Welcome to Interview Reenactment Theater, where we recreate some of the greatest video game interviews of all time.
Today's episode reenacts Next Generation magazine's 1995 interview with Sam Tramiel, who was the head of Atari during the days of the Jaguar. This is not the first time these two met. If you've been listening to each episode of Interview Reenactment, then you'll likely remember our confrontational interview from a few weeks back. This is right before the launch of the Sega Saturn, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64, and Sam is feeling especially punchy. You simply won't believe this interview.
Wow. I just ... wow. On one hand, Sam Tramiel was right that the 3DO was not long for this world. The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer only lasted until 1996 and the 64-bit M2 never came out. So, congratulations Sam, you were able to make the most obvious prediction of all time.
Unfortunately, Mr. Tramiel was wrong about pretty much everything else. The Atari Jaguar didn't suddenly have its second wind when the PlayStation and Saturn launched, that's ridiculous. The new consoles clobbered the so-called 64-bitter and the Jaguar was discontinued in 1996. It sold fewer than 250,000 units, which is a fraction of one percent of what the PlayStation sold. And the Jaguar CD didn't even come close to capturing 50% of the market.
Several months after this interview, Sony launched the PlayStation for $299.99. Atari did not sue. Sam was all talk, which is why it was easy to dismiss his bravado at the time. Sadly, he had a heart attack soon after this interview and was forced to step down from Atari. He eventually recovered, but the company did not.
We would like to thank Next Generation magazine for not only running this interview, but also asking challenging questions. This episode would not have been possible without the editors at Next Generation, as well as Sam Tramiel.
We would also like to thank Aaron for providing the voice of Sam Tramiel. Make sure and check out Game Enthus. Not only do they offer a weekly podcast, but they have a wealth of video previews that are worth checking out. Dig around his site long enough and you may discover an episode starring somebody with a familiar voice.