Saturday, November 14, 2009

Let The Atari Jaguar Games Begin! Please?

In 1994, Atari's Jaguar console was really struggling in the marketplace as the Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation and Nintendo 64 loomed on the horizon, largely due to lackluster software support from Atari and its (very few) third-party publishers.  Atari attempted to address the issue, or at least its public perception, by running a two-page magazine ad promoting 30 exciting upcoming games for the Jaguar.

Unfortunately, only half of the promised titles shown in the ad ever came to market.  Brett Hull Hockey and Charles Barkley's Shut Up and Jam are known to exist in prototype form, but many of the others never made it past the concept art stage.  I have annotated the ad accordingly:

For me, the most poignant discovery here is that Time-Warner Interactive's infamously terrible fighting game Rise of the Robots came out for nearly every gaming platform of the day -- but never quite made it to the Jaguar.


  1. You are so wrong!

    Battlezone 2000 - Released as Hoverstrike
    Shut Up & Jam - Released
    Brett Hull Hockey - Released on both CD & Cart
    Robinson's Requiem - Released
    Redline Racing - Released as Checkered Flag
    Ultimate Brain Games - Prototype released

  2. Thanks for the update and corrections! I somehow thought Checkered Flag was already out when this ad was run using the old title. And I'd completely forgotten that Hoverstrike started life as Battlezone 2000. I owned and played both of these cartridges under their final titles, so seeing them advertised with the preliminary names I must have just mentally filtered them out. (And to my original point, advertising upcoming games with preliminary titles seems kind of a waste anyway!)

    I don't know that I'd count the others as official releases -- certainly not by Atari through standard videogame distribution channels, nor on the timeline implied by this advertisement when it ran in 1995. Robinson's Requiem didn't arrive until 2011, Ultimate Brain Games only exists as an incomplete prototype as far as I can tell, and Shut Up & Jam and Brett Hull Hockey were "released" but in unfinished form.

    But hey, two or sort-of-six out of twelve is something!