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If Consoles Were Hot Dogs - The Atari Times

If Consoles Were Hot Dogs

Comparing the '16-bit' Jaguar to the 16-bitters
by Gregory D. George

July 23, 2005
If you're an Atari Jaguar fan, you know how often this "Jaguar is 16-bit because it has a Motorola 68000 CPU!" nonsense pops up. Self-proclaimed "experts" think the "proof" that the Jaguar isn't 64-bit is by looking at the quickly ported games like Cannon Fodder, Dino Dudes, Pifall, Brutal Sports Football, Flashback, Soccer Kid, Zoop, and Bubsy while "conveniently" ignoring games no SNES or Genesis could do. Games like Tempest 2000, Alien vs. Predator, Iron Soldier 1 & 2, BattleSphere Classic & Gold, Cybermorph, Battlemorph, Skyhammer, Space War 2000, Phaze Zero, Missile Command 3D, Towers II, Zero 5, Black Ice/White Noise, Myst, Hover Strike, Highlander, World Tour Racing, Fight for Life, Vid Grid, I-War, or even the awful games like Club Drive, White Men Can't Jump, Supercross 3D, Checkered Flag, & Aircars!

Even 10 years after the demise of the Jaguar, these "experts" (aka Nintendo & Sega fanboys) refuse to admit the Jaguar was more powerful than their systems. Blind loyalty I suppose.

Since it's difficult to explain to the "experts," I've thought of a simple way of explaining the differences in power between the three systems while preparing my lunch one day. We all love hot dogs, right? We all doctor them up with our own condiments like mustard, ketchup, and relish right? And we don't often eat a hot dog without a Coke or pretzels or chips, right? And sometimes it's nice to have a dessert to go along with our lunch too.

So, without further delay, here is a guide for the self-proclaimed "experts" to help them understand the differences between the Super Nintendo, Genesis, and the (vastly more powerful, this is no contest) Jaguar.

Sega Genesis

Sega Genesis - First, you get the Sega Genesis. It's raw, sometimes rough and grainy looking graphics make you think you're eating a raw uncooked hot dog. Sure, it's nutritious, but you somehow know that there are better ways to eat a dog. Perhaps cooking it would be a start?

Super NintendoSuper NES - Next, you have the Super Nintendo. Someone remembered that the dog needs to be cooked! Not only that, but they thought to include a bun! Sure, the games are fun, but then so are games on any system! The SNES's smooth high color graphics look nice for awhile, but the 2D quickly gets repetitive and bland. And the "Mode 7" effects begin to look gimmicky. You begin to wish there was more to this wiener.
Super Nintendo + SFX ChipSuper NES + SFX chip - So you add some ketchup to doctor it up. Wow! now you've got a Super Nintendo with an SFX chip capable of doing some rough 3D graphics! Finally the system has the flavor to do games like Starfox and a crude (almost unplayable) version of Doom. But that's about it. The SFX leaves you wishing for even more. You know there must be a hot dog that can do all of this and much more.
Sega Genesis + 32XSega Genesis + 32X - Along comes the Sega 32X! Wow, now here's a pretty capable dog. It can churn out the 3D graphics fairly nicely. It significantly improves the Genesis's color palette which smoothes out the look of the graphics. This is a dog with ketchup, mustard, AND relish! Doom is much faster than on the previous dog, but it still lacks a bunch of features (most noticeably, full-screen mode.) Still, is a hot dog good enough by itself? Aren't you still missing a few key things (like a drink?!)
Atari JaguarAtari Jaguar - With the Jaguar, you get all of the previous stuff with more than a few additionals. You get the great hot dog along with pretzels and a Coke! You can do the 16-bit looking stuff as well as being able to churn out 3D graphics the SNES and Genesis could only dream about (or try to mimic with add-ons.) Stuff like Iron Soldier 2, AvP, and Battlesphere are so graphically and technologically superior they make the SNES and Genesis look like the bland dogs that they are. Sure, not all the games are winners, but this hot dog's smooth graphics and color palette show just how lacking the earlier systems were. There's only one thing that could make this hot dog even better. Some dessert!
Atari Jaguar + CDAtari Jaguar + CD - The Jaguar CD is just the extra sweet topper to your lunch. It's the M&M's dumped on your plate. Now you can play super boring (but popular) titles like Myst and the exceptional 3D Battlemorph. It's not an essential improvement to the original system, but it adds some sweet features like the VLM and a few more games to the mix.

Can it get even better than that? Sure it can. Is a hot dog the greatest meal ever? Certainly not. You could always go with the foot long hot dog. Or maybe even a steak dinner with all the fixins. Every game system has it's rough edges. Not all hot dogs are the same. But when some insane ranter begins comparing the 64-bit Jaguar to the 16-bit dogs, there's no top dog like the Jaguar.

Reader Comments for If Consoles Were Hot Dogs

Hmmm... by Stieve the wonder dog on 2007-01-20 00:46:04
I think this is essentialy right, though the super NES and Genisis were easier to program for, AND though the Jaguar is more powerfull, it is only psudo 64 bit. It can be programmed to be so, but not allways. Also, I put the Super NES + sfx chip above 32X. It was just a gimmick.
What about the N64 And Genesis 32X? by Sean on 2008-03-17 18:49:51
You mentioned the 32X Genesis but no N64 comparison?

And as I recall the Jaguar did not do so well becuase of the high price tag on it unlike the cheaper SNES and Genesis that were out before the Jag.

I am slowly buying old gaming systems starting with the Atari 2600 and have a lot of games for that including the Intellivision also.

And have lots of NES and SNES games also ;)

Never really had a Sega Console since I just go to neighbors house to play it when I was a kid.

Counter-point by Cory on 2008-05-21 01:06:21
Well strictly in terms of processing power I see your point here, but the games are what make a system. Genesis and SNES had far more games that were worth playing than Jaguar did, graphical superiority or not.

Don't get me wrong, I have a Jaguar and still enjoy throwing down with some Iron Soldier (one of my favorite games), Tempest 2000 (phenominal), Cannon Fodder, and AvP from time to time (among others), but the basic fact is there are far more games that interest me on the 16-bit competition of the Jaguar's day.

Also, while I certainly wouldn't try to make the argument that Jaguar is really 16-bit like the others or some other nonsense like that, I think the reason it is usually compared with them is the fact that it competed in the marketplace primarily with them. It didn't even last a year against PlayStation as it was pretty much wiped out in Christmas 1995, so comparing it with that is kind of a moot point.

Again, not saying Jaguar is garbage by any means, but to try to say it is far superior to the 16-bitters in any sense other than graphically strikes me as difficult to justify. I just think it is best to simply enjoy the Jaguar as it is rather than to also try to put down the other systems just to prove how great Jaguar was/is.
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