COMDEX Reacts to the Jaguar (Nov.23,1993)

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/20/94-01:39:13 AM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: COMDEX Reacts to the Jaguar (Nov.23,1993)
Date: Sun Feb 20 01:39:13 1994

 |||   COMDEX reacts to the Jaguar
 |||   By: Albert Dayes
/ | \  CIS: 70007,3615     GEnie: AEO.1

Most people were quite impressed with the Jaguar and with good reason.
The speed of texture mapped graphics really drew quite a crowd. There
were also several IBM employees from the different divisions that were
very interested in the Jaguar. Some from the PowerPC division were
more interested in discussing the technical merits of the chip set.
There were others from Motorola and other IBM divisions that were also
very impressed with the chip set.

The second question after the technical questions were answered was
"Where can I can get it?" Several IBM reps walking through the IBM OEM
booth stopped and looked at the Jaguar for a long time. Then they
asked. "Where can I can get one?"

Several people who had read different gaming magazines also came
through the booth and asked to see it in action. Crescent Galaxy,
Cybermorph and Alien vs Predator were always on the list of must see

Most people were surprised to hear that Atari Games was going to be
using the Jaguar chipset in their arcade games. That made several
people pause in silence before asking where they could get a copy.

The other questions were related to what the Nintendo-SGI alliance
would produce. If they were using the MIPs 4x00 family of 64-bit RISC
chips the price on the chip alone was at least $200. If Atari can sell
the Jaguar for $249 retail the Jaguar chip set must be very
inexpensive. The Nintendo-SGI will make the market a very exciting
place for consumers for sure.

A certain businessman walking through the booth asked why this game
machine was present. After hearing that IBM was doing component
sourcing, assembly and distribution he looked at the Jaguar a while
longer, picked up a brochure and left without another word.

Several different reps from game software producing companies also
came through the booth. Most were interested in getting more
information on how to develop for the Jaguar. Since they were not
facing me, I could not read their badges and see what company they
were from. Several 3DO developers wanted to know the price and
availability of the CD-ROM drive for the Jaguar too.

When exhibitors came through the booth it was much easier to tell from
what company they were from. This was due to the fact that each
company had a dress code. IBM employees and guests were wearing tan
pants and purple shirts with IBM OEM written on the shirts. Borland
had green shirts and black pants. And this list goes on.

Two representives from the Microsoft Advanced Projects Group were very
interested in getting Jaguar development units. They already had 3DO
units in the lab and wanted to the get Jaguar units right away.

When there was a slight lull in the crowds and I got some hands on
time with the Jaguar someone would always stand right next to me. When
I asked them if they would like to try, most said sure and happily
took the controller in their hands. When playing Cybermorph most had
no problem getting used to the controls. All loved the speed and
clarity of the graphics. They loved how fluid the motion was and being
able to fly all over the planet was a real treat.

J. Patton handled most of the technical questions non stop during the
time I was present at Comdex. Technical discussions of the chip set,
block diagram and object processor were almost always being discussed.
It was quite amazing the amount of interest in the Jaguar.

IBM's Charlotte plant is also an interesting place. This the only IBM
facility that has everything in one place. Manufacturing, assembly,
software development, hardware development, CD-ROM disc duplication,
etc, etc, and it's duty free as well.

Everyone wanted to feel the Jaguar controller, and since there were
two at the booth this was quite trivial. Most like me were surprised
at how light it was. Most after playing a game had no complaints about
the controller either.

There were many comments about what 3DO had to offer and its high
price. Some expressed concern about the number of developers Atari had
on board versus 3DO as well. There were many questions about past
history and how this would impact the future. But regardless of these
questions everyone wanted a copy or wanted information on how develop
software for it.

After getting to spend quality time with the Jaguar at Comdex I am
very impressed. When one has a computer for such a long period of time
one can hardly think of spending $49 to $79 for a single cartridge.
But after seeing and most importantly, playing with the Jaguar, it
will be a very easy step.

Jaguar 64-bit Interactive Multimedia System (includes Cybermorph).
Shipping New York and San Francisco areas currently
US National/European Rollout in 1994

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