The Atari Jaguar CD was an add-on for the Atari Jaguar. It was released in 1995, The add-on attaches itself to the top of the Jaguar and has its own library of CD games. It also has a cartridge slot on top of it so gamers could play Jaguar games.

Why it Flopped

  1. The Atari Jaguar itself wasn't doing well so there was little interest in the add-on.
  2. It makes the Jaguar look like a toilet.
  3. The add-on was very poorly designed, giving it multiple hardware failures.
    1. It often had an imperfect connection with the Jaguar because it sits on top - and with digital connections like a cartridge port, it's perfect or nothing. With the Sega CD and Nintendo 64DD, the weight of the Genesis or Nintendo 64 prevented this sort of connection problem.
    2. The motor mechanism was defective.
    3. The laser was defective.
    4. The lid itself could close so tightly, it could mash the CD inside and keep it from spinning.
  4. The problems this add-on had were almost completely irreparable. James Rolfe's friend, Richard of Stupidfingers, who is well known for creating James' custom Nintoaster and other custom game consoles, was unable to fix the device.
  5. Only a small number of units were functional, but because these are rare and expensive, you could give up hundreds to maybe even thousands of dollars to find a working unit. James Rolfe spent $450.00 in total on two CD units that didn't function. Luckily, someone sent him a working unit. Spoony (who listed off the above hardware faults) also had a difficult time getting one to work for his Highlander: The Last of the McLeods review and no sooner had he finished recording footage for the review that his system permanently died.
  6. Only 14 to 15 games were made for it, most of which were just mediocre at best.
  7. The cartridge slot also didn't have a dust cover to protect from dust.
  8. It had its own power supply so you needed two sockets to use plus a third for the television.
  9. The discs had no error-correcting features whatsoever, so as to increase their capacity to 790MB, even though games from this era were already struggling to fully use the 650MB capacity of standard CDs, and it made the system even more prone to malfunctions.


The Atari Jaguar CD was a massive failure, it was discontinued in early 1996 only months after it launched. The add-on is pretty rare with only 20,000 units known to exist and average sale price on the internet is often more than $800. Despite being a total failure, the Jaguar CD became popular with homebrew developers.