Having been out of the console wars for years after the failure of the 7800, Atari decided, in 1993, to try one more shot at a video game console, as competition for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System, as well as the 3DO, which had just come out that year (and even the original Nintendo, which was on its last legs). Originally intended to be a 32-bit system called the "Panther", Atari, in shock of the 3DO having 32-bit capabilities, decided to create a 64-bit system called the Jaguar. Although sales were decent at launch, the console was not doing very well in the market, one problem being that the graphics weren't really "64-bit", but more like 16-bit style graphics you'd see on the Genesis and SNES. This may have been because Atari decided to use the 32-bit processors they had for the Panther, and then they added some other processors and enhancements to make it "64-bit" (which probably isn't true). In an attempt to boost sales, Atari created a CD-ROM add-on for the Jaguar, but by then, it was too late. After just three years, in 1996, the Jaguar was discontinued, with sales totaling less than 250,000 units worldwide (with the CD-ROM add-on selling less than 20,000 units) and putting out only 81 games (67 on cartridge, 14 on CD-ROM). However, new homebrew games are still being made by some developers.
1st Logo (November 23, 1993-1996)
Logo: On a black background, we see the word "Jaguar", in a grungy red font with the diagonal line of the "R" being made of a cat scratch, zoom in. The word "ATARI", in a silver 3D font, tumbles to the bottom of the screen below the Jaguar logo, letters coming from all directions. When they stop, a small Registered trademark symbol (®) appears next to "Atari", then "Jaguar" slides up, and a cube with images of a jaguar inside it zooms in, spinning around. Finally, the entire logo zooms out.
- When a non-working cartridge (or non-working Jaguar CD) is in the Jaguar once you turn it on, "Jaguar" zooms in, but the screen goes red, and goes indefinitely still. This is nicknamed the "Jaguar Red Screen of Death".
- In NBA Jam Tournament Edition, before the Atari logo appears, the "Jaguar" text has a 6-second extension.
Technique: The "Jaguar" text zooming in, the Atari logo tumbling down, plus the jaguar cube zooming and spinning.
Music/Sounds: A "roar" as the "Jaguar" text zooms in, then, when the Atari logo appears, a downward high-pitched Moog synth scale (not like in the 1971 PBS logo), followed by an 8-note synth tune (Atari's advertising jingle used in the 80's ["Have you played Atari today?"]), ending with an orchestral hit, is heard.
Availability: Appears when you turn an Atari Jaguar (minus CD unit) on. You have to have a cartridge in the slot in order to turn the console on, however.
2nd Logo (September 21, 1995-1996)
Logo: On a black background, we see the Jaguar logo from the first logo with rainbow flares shooting out, similar to the logo for Swedish HV company Video Invest. It animates differently depending on what game you put in (and sometimes just differently every time you turn it on, even without a CD).
Variant: A 2D picture of a CD with a flashing pink question mark appears under the logo when you turn the machine on and there's no cartridge or CD in the unit. You'll also see that icon if you put a dead cartridge in without a CD inside.
Technique: The rainbow flares, but other than that, it's a still logo.
Availability: Appears when you turn an Atari Jaguar with the CD unit on (which is hardly since most CD add-ons don't work).