Atari Panther schematics discovered - Never released machine

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czietz
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Atari Panther schematics discovered - Never released machine

Postby czietz » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:25 am

Hi,

this is not strictly an ST hardware topic, however, since there's no forum for unreleased Atari HW, I hope that still someone here finds it interesting. Moderators, if you can think of a better forum, please move the thread.

While doing "digital archeology", I stumbled across the schematics of the Atari Panther. This game console was developed by Atari but ultimately cancelled in favor of the Jaguar. Maybe you recall that during my big find of Atari ASIC the video shifter of the Panther (aka "Linebuffer") was discovered, too.

Now, here are the schematics that I converted to PDF: https://www.chzsoft.de/asic-web/console.pdf. Of course I can't say for sure that they are complete. Neither do I know if they are the last version before the project was cancelled. They are dated April 1991 and were already marked "Panther Production Ver[sion]".

It's interesting how simple this console is built: 68000 CPU with 16 MHz and three ASICs: the "Linebuffer" mentioned above, the "Object" ASIC (or "Object List Processor") which generates the graphics, and "Otis" for sound. Also only 32 kBytes of SRAM, but with a 32 bit data bus to the "Object"-ASIC. There's an expansion connector. Maybe this was meant for RAM upgrades or the cartridges were planned to contain more RAM.

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willy
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Re: Atari Panther schematics discovered - Never released machine

Postby willy » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:54 am

Hmm... quick look, and first thing that is coming: "Prototype" of Jaguar?

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Re: Atari Panther schematics discovered - Never released machine

Postby Maeke » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:54 am

willy wrote:Hmm... quick look, and first thing that is coming: "Prototype" of Jaguar?


No the Panther project was at some point described as st made into a console, but the project was abandoned because the jaguar was considered as way more interesting.

Look here; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_Panther

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Re: Atari Panther schematics discovered - Never released machine

Postby lostdragon » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:06 pm

The information on that Wikipedia page is so far from correct, i honestly do not know where to start..

I've spent a lot of time looking into the Panther, following Press reports from rumoured ST Console/ST+/Project robin, up to point of actual Panther Project.

Not so much from Hardware point of view, but games wise.

Everything i found is here:

https://assemblergames.com/threads/the- ... etc.66307/


Basically there's never been a shred of proof, in fact it's been strongly denied by key Atari Corp staff, that Cybermorph and Crescent Galaxy ever started on Panther...


Jeff Minter's test demo routines were for his planned Star Raiders-esq Panther game.

Guildo H, had been working on an RPG called The Crypt for the Konix Multisystem, it was moved to Panther instead..talk about backing wrong horses.

Scott D.Williamson had coded a simple graphics demo.

Joel Seider had coded some enviromental tools etc.


Peter Johnson was assisting in the conversion of Shadow Of The Beast to the panther.

Hand Made soft were testing the system, had a version of Elite up and running on it.

Rob Zydbel etc were working on original games.


Tiertex had planned Strider 2 for conversion to it.

Domark were NOT converting Pitfighter as had been claimed.

Whilst Guildo H, Leonard Tramiel and Jeff Minter liked the hardware, majority of folks didn't think much of it, not much more powerful than the SNES, bugged, Nightmare to code for and would of been obsolete wthin 18 months.


The thread (and others of mine) attracted some rather unwanted attention from certain JSIII posters, but i felt folks had a right to know what was really in development.

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Re: Atari Panther schematics discovered - Never released machine

Postby Cyprian » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:28 pm

willy wrote:Hmm... quick look, and first thing that is coming: "Prototype" of Jaguar?

nope, the Panter was pure Atari hardware and the first Jaguar prototype was done by Sinclair (yep - ZX-81/Amstrad) team, and it seems was based on "Loki" project (also Spectrum)
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Re: Atari Panther schematics discovered - Never released machine

Postby MiggyMog » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:44 pm

Looks like Tracy Hall is still doing interesting stuff https://www.linkedin.com/in/dreamsnlogic
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Re: Atari Panther schematics discovered - Never released machine

Postby lostdragon » Sat May 12, 2018 3:05 pm

Just a brief update.

It was (Ex-Tiertex ) Paul Gill that very kindly passed onto GTW the info that Strider II had been Green Lit for the Panther console.

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Re: Atari Panther schematics discovered - Never released machine

Postby lostdragon » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:56 pm

Put fresh quotes from Rob Nicholson (HMS) and Jeff Minter up, along with claim Atari could of licenced the hardware out, up here if anyone's interested:

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/80735-panther/page-3


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