks for sharing.
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