Atari Jaguar emulators

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Atari Jaguar
Atari-Jaguar-Console-Set.png
Developer Atari
Type Home video game console
Generation Fifth generation
Release date November 23, 1993
Discontinued 1996
Introductory price $249.99
Predecessor 7800 ProSystem, Panther
Successor VCS
Emulated

The Atari Jaguar (AJ) was a fifth generation home video game console released by Atari in 1993. It had a Motorola 68000 CPU and 2 custom RISC CPUs. It has 2MB of RAM. Despite the intense marketing efforts by Atari, the Jaguar is, in fact, a 32-bit console with a 64-bit bus. The system's convoluted architecture didn't help matters either, which led most developers to just use the 68000 for gameplay logic. The console would prove to be the final home console release for Atari until the VCS in 2021. There was also a CD addon called the Atari Jaguar CD (AJ-CD).

In 2000, the console's patents were released into the public domain, which effectively made it an open system - the homebrew scene for the Jaguar is particularly active compared to its competitors (e.g. the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer and Sega 32X) as a result.

Emulators

Name Platform(s) Latest version Atari
CoJag
Hardware features
and accessories
Enhancements Compatibility FLOSS Active Recommended
PC / x86
BigPEmu Windows 1.094 100%
BizHawk Windows Linux Dev builds
2.9.1
~ ~ ? ~
Virtual Jaguar
virtualjaguar_libretro
Windows Linux macOS libretro core
2.1.2
Unofficial builds
~ 95% ~ [N 1] ~
Phoenix Windows Linux macOS 2.8.JAG 95%
MAME Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD git artifacts[N 2]
0.262
libretro core
[N 3] ~ ?
Project Tempest Windows 0.95 ~* ?
Tempest 2000 Emulator/T2K Windows 0.06 ~* ? [N 4]
Mobile / ARM
Virtual Jaguar
virtualjaguar_libretro
Android iOS libretro core
1.01git
~ 95% ~[N 1]
IrataJaguar Android 1.0.7 ? ~
Virtual Jaguar X2 GP2X 0.1a ? ~
Virtual Jaguar EX Pandora 1.0 ? ~
MAME Linux Pandora libretro core [N 3] ~ ?
Console
virtualjaguar_libretro PlayStation 4 Nintendo 3DS Switch libretro core ~ 95% ~ [N 1]
DCJag
(Virtual Jaguar port)
Dreamcast N/A ?
pJag
(Virtual Jaguar port)
PSP 0.1 ?
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Libretro core is still active.
  2. CI-Windows CI-Linux CI-Macos
  3. 3.0 3.1 MAME 0.262 version compatibility status for CoJag.
  4. Works perfectly for Tempest 2000 and the Jaguar CD VLM, but does not support other games.

Comparisons

BigPEmu
The newest and most compatible Atari Jaguar emulator by Rich Whitehouse, boasting 100% compatibility, and one of the best emulator when it comes to enhancement capabilities (similar to Mesen, Bsnes, Dolphin, Flycast, DuckStation, PPSSPP and PCSX2) and supports all of the hardware features, peripherals.
Virtual Jaguar
An open-source emulator based on the original by the same name. Use the link given as "libretro core" on this page and choose the most current version from there.
Phoenix
About 95% of Jaguar titles are compatible. No support for AJ-CD/AJ-VR games. The PC version of the emulator is only available in Russian, but an English patch is available.
MAME
Preliminary support. Some games boot but the emulation is far from perfect.
Project Tempest
Was the first ever working Atari Jaguar emulator. It emulates some games, but most have issues. As its name suggests it was primarily made for Tempest 2000, with other games as secondary goals. Project Tempest is the first Jaguar emulator that supports Jaguar CD games, but only two are compatible; Primal Rage and Baldies (the latter has sound distortion though). It has not been updated since 2004.
IrataJaguar
The Phoenix emulation project is released as separate emulators for Android, this is the Jaguar version. Identical compatibility to PC version according to the author. Requires fast 64-bit CPU 2GHz+ or better for full speed.

Enhancements

Name BigPEmu BizHawk VirtualJaguar MAME
Graphics Resizable Internal Resolution ? ? ?
Widescreen hack ? ? ? ?
Texture Replacement [N2 1] ? ? ?
Performance Overclock [N2 1] ? ? ?
Internal Framerate Hack [N2 1] ? ? ?
Post-Processing Post-rendering AA
(FXAA, TXAA and MLAA/SMAA)
[N2 2] ? ? ?
Post-rendering scaling
(Sharp bilinear, Lanczos and FSR 1)
?
Filters
NTSC filters, HDR tonemapping etc.
~[N2 3]
Shader Chain [N2 4] ~[N2 3]
TAS features Macros/Scripts/Lua ? ? ?
Rewind ? ? ?
Fast-Forward/Turbo Speed ? ? ?
Savestates ? ? ?
Movie recording/playback ? ? ?
Controls Input lag-mitigating technique ? ? ?
Mouse Injector Compatible ~[N2 1]
True/dual analog control ~[N2 1] ? ? ?
Quality of life Per-Game Profiles * ?
Command Line Options * *
Streamable compression format ? ~[N2 3]
Built-in Graphics mod editor/manager ? ? ? ?
Built-in Cheat Manager ? ? ? ?
Big Picture Mode ~[N2 3]
Built-in Custom resolution/CRTSwitchRes
For using this on Windows OS you need CRT Emudriver.
Another option is using EDID editor tool such as "Custom Resolution Utility".
~[N2 5] Exclusive to libretro cores and GroovyMAME at the moment.
Also there is a project for achieving software emulators like libretro cores and GroovyMAME send the raw RGB data over a network to a core running on MiSTer, it basically turns the MiSTer into a GPU for the emulator allowing for easy setup and use with CRT TVs/Arcade monitors.
Misc Netplay ? ? ?
Free Look
Free Look is a enhancement feature that allows manipulation of the in-game camera.
While freecam would be technically possible, it will require per-game patches.
Said patches would require a significant amount of time to reverse the game's engine, which means that only someone talented with enough dedication to a single game could do it.
RetroAchievements
Atari Jaguar, Atari Jaguar CD
~[N2 3]
Debug Features * ? ? ?
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 BigPEmu offers an option to increase blitter speed, making low frame rate titles (e.g., Alien vs. Predator) much more playable. Also features a powerful scripting system. BigPEmu version 1.092 added analog/mouselook support to the AvP, Wolfenstein 3D, Iron Soldier scripts (includes always-strafe and always-run options). To use the new AvP/Wolf3D mouselook, enable the respective script, set either input device 1 or 2 to "Analog" as the device type, and bind the first 2 analog inputs to whatever you choose. Mouse, analog stick, whatever.
  2. Existing RetroArch AA shaders work with it after automatic conversion with the tool.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Only available for libretro core. Virtual Jaguar libretro core RetroAchievement support.
  4. There is a project called duimon-bigpemu which implements some of the Mega Bezel shader presets to BigPEmu, by Duimon.
  5. BigPEmu will auto-detect available display modes (resolutions at ideal frequency) and present them, which should include vertical resolutions down to 200p. See this discord message and this one for more information.

Hardware features and accessories

Name BigPEmu BizHawk VirtualJaguar MAME
JagLink *
AJ-VR *
AJ-CD ~[N3 1] *
  1. Only a few Jaguar CD games work and playable. All other Jaguar CD games have issues and are nearly unplayable.

External Links

Atari logo.png
Consoles: Atari 2600Atari 5200Atari 7800Atari XEGSAtari JaguarAtari VCS
Handhelds: Atari Lynx
Computers: Atari 8-bitAtari ST