The lack of documentation was indeed a massive issue to Jaguar development, had it been far better and indeed work arounds discovered and shared far earlier on, it would of benifited a lot of Jaguar software. However, it's still only 1 aspect of a history riddled with critical failings.
Atari cutting cart sizes back had massive impact on certain games.... Atari marketing deciding 2D was no longer needed, everything now had to be 3D so games canned as a result. Atari deciding Jaguar had to be seen to able to compete with texture-mapped games running on 3DO and above, even though coders and they themselves knew Jaguar simply couldn't handle it and thus we saw games like Supercross 3D... ATD, Imagitec, Missile Command 3D coder, Lee Briggs of WTR etc all gone on record to explain pressure atari put on them to have texture mapping and frame rate etc wasn't seen as an issue....utter madness.You play to your hardware strength, not try and pull wool over consumers eyes.
Still shots only work till you get a product home and Atari must of known how press would react to games like Supercross 3D, this simply didn't care. As Fred Gill said Leonard Tramiel wanted ATD to texture map EVERYTHING in Battlemorph, it was Leonard that insisted EVERYTHING was texture mapped in Hover Strike and thus frame rate dropped from 15-20 FPS to 5 FPS and it was Eclipse that discovered the texture 'hack' allowing for 2X speed of small textures.
I was a Mega CD owner, day 1 purchase £270 (more than the Jaguar cost me, £229) for a bloody add-on. It was a mixed bag, it was utterly bizzare to find that despite having a second, faster CPU, Powermonger ran slower on MCD than the cart version. But then games like Terminator S.E (massive sprites, far more levels, far better game than cart version ), Final Fight (shamed SNES version), Batman Returns (3D sections simply stunning), Battlecorps, Thunderhawk etc showcased what hardware was possible of creating, only you had Sega putting out FMV crap on a system with only 512 colours and in early days 64 colours on screen, though i know clever coding increased that to 128+ in certain games.
The Jaguar CD drive, even if it had extra Ram, plus a Maths co-processor chip to assist with texture-mapping, would of simply of been an even more expensive option for those few of us who'd bought a Jaguar.... Plus extra chips etc on it would of been wasted on titles like Baldies, Dragons Lair, Space Ace, etc. We might of seen bigger sprites in Primal rage, plus shorter loading times, ATD have admitted they had under estimated just how much work Blue Lightning was going to be, the Jag CD controller software ran in 1 of the DSP's used for audio, ATD themselves expanding at the time..everything an utter mess. Atari really needed to push the Jag CD with titles like Hover Strike:U.C, I.S II, Battlemorph, put serious resources into Black Ice, White Noiseetc.
In hindsight, Atari should of had Rebellion CANCEL Cheq.Flag, they clearly had no idea how to implement a decent control scheme...time and resources could of been better spent getting Skyhammer to commercial retail, finishing Legions Of The Undead etc. I know it's easy to play armchair expert and for me to say ohhh Atari should of done X,Y and indeed Z, but i talk from the perspective of a consumer and someone who's put some time in chatting to those who worked with Atari (and indeed those who wanted to work with Atari, but Atari snubbed)....and you get a fair balance of views. Time and valuable resources were wasted from the very early days of Atari deciding to yet again try and get back in the console race, from the ST based console, to The Panther.... By the time Atari decided what it wanted, the market had long since moved on. Developers abandoned the ST in favour of the Amiga, which itself was under very real threat from the PC and SNES, MD etc. Plus Atari had burnt so many bridges with retailers, distrubution arms, software developers etc.
It was always going to be an uphill struggle for Jaguar from Day 1, but Atari seemed to set out for a hike and decided to have a crack at climbing a mountain, whilst equiped with little more than a set of hiking boots.
Edited by Lost Dragon, 20 January 2017 - 10:02 AM.