The Game.com (just pronounced Game com) is the first touchscreen handheld system, preceding the Nintendo DS. It was released by Tiger Electronics (not to be confused with Tