(Curteousy of Glenn Bruner)
(Curteousy of Markus Kirschbaum)
In 1995 rumors began to circulate that Atari was working on a replacement for the Atari Jaguar console. Codenamed "Midsummer" this new Jaguar would have a new Tom II and Jerry II chipset with better graphics, sound, more expansion and a built-in CDROM (There was also a system called JagDuo circulating in rumor circles but confusion existed as to whether the JagDuo was just a regular Jaguar with built-in CDROM or if in fact it was the Jag II with built-in CDROM.) Tom II is so large and generated so much heat, it required its own cooling fan which has to be hooked up to a seperate power source. After tinkering with the unit for a few days and fixing a few broken wires, I finally fired it up with Tempest 2k, the console works, but I find no improvements in the graphics, sound or game play, so unlocking and unleashing the enhanced features that may be present in the Jaguar II are unknown.... but it is backward compatible.
Another interest aspect is the Jaguar II's expansion connectors. The Jaguar sported
both and A/V connector and a DSP Connector. The Jag II does one better with a third
expansion connector for some unkown future expansion devices. Also if you look at
the motherboard, you'll notice a 2nd unpopulated bank of memory for the Jaguar II.
Keeping with the whole theme of the codename of the console: "Midsummer"
as in William Shakespears "Midsummers night dream" The new Tom & Jerry II
chipset was also given codenames reflecting the characters from
the well known play: Oberon & Puck
(a label underneath this unit says Oberon &Theseus.)
as the play's own message says "Love is blind" so was
the fact that Atari was blindly travelling down a short and windy road headed
for its painful demise as 1996 approached and with it the end of the Jaguar,
the hopeful Jaguar II and Atari itself as the company would be reverse
merged into JTS Corp, a small hard drive maker who quickly squandered
Atari's money and liquidated the warehouse of Atari Lynx & Jaguar stock,
then filed for bankruptcy in 1998.