Atari has prepared its own welcome to the jungle with the introduction of the Atari Jaguar, a new 64-bit multimedia entertainmen system. Scheduled for regional release this holiday season in New York and San Francisco, National availability of the Jaguar will follow in January.
The Jaguar will feature a 16.7 million color palette with true 32-bit graphics, as well as 16-bit CD quality sound. The 64-bit RISC based processor can process at 55 MIPS (million instructions per second), allowing animation speeds in excess of 850 million pixels per second. This means that users can expect to see games with highly detailed fluid animation, as well as 3 dimensional rendering and texture mapping. The high-performance joypad included with the Jaguar will have three fire buttons, pause, option, and a 12-key numeric keypad with game-specific overlays. The system will be priced at around $200.
And Atari doesn't plan to let the fun stop here. A CD ROM peripheral is already in the design phase. The unit is planned to play audio CDs, Karaoke discs, and CD+G discs. Using SuperMac Technologies CinePak compression techniques, the Jaguar CD ROM will be able to play up to 60 minutes of full-screen, full-color, full-motion video. Atari also plans to release an MPEG 2 cartridge that will allow users to play full length motion pictures from CD.
With specs like these, Atari hopes to take the Jaguar head to head with 3DO. And with the price difference ($200 versus approximately $700) they may well succeed. The Atari Jaguar should be available regionally beginning in October.
Originally appeared Vol 2, Iss 3 (08-10/93)