The Game.com (just pronounced Game com) was a handheld console released by Tiger Electronics (not to be confused with Tiger Telematics, developers of the Gizmondo) in 1997 and discontinued in 2000. It was the first console to have a touch screen, preceeding the Nintendo DS.
Why it Flopped
- Absolutely horrible screen. It was monochrome and lacked a backlight screen like the Game Boy (which was released 8 years before) and suffered bad "ghosting" that made it very hard to see anything. Additionally, these screens haven't withstood the test of time, and many have large amounts of dead pixels.
- While it was one of the first gaming systems to access the internet, it required a dial up modem to connect to, was text-based only, and while online gaming was theoretically possible, no game released for the system ever made use of it. The main reason to use its internet features was to upload high scores or read your E-Mail. The setup was also very confusing and because the online features offered very little use, very few gamers bothered to use the feature at all.
- The touchscreen had a fairly low sensor resolution making it fairly unresponsive to the stylus. In addition, the sensors were visible on the screen.
- There was next to no MIDI/MOD support and only one sound could play at a time. Games could not have decent music due to sound effects constantly interrupting it, musical notes interrupting each other, and the prohibitive amount of ROM required to store even a 30 second loop of PCM audio.
- Only 20 games were made for the system, including ports to games that were on the PlayStation, such as Resident Evil 2 and Duke Nukem. The best-selling game for the system was Lights Out! but only because it came with the system.
- Tiger made a very poor attempt at a commercial in an attempt to get the system to sell. The commercial shows a person of small stature (played by an unidentified actor) insulting gamers while promoting the Game.com. Gamers actually thought it was a real press conference and were offended.
- The system was noticeably bulkier than the original model of the Game Boy, and way bigger than the Game Boy Pocket, which was released around the same time as this.