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Video Game Hardware: Atari Jaguar CD
Primary Name
Atari Jaguar CD
Alternate Names
Jag CD
Release Date
1995-09-11
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ObjectID: 131831
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Description Edit | History

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

The unit hit shelves on September 11, 1995 and retailed for $149.95. The device sat atop the Jaguar console, snapping very firmly into the cartridge slot. The drive had its own cartridge slot to allow cartridge games to be played without removing the CD drive. In addition, a "Memory Track" cartridge (sold separately) was available to store saved games and high scores for Jaguar CD games.

The CD unit featured a double-speed (2x) drive and built-in VLM (Virtual Light Machine) software written by Jeff Minter. The VLM provided a sophisticated video light show when an audio CD was played in the machine. Bundled with the unit were two games (Blue Lightning and Vid Grid), a music CD (Tempest 2000 soundtrack), and a Myst demo disc.

When the Jaguar CD was installed in a console the startup screen was different. A random 'light show' that was different every time the console was switched on was created using the VLM. However, the startup was silent and did not feature the characteristic "roar" of the Atari Jaguar.

Jaguar CD games could include as much as 790MB of data, considerably 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 dramatically more storage on the disc, and foiling casual piracy, the format only provided limited error correction.

The drive was manufactured for Atari by Philips in the United States. The initial shipment was 20,000 units.

Source: Wikipedia, "Atari Jaguar CD", available under the CC-BY-SA License.

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Video Game Hardware: Atari Jaguar CD
Atari Jaguar CD
Nick: 
Atari Jaguar CD
Rel Date: 1995-09-11
Manufacturer: Philips Electronics
Region: 
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