by Dark Watcher
The Atari Panther was scheduled to be launched in 1991 at the same time as the Nintendo SNES. Technically it could have out performed the
Nintendo's machine. Even though the Panther used a 16-bit Motorola processor, the system used a 32-bit object oriented graphics processor.
The Panther was nearing completion when Atari was approached to assist in the development of a multiprocessor console dubbed "Flare 2". Atari continued to develop both consoles simultaneously. Development of Flare 2 began to progress at a rapid pace. The Atari USA's President of Software Development at this time, Larry Segal, made the costly decision to halt all development on Panther in favor of the renamed 64-bit Atari Jaguar. The games that were written for Panther, such as Crescent Galaxy and Cybermorph, were subsequently converted to the Jaguar console.
The Panther was near its final stages of development when it was suddenly scrapped. It will never be known if the Panther would have been the console to steal the thunder from Sega and Nintendo during the 16-bit console era. Perhaps if they had completed the Panther before the SNES things would have turned out differently for Atari.