Trivia

Hard

The Outer Case Of The Atari Jaguar Game Console Lived On As A?

Dental Camera
Lamp
PC Case
Frisbee
An ad for Imagin Systems' Hotrod IntraOral Camera.
Imagin Systems

Answer: Dental Camera

If there’s something we love more than anything else in the trivia department here, it’s trivia that hinges on improbable twists of fate, which is exactly how the outer case for a video game console became the outer case for a dental camera.

In 1993, Atari released its sixth and final console: the Jaguar. On paper, the Jaguar was a solid console. It boasted graphics and processing power well ahead of the competition, but it was hampered by the console’s multi-chip architecture that made game development difficult and contributed to a very low adoption rate. Ultimately, the gamble Atari engaged in with the Jaguar proved to be too costly, and the company withdrew from the home console market altogether.

That would have been that as far as our story goes, except for the curious fate of the tools used in actually manufacturing the Jaguar. Custom molds are quite expensive to have made, so when it came time to liquidate the physical assets related to Jaguar production, the molds used to create the Jaguar’s outer case and game cartridges were put up for sale in an attempt to recoup production expenses.

The outer case of the Jaguar just happened to be the perfect size for the guts of the HotRod digital intra-oral camera, produced by the Imagin Systems dental imaging equipment company. The company snatched up the molds and saved themselves a huge sum of money in the process. Not only did the company use the outer case, but they even used the mold for the Jaguar game cartridges to create memory expansion cards for the camera—waste not, want not (and avoid custom mold prices in the process, it would seem).

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