The Atari Jaguar is a video game console, released by Atari Corporation in 1993. It was designed to surpass the Mega Drive/Genesis and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in processing power. It was in competition with 3DO and later consoles that made up the Fifth generation of video game consoles. The console was first released in selected U.S. cities in November 1993, and the rest of the country in early 1994. Although it was promoted as the first 64-bit gaming system, the Jaguar proved to be a commercial failure and prompted Atari to leave the home video game console market. Despite its commercial failure, the Jaguar has a large fan base that produces homebrew games, making the console a cult classic.
The Jaguar was the last game system to be marketed by Atari Corp. Flare Technology, a company formed by Martin Brennan and John Mathieson, said that they could not only make a console superior to the Sega Mega Drive (also called the Sega Genesis) or the SNES, but they could also be cost-effective. Impressed by their work on the Konix Multisystem, Atari persuaded them to close Flare and, with Atari Corp. providing the funding, to form a new company called Flare II.
Flare II initially set to work designing two consoles for Atari Corp. One was a 32-bit architecture (codenamed "Panther"), and the other was a 64-bit system (codenamed "Jaguar"); however, work on the Jaguar design progressed faster than expected, so Atari Corp. canceled the Panther project to focus on the more promising Jaguar.
The Jaguar was introduced 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", claiming superiority over competing 16-bit and 32-bit systems. Initially, the system sold well, substantially outselling the highly hyped and publicized...