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Music for the
beast...the Jaguar CD
September, 1995, Atari released the Atari Jaguar CD for about $150. The
JagCD was planned years before, but was getting more and more important,
since Sony announced the Playstation with a built-in CD-ROM.
The Sony Playstation, just like the JagCD, hit the market in September.
The JagCD had to offer a very nice 'gimmick': the V.L.M., the 'Virtual
Light Machine'. (See the appropriate section for more info).
An optional MPEG-cartridge (for watching Video CDs and CD-i's) was taken
into consideration as well, but it never saw the light of day.
With the JagCD you were able to play your audio-CDs on your Jaguar and
'finish' it with the V.L.M.
Some games were equipped with additional levels and fmv-cut-scenes. Very
remarkable were the ports of Cinematronics-titles like 'Dragon's Lair' and
the PC-title 'Myst' with excellent graphics.
The JagCD was connected to the Jaguar via the cartridge-port, which was
passed-through to have the 'Memory Track' inserted while playing
CD-based-games. The 'Memory Track' was an optional high-score cartridge.
Though offering nicer presentation of games, the JagCD couldn't compete
with the Sony Playststion, because the Jaguar itself was supposed to be a
mostly cartridge-based system and couldn't offer the CPU-power of the
PlayStation. So the JagCD was NO must-have-peripheral for the Jaguar, but
just nice to have!
Atari planned to release a 'Jaguar Combo' which combined the Jaguar and
the JagCD in one single unit. It was never released...