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Contributor sketch based on Panther design diagrams at the Wayback Machine (archived December 2, 2003)
|Type||Home video game console|
The Atari Panther is a cancelled 32-bit video game console from Atari Corporation, that was going to be the successor to the Atari 7800 and the Atari XEGS. It was developed by the same ex-Sinclair team Flare Technology who were previously responsible for the Flare One and the Konix Multisystem. It was going to be a combination of the Atari ST and the Blossom video card.
Work for the console started in 1988 along with the 64-bit Jaguar project (which was expected to appear two years after the Panther). The Panther was scheduled to be released in 1991, directly competing with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. However Atari abandoned the project, as work on the Jaguar project was progressing quickly and presented a far more impressive technology. The cancellation meant that Atari had no hardware presence in the home console market between the discontinuation of the Atari 7800 in 1990 and the launch of the Atari Jaguar in 1993, which is believed to have weakened the brand and likely contributed to the failure of the latter.
The system features three chips, consisting of a Motorola 68000 running at 16 MHz, an object processor called the Panther, and an Ensoniq sound processor called Otis, featuring 32 sound channels (presumably an ES5505). The Panther was never manufactured as the design was eclipsed by that of the Jaguar.
Three games were planned for the Panther's release:
All of the above games were later rewritten for the Atari Jaguar upon the Panther's demise.