Atari Jaguar CD

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Atari Jaguar CD
Jaguar CD Logo.png
Atari Jaguar CD (on top) attached to the Atari Jaguar with the ProController
Also known asJaguar CD
ManufacturerAtari Corporation
TypeVideo game console add-on
GenerationFifth generation
LifespanSeptember 21, 1995[1][2]
Online servicesAtariNet
Atari Jaguar cartridges
SuccessorAtari VCS

The Atari Jaguar CD or Jag CD is a CD-ROM peripheral for the Atari Jaguar video game console.

Atari announced a CD-ROM drive for the Jaguar before the console's November 1993 launch.[3][4] Code-named the Jaguar II during development,[5] the Jaguar CD was released on September 21, 1995, and retailed for $149.95.[1][2] It suffered from multiple delays, having been originally intended for launch during the 1994 holiday shopping season.[6] The device sits atop the Jaguar console, fitting into the ROM cartridge slot. The drive has its own cartridge slot to allow cartridge games to be played without removing the CD drive, and to run software that used cartridge and CD in tandem.[7] There was a separate "Memory Track" cartridge for storing saved game position and high scores. Several publications have criticized the Jaguar CD's design for bearing an appearance similar to a toilet.[8][9][10][11]

The Jaguar CD unit featured a double-speed (2×) drive[12] and built-in VLM (Virtual Light Machine) software written by Jeff Minter. Using a spectrum analyzer, the VLM provided a sophisticated video light show when an audio CD was played in the machine.[7] Packaged with the drive were two games (Blue Lightning and Vid Grid), a music CD (Tempest 2000 soundtrack), and a Myst demo disc. Also, the startup screen is different from that of the cartridge-based Jaguar: using the VLM banks it creates a random "light show" that is different every time the console was switched on; the startup however was silent.

Jaguar CD games can include as much as 790MB of data,[13] more than conventional CD-ROMs. The designers chose to ignore established CD-ROM formats and instead created their own based on the audio CD format. While allowing for slightly more storage on the disc and foiling casual piracy, the format provides only limited error correction.

Only 11 games were released for the Jaguar CD during its lifetime: Battlemorph, Baldies, Highlander: The Last of the MacLeods, Brain Dead 13, Dragon's Lair, Space Ace, Hover Strike: Unconquered Lands, Myst, Primal Rage, and the two pack-ins. However, previously unfinished titles and homebrew releases have since been produced, and games for the Jaguar CD were released as recently as 2017.

In mid-1994 Atari and Sigma Designs signed an agreement to co-develop a PC board that would allow Jaguar CD games to be played on home computers, with a scheduled release by the end of 1994,[14] but was never completed.

Game library[edit]

Title Genre(s) Developer(s) Publisher(s) Release date(s) Region(s) released
Baldies Real-time strategy Creative Edge Software Atari Corporation December 1995 NA, PAL
Battlemorph Shooter Attention to Detail Atari Corporation December 1995 NA, PAL
Blue Lightning Simulator Attention to Detail Atari Corporation September 21, 1995 NA, PAL
Brain Dead 13 Interactive movie ReadySoft Incorporated ReadySoft Incorporated March 1996 NA, PAL
Dragon's Lair Interactive movie Epicenter Interactive ReadySoft Incorporated December 6, 1995 NA, PAL
Highlander: The Last of the MacLeods Action, Adventure Lore Design Limited Atari Corporation October 30, 1995 NA, PAL
Hover Strike: Unconquered Lands Shooter Atari Corporation Atari Corporation October 23, 1995 NA, PAL
Iron Soldier 2 Simulator Eclipse Software Design Telegames December 30, 1997 NA, PAL
Myst Adventure Cyan Worlds, Sunsoft Atari Corporation December 14, 1995 NA, PAL
Primal Rage Fighting Probe Entertainment Time Warner Interactive November 14, 1995 NA, PAL
Space Ace Interactive movie Epicenter Interactive ReadySoft Incorporated December 1995 NA, PAL
Vid Grid Puzzle High Voltage Software Atari Corporation September 21, 1995 NA, PAL
World Tour Racing Racing Teque London Telegames June 2, 1997 NA, PAL

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Atari Corp". HFN. 1995-09-04. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  2. ^ a b "Atari Jaguar CD system pounces onto multimedia marketplace". Business Wire. 1995-09-21. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  3. ^ "Atari's 64-bit Jaguar Stalks the Competition". GamePro. No. 51. IDG. October 1993. pp. 16–17.
  4. ^ "Atari Jaguar Unveiled—Stalks 3DO". Computer Gaming World. November 1993. pp. 10–11. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Atari Gears Up for Battle". Next Generation. Imagine Media (4): 14–15. April 1995.
  6. ^ "1995: The Calm Before the Storm?". Next Generation. Imagine Media (13): 45. January 1996.
  7. ^ a b Wise, Carey (September 1995). "Gamer's Day at Atari". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (74): 64–66.
  8. ^ Elston, Brett (June 19, 2008). "Consoles of the '90s". GamesRadar. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  9. ^ Gilbert, Henry (August 28, 2013). "Weirdest console redesigns in gaming history". GamesRadar. p. 4. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  10. ^ Williams, Andrew (March 10, 2017). "12 new games created for long-obsolete consoles". TechRadar. p. 3. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  11. ^ "The 10 ugliest pieces of technology ever made". The Daily Telegraph. September 12, 2019. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  12. ^ "Jaguar CD". GamePro. IDG (86): 20. November 1995.
  13. ^ "Jaguar Plugs into the CD Revolution". Next Generation. Imagine Media (6): 18–19. June 1995.
  14. ^ "Jaguar to Roar on PC". GamePro. No. 62. IDG. September 1994. p. 160.