|Also known as||Jaguar CD|
|Type||Video game console add-on|
|Lifespan||September 21, 1995|
|Atari Jaguar cartridges|
The Atari Jaguar CD or Jag CD is a CD-ROM peripheral for the Atari Jaguar video game console.
Atari announced a CD-ROM drive for the Jaguar before the console's November 1993 launch. Code-named the Jaguar II during development, the Jaguar CD was released on September 21, 1995, and retailed for $149.95. It suffered from multiple delays, having been originally intended for launch during the 1994 holiday shopping season. The device sits atop the Jaguar console, fitting into the ROM cartridge slot. The drive has its own cartridge slot to allow cartridge games to be played without removing the CD drive, and to run software that used cartridge and CD in tandem. There was a separate "Memory Track" cartridge for storing saved game position and high scores. Several publications have criticized the Jaguar CD's design for bearing an appearance similar to a toilet.
The Jaguar CD unit featured a double-speed (2×) drive and built-in VLM (Virtual Light Machine) software written by Jeff Minter. Using a spectrum analyzer, the VLM provided a sophisticated video light show when an audio CD was played in the machine. Packaged with the drive were two games (Blue Lightning and Vid Grid), a music CD (Tempest 2000 soundtrack), and a Myst demo disc. Also, the startup screen is different from that of the cartridge-based Jaguar: using the VLM banks it creates a random "light show" that is different every time the console was switched on; the startup however was silent.
Jaguar CD games can include as much as 790MB of data, more than conventional CD-ROMs. The designers chose to ignore established CD-ROM formats and instead created their own based on the audio CD format. While allowing for slightly more storage on the disc and foiling casual piracy, the format provides only limited error correction.
Only 11 games were released for the Jaguar CD during its lifetime: Battlemorph, Baldies, Highlander: The Last of the MacLeods, Brain Dead 13, Dragon's Lair, Space Ace, Hover Strike: Unconquered Lands, Myst, Primal Rage, and the two pack-ins. However, previously unfinished titles and homebrew releases have since been produced, and games for the Jaguar CD were released as recently as 2017.
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, but was never completed.
|Title||Genre(s)||Developer(s)||Publisher(s)||Release date(s)||Region(s) released|
|Baldies||Real-time strategy||Creative Edge Software||Atari Corporation||December 1995||NA, PAL|
|Battlemorph||Shooter||Attention to Detail||Atari Corporation||December 1995||NA, PAL|
|Blue Lightning||Simulator||Attention to Detail||Atari Corporation||September 21, 1995||NA, PAL|
|Brain Dead 13||Interactive movie||ReadySoft Incorporated||ReadySoft Incorporated||March 1996||NA, PAL|
|Dragon's Lair||Interactive movie||Epicenter Interactive||ReadySoft Incorporated||December 6, 1995||NA, PAL|
|Highlander: The Last of the MacLeods||Action, Adventure||Lore Design Limited||Atari Corporation||October 30, 1995||NA, PAL|
|Hover Strike: Unconquered Lands||Shooter||Atari Corporation||Atari Corporation||October 23, 1995||NA, PAL|
|Iron Soldier 2||Simulator||Eclipse Software Design||Telegames||December 30, 1997||NA, PAL|
|Myst||Adventure||Cyan Worlds, Sunsoft||Atari Corporation||December 14, 1995||NA, PAL|
|Primal Rage||Fighting||Probe Entertainment||Time Warner Interactive||November 14, 1995||NA, PAL|
|Space Ace||Interactive movie||Epicenter Interactive||ReadySoft Incorporated||December 1995||NA, PAL|
|Vid Grid||Puzzle||High Voltage Software||Atari Corporation||September 21, 1995||NA, PAL|
|World Tour Racing||Racing||Teque London||Telegames||June 2, 1997||NA, PAL|