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Jaguar Mini Possible?


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As a reminder, the 3DO sold more than ten times more than the Jaguar, and the Virtual Boy sold five times more. And they're not considered successes. I know Jaguar's homebrew scene is impressive and makes it look like the Jaguar is a popular machine, but it's not unfortunately.

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Yeah problem with many of these mini consoles is that the demand for a emulation box is unlikely to be more than a small fraction of the original console sales.

 

The other problem comes down to finding games for the system that are actually worth playing. Unless the game was exclusive to that platform, or had the best version of the game, there is little reason to rebuy it. For Jaguar, the best games for the system:

  • Alien vs Preditor (licensing issues)
  • Doom (PC better)
  • Wolfenstein (PC better)
  • Rayman (arguable, also PSX, SAT, etc)
  • NBA Jam (licensing, and PSX)
  • Primal Rage
  • Tempest 2000

There are probably a handful of other titles (Pitfall: Mayan Adventure, Atari Karts, Iron Soldier, FlipOut) , but most have releases on other systems (Flashback, Zool 2, Worms). So, there’s your problem with the Atari Jaguar. Other than AvP and Tempest 2000 there isn’t much reason to make a dedicated emulation box for the system.

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Posted (edited)

Well, if you're just thinking about Jaguar games, that would probably not make financial sense. But maybe if they just focused on the form factor of the Jaguar and its joypads and put a ton of other content on there as well, next to a few Jaguar games, as they tend to do with their direct-to-TV consoles, it could fly. What other content you ask? No idea. But look at the Game Station Pro and what is on there - certainly they could fit 100 or so games or variing quality on there in addition to the few Jaguar games. A Jaguar mini would probably create a lot of buzz in the gaming press, but that coverage might turn out to be very short-lived.

 

So is it possible? Sure.

 

Does it make sense? Well, not really. But then again, from what I thought, neither did it make sense to me to release the Game Station Pro, the 2600+ and 400 Mini in such a short timeframe altogether. (Or something like the Game Station at all, tbh.) And pricewise, if a new mini console like this can be profitably sold for 120-130 bucks, well, maybe it's a consideration. But it is also speculation. So in the end, who knows what they will come up with.

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Yeah, all good points on the Jaguar maybe not being popular enough to support a Mini.

 

Was just thinking it seems it kinda has a "Cult" following long after they stopped production. Used, crappy consoles are going for around $500, so there must be boatloads of fans out there.  

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I think mini console collecting/collectors are a much larger user base than just the original Jaguar user base. I have been collecting all sorts of mini consoles where I never owned the original consoles, I have an A500 mini, TG-16 mini, A400, etc and never owned the original, I'm interested in them because they are seriously cool. I think a lot of mini collectors would be interested in a jaguar mini, especially since the Jag was so limited in it's global distribution, I think a lot of people are curious about our little cat, so my vote is YES Please!

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Yeah I would totally buy one. 

 

These days, some people are making their own mini consoles for systems like the Saturn and dreamcast that haven't gotten official ones yet. In those instances, there are actually official mini plastic models of the cases that you can buy/import from Japan so it's a matter of shoe horning in some kind of pi or odroid PCB into that shell in a pleasant way and then running an appropriate emulator. 

 

Recently in the sega scene fans made a pretty good 3d printable facsimile of the Sega Neptune 32x console that was never released. I think we're almost at the point that Jaguar fans could collaborate to make their own. The 3d printable shell is certainly possible to make but would take effort. Making a jag pad into a USB joystick is already possible.  There's got to be one of these small PCB computers that can run some form of bigpemu... Hmm

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On 5/20/2024 at 1:32 PM, roots.genoa said:

As a reminder, the 3DO sold more than ten times more than the Jaguar, and the Virtual Boy sold five times more. And they're not considered successes. I know Jaguar's homebrew scene is impressive and makes it look like the Jaguar is a popular machine, but it's not unfortunately.

People see things like Nintendo sells out 2.3 million NES Classics in 2 years and thinks that any old system could pull this off. Even the Virtual Console on Wii was only able to sell about 1 million copies of SMB3, and that’s considered one of the (if not the) best NES games of all time.

 

Keeping the sales numbers of the 3DO in perspective, as you said it sold 2 million consoles (to the Jaguars 150k). And few, if any of the 3DOs best selling titles would warrant a purchase of a 3DO mini (exact numbers of 250k+ and 100k+ are not known). It may have had the best version of SSFII Turbo, or Samurai Showdown (I don’t remember), but games like that are available as Arcade compilations, so why would you play the 3DO version. I think only Crash n’ Burn is an exclusive.

 

GEX - 525k

FIFA International Soccer - 409k

Crash N' Burn - 355k

Super Street Fighter II Turbo - 313k

Road Rash - 250k+

Return Fire 

Need For Speed 

ShockWave 

Myst 

Slam N' Jam 95 - 250k+

Killing Time - 100k+

Po'ed 

Foes of Ali 

Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels

Primal Rage

Blade Force 

ShockWave 2 

Wing Commander 3

Star Fighter

Samurai Showdown 

Pebble Beach Golf Links - 100k+

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2 hours ago, CapitanClassic said:

Even the Virtual Console on Wii was only able to sell about 1 million copies of SMB3, and that’s considered one of the (if not the) best NES games of all time.

