New York Release (Nov.07,1993)

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/20/94-01:08:40 AM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: New York Release (Nov.07,1993)
Date: Sun Feb 20 01:08:40 1994

 :: Volume 2 - Issue 19      ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE       7 November 1993 ::

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   - -           -=-=-=-  [  JAGUAR NEWS  ]  -=-=-=-           - -
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//// Tails Of The Jaguar:
//// The Awakening

Atari heralded the launching of their Jaguar 64bit RISC gmae system
this past Thursday evening, November 4th, at the Time/Life building on
West 50th Street in the heart of New York City. Over three hundred
people who were in attendence had to followed the trail of cats' paws
that lined the walls on the 44th floor and patiently filed in shifts
into a private elevator awaiting them at trail's end. The cab's panel
of floor numbered buttons had a black and yellow "64bit" sticker
covering one of the selections, a deliberate reference to Atari's
pivotal processing edge in the upcoming next generation games war and
a clear indication of which floor button would take you to the party.

The elevator doors opened on the 48th floor to the Hemisphere Club, a
large room done up in distincitve jungle-related decorations and
subdued lighting. Models in cat costumes and masks slinked, slithered,
curled and stretched both on the floor and around the room. A number
of cages were also set up with dancers who performed their own
seductively undulating floor show as guests milled about the huge
buffet and then wandered over to one of 16 kiosks, each of which had a
Jaguar unit and monitor featuring one of the hot new games developed
especially to show off the Jaguar's amazing capabilities. These were
augmented by a bank of 6 large monitor screens linked together on a
center stage, each showing scenes from individual games. Four big
screen 32" sets were positioned throughout the main room, also synced
and playing scenes from Jaguar games.

//// The Hunters Seek Their Quarry

Among the attendees were a number of buyers from such major and
prestigous retail stores as Toys 'R Us and FAO Schwartz. Major
corporate players such as IBM, Phillips, Motorola and Time/Warner also
had representatives present, and media coverage included People
magazine and New Media, while game publications included The Source
and Game Pro.

The entire Tramiel family, including Jack, Sam, Garry and Leonard and
their wives and children were there, as were Atari's Richard Miller,
Bob Brodie, James Grunke and Bill Rebock. Everyone wore black name
tags with yellow cats eyes higlighting their names in red. Sam Tramiel
addressed the attentive crowd on the dawning of a revoltionary new era
in networked cable computer-based multi-media tele-communications and
of Atari's committment to be at the forefront of a next generation
game explosion, one that would bring a level of graphic-powered
realism to veritable life on million's of TVs across the country and
around the globe.

//// Master Of The Hunt

A number of TV ad spots were shown, including the two 30-second teaser
spots, which are apparently designed to be played before and after a
newtork's choice of some other, unrelated thirty second spot. The
first part starts out with a professor-ish sort of Monty Python-like
character (a Guardian of Public Morality-type) telling viewers to hide
the kids, and stay tuned to hear more about an exciting new games
system unlike anything they've ever seen. There's a screen behind him
which is playing fast clips of different games, and in the second half
you can see more of these (one of them looks like graphics right out
of Babylon 5).

Halfway through his spiel, delivered in somewhat of a semi-mumbling
but understandable manner, an animated jaguar leaps from the screen
behind him, swallows him and the jaguar burps as he props one paw
under his chin and gazes out at the viewer with a very cat-like grin.
This is followed by a black screen with yellow eyes and a claw that
rips down the left side of the screen as the words Jaguar and 64bit
are prominently displayed on the right. The screen then is shredded to
reveal a shot of the actual Jaguar unit and CD ROM player, follwed by
the words "Atari".

Another 60-second spot has a bunch of kids gathered around a TV set,
with the level of conversation on the, "I love this game machine,
it's soooo cool!" level, with computer generated effects of them at
wild angles interspersed with shots of the TV screen and the action
game they're playing. Comparisons with Sega Genesis and Nintendo game
systems are made in the commercial, showing up the superior technology
of the Jaguar to these competing systems. Although no reference is
made in either commercial to that other, so-called "revolutionary" new
32-bit game system, Atari definately takes on 3DO with a vengence in
their press releases and promotional brochures, prominently displaying
detailed comparison charts between the two throughout.

Future commercials are already in the works at Atari - not much in
the area of plotlines has been revealed, but their soundtracks will
feature songs from the likes of Prince and the Scorpions. One new ad
may be dedicated to the theme of "I know what boys want."

//// Those Who Have Heard The Call

The names of a number of new game companies who had signed on as
Jaguar developers were also revelaed. Major players included
Activision, Virgin, Ocean, Interplay. Two Jaguar peripherals were also
announced. These cartridges, named MPEG 1 & 2, would allow CD
full-motion video to be played on the Jaguar system. The MPEG 1 cart
provides users with the added capability to connect their units to
cable phone networks and be able to play games in real time with
friends around the corner, in the next town, or across the world.

Atari expects to release the CD ROM unit somewhere around the first
quarter of '94, and a host of new cartridge and CD ROM games are
expected throughout '94. Attendeees got a look at a number of these,
but the two that seemed to get the most oohs and aahs were Trevor
McFur & The Crescent Galaxy, a Defender-like game whose graphics and
animations used rendered vector drawings to show asteroids flying at
you and big monsters appearing with an in-your-face kind of startling
real effect, and Alien Versus Predator.

AvP features polygonal, algorythmic-driven full motion chase scenes
that have the Alien chasing you as you're looking back and both of you
are moving at amazing speeds down corridors, zigzagging, changing
surfaces and heading down various side branches. From what we can
gather about this game, it's going to be a system seller.

//// And The Night Is Alive With a Thousand Sighs

Kudos are in definately in order to Atari and Cunningham
Communications for pulling off what everyone seemed to think was a
great start on the launching of a very impressive product. Special
thanks to Brian Gockley and to my editor, Travis Guy for some of the
information in this article. Stay tuned to Atari Explorer Online for
continuing Jaguar coverage throught the campaign.

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