Atari Jaguar
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Atari's "64-bit" Jaguar console is today widely viewed as a disaster, thanks in no small part to its shallow software library at launch, poor sales, and its lack of marketing compared to its other competitors at the time.

Nevertheless, it's since gone on to become highly collectible, with retro fans quick to point out hidden gems and curiosities that are worth taking a closer look at today.

At the start of this month, video game programmer and designer Rich Whitehouse released the first version of 'BigPEmu', the first Atari Jaguar emulator to be entirely compatible with the Jaguar's full retail cartridge library. And as such, it appears it's now easier than ever to experience some of these old games without a significant trade-off in quality or performance, and with some exciting new quality-of-life features thrown in for good measure.

The emulator is available to download from Whitehouse's website, along with a user manual. This is where you can also view a full list of the available features, such as the ability to run the entire retail library (with default settings) at full speed on almost any x64-capable processor, the option to tweak settings to overclock/underclock each of the Jaguar cores, and record video and create save states.

There's also support for global and per-game backgrounds and extra devices like driving controllers, as well as the ability to tweak shaders.

In the future, Whitehouse aims to add support for Jaguar CD, Jaguar VR, and Jaglink, in addition to continuing to improve the emulator's accuracy and speed. If you want to take a closer look at the emulator in action, veteran games journalist Jeff Gerstmann recently gave a demonstration of it on his YouTube channel. You can get a closer look at how it handles in the video below:

Have you put BigPEmu through its paces yet? Let us know in the comments!