You can't put that on a shelf in a box and never play it though. Gotta understand your target market.

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16 hours ago, tcmultimedia said:

Was just thinking it seems it kinda has a "Cult" following long after they stopped production. Used, crappy consoles are going for around $500, so there must be boatloads of fans out there. 

I think it's more that there wasn't a lot of Jaguar units sold in the first place,  so the high prices are driven by low supply rather than high demand.

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I think "lost" consoles like Jaguar/Nuon/NeoGeo Pocket/Lynx have gained notoriety over the years though, with the retro scene growth and YouTubers. I guarantee more people have heard of Jaguar now than in the 90's. Whether that would translate to sales, I don't know. I agree the way to do it would be slap some emulators in a single board computer in a miniature Jaguar case, bundle your usual 2600/5200/7800/etc. stuff with T2K and a band of tagalongs to get the number of Jag games up, and then market it using the usual "Over 100 games, including T2K, hit #2, and hit #3" line they use for all the other cash grabs. I seriously doubt they'd make the effort to go get the AvP license, Battlesphere, Skyhammer, etc. that would make it an actual great product, but maybe we'd get slight improvements over the Atari 50th (E.g., Battlemorph in addition to Cybermorph) now that BigPEmu already has CD support. Plus, I'd always be in favor in Atari throwing a little money Rich's way to do the necessary BigPEmu fiddling to get it working nicely in this box.

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The only way there will be a Jaguar Mini is if it is part of a compilation box with all of the other Atari consoles (2600, 5200, 7800, Lynx, Jaguar). As everybody else has said it has too small of a following to make it on its own.

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I would love to see this personally, but there are some challenges with offering mini consoles if not done right.   Everyone is going to have their opinion of what they should offer and do.   Bottom line is that there is a demand for an affordable mini Jaguar...the problem is can the demand be enough for a mini to be made into a successful product?   

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3 hours ago, cubanismo said:

I think "lost" consoles like Jaguar/Nuon/NeoGeo Pocket/Lynx have gained notoriety over the years though

I think that it's precisely the failed consoles that often get the most active homebrew scenes, because homebrew games allow to right that injustice (and also you can port games that the system didn't get back then). I would clearly be interested in a Jaguar Mini even if (or precisely because) I didn't have one back then, but still, I'm pretty sure that market is still too narrow considering the investment.

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Atari should absolutely do a Jaguar mini. Include the system's best and most iconic games and price it around $60-$80 then it will get people's attention. With a price under $100 I think quite a few people will get one out of curiosity and realize the Jaguar is not as bad as they initially thought.

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What about recompilation? There's been new development on the Nintendo 64 side where the code is decompiled then recompiled to make a PC native version. Could this also work on Jaguar games?

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Recompilation is a possibility, but I don't think this would require little effort. All the Motorola 68k code would have to be converted to C code, then it could be recompiled to target any CPU. 

 

At that point though, why engineer it to run on an ARM specifically. You could rerelease the games as part of an Atari 50th anniversary. You still have to problem of licensing for some of the biggest hits.

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On 5/25/2024 at 8:24 PM, RARusk said:

What about recompilation? There's been new development on the Nintendo 64 side where the code is decompiled then recompiled to make a PC native version. Could this also work on Jaguar games?

It took us almost 3 decades to get a high-quality Jaguar emulator, I wouldn't hold my breath for one that dynamically recompiles

 

On 5/25/2024 at 9:23 PM, CapitanClassic said:

At that point though, why engineer it to run on an ARM specifically. You could rerelease the games as part of an Atari 50th anniversary. You still have to problem of licensing for some of the biggest hits.

Yeah I'd rather just have them release a new jag controller with the pin pad, and play the games on my platform of choice

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On 5/25/2024 at 1:00 PM, roots.genoa said:

Unfortunately, emulating the Jaguar correctly requires some power, and I'm not sure a $60-$80 mini PC would be enough.

A guy on Discord already has it running on a Raspberry Pi 5 ($72 average price according to Google) using x86_64->ARM64 emulation. When built natively for ARM, it runs on the Switch, which uses an ARM core from 2012.

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1 hour ago, zzip said:

Yeah I'd rather just have them release a new jag controller with the pin pad, and play the games on my platform of choice

Yeah, honestly the controller would probably be the hardest part of a mini jag. I'm not clear whether they got the controller molds along with the console molds, and of course, if it's not the pro controller, no deal!

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2 hours ago, cubanismo said:

Yeah, honestly the controller would probably be the hardest part of a mini jag. I'm not clear whether they got the controller molds along with the console molds, and of course, if it's not the pro controller, no deal!

I don't even care if it's made from the original molds.    What I'd really like is some kind of generic keypad controller with dpad + thumbstick that could be used for CV + 5200 + INTV + Jag..   The hardest part of emulating those systems is finding the right button

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