Maybe Atari was doomed even before the Jaguar was ever conceived, but their idea of a controller definitely didn't help. Not only did the company bring back the unnecessary phone keypad-with-overlays theme of the early 80s, Atari also created a three action button device in a world of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, a genre that the company was trying to woo over to its 64-bit system. On top of this, the company utilized a VGA plug for its controller ports, and the controller plugs simply fell out if a mouse farted somewhere in the house.Atari was trying to woo Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat fans? That seems unlikely to me, given that the system had (off the top of my head) a grand two such fighting games, Ultra Vortek and Bruce Lee. You can get up to three if you count Primal Rage on the Jaguar CD.
There is nothing inherently wrong with a VGA plug, and the comment about whether they fell out is simply made up. As someone who played hours and hours on a Jaguar, and still does so happily once a year or so, I have never had a controller plug fall out. Moreover, my favorite Atari Jaguar controller had its plug stepped on and the plastic cuff broken, and despite that it still stays in just fine.
I'd also point out that a numeric keypad and overlays aren't awful ideas. You might not like them, that's fine, but they don't prevent you from using the controller. Moreover, the PlayStation version of Iron Solider 3 clearly demonstrated that a giant walking combat robot game just can't be done right with fewer than 15 buttons.
Look, I know it's fun to poke fun at the black sheep of the videogame industry. We all enjoy a good Virtual Boy or Phantom joke from time to time. But, to quote Homer Simpson, those jokes are funny because they're true. Just making crap up and hoping your audience is too ignorant to know better makes you look foolish.
So, there's this tv show about videogames called "When Games Attack" that has a top 5 list each episode, and one of them was "The Five Worst Game Controllers". And so I thought I'd Google it and find out what their list was, because more often than not they spew stuff I agree with. And I cannot for the life of me remember whether the Jaguar controller was in there or not.
This is the sort of handy information -- not universally useful, but suitable for satisfying a specialist curiosity -- that I would like the web to have.
No such luck.
(...)and the controller plugs simply fell out if a mouse farted somewhere in the house.
In other news, game journalist stretches to make a dumb scatalogical analogy, probably on his editor's advice. Film at 11.
Bob, if you do find it, let me know. Would be nice to compare the two lists.
JohnH, it's not a big surprise that the author of this IGN piece is...Craig Harris. IIRC, this is IGN's potty mouth himself. (Ruffin will set me straight if I got the wrong guy.)
Well, it's certainly a lot easier to make fun of a dead system from many years ago, than say, the Xbox 360, when you desperately need the ad revenue. Not too mention the grief you'd get from a bunch of fanboys who've just paid twice the face value for a system on ebay because they just had to be the first kid on the block to play Game X from last year, just with better graphics.