Jaguar CD
Jaguar CD atop the console with the ProController
ManufacturerAtari Corporation
TypeVideo game console peripheral
Release dateSeptember 21, 1995; 28 years ago (September 21, 1995)
Introductory priceUS$149.95 (equivalent to $300 in 2023)
Discontinued1996 (1996)
Online servicesAtariNet

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

Atari announced a CD-ROM drive for the Jaguar before the console's November 1993 launch.[1][2] Codenamed Jaguar II during development,[3] the Jaguar CD was released on September 21, 1995 for US$149.95 (equivalent to about $300 in 2023).[4][5] It was originally scheduled for launch during the 1994 holiday shopping season, with multiple delays.[6] The drive fits into the ROM cartridge slot atop the console, with its own pass-through cartridge slot to optionally run software that uses cartridge only or that uses cartridge and CD in tandem.[7] The Memory Track cartridge stores saved game position and high scores. Several publications have criticized the Jaguar CD's design for resembling a toilet.[8][9][10][11]

The Jaguar CD has a double-speed (2×) drive[12] and built-in VLM (Virtual Light Machine) software by Jeff Minter, using a spectrum analyzer for a sophisticated video light show for audio CDs.[7] It is bundled with Blue Lightning, Vid Grid, the Tempest 2000 soundtrack CD, and a Myst demo disc. Every startup screen is unique, using the VLM for a random light show.

Jaguar CDs can store up to 790MB,[13] more than conventional CD-ROMs. Its proprietary CD format is based on the audio CD format, instead of standard CD-ROM data formats. It allows for more storage, and its incompatibility foils casual piracy, at the expense of reduced error correction.

Only 13 games were released for the Jaguar CD during its lifetime. However, previously unfinished and homebrew games have since been released.

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] However, it was never released.

Game library

See also: List of Atari Jaguar games

See also


  1. ^ "Atari's 64-bit Jaguar Stalks the Competition". GamePro. No. 61. IDG. October 1993. pp. 16–17.
  2. ^ "Atari Jaguar Unveiled—Stalks 3DO". Computer Gaming World. November 1993. pp. 10–11. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Atari Gears Up for Battle". Next Generation. No. 4. Imagine Media. April 1995. pp. 14–15.
  4. ^ "Atari Corp". HFN. 1995-09-04. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  5. ^ "Atari Jaguar CD system pounces onto multimedia marketplace". Business Wire. 1995-09-21. Archived from the original on 2013-12-24. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  6. ^ "1995: The Calm Before the Storm?". Next Generation. No. 13. Imagine Media. January 1996. p. 45.
  7. ^ a b Wise, Carey (September 1995). "Gamer's Day at Atari". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 74. Ziff Davis. pp. 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. No. 86. IDG. November 1995. p. 20.
  13. ^ "Jaguar Plugs into the CD Revolution". Next Generation. No. 6. Imagine Media. June 1995. pp. 18–19.
  14. ^ "Jaguar to Roar on PC". GamePro. No. 72. IDG. September 1994. p. 160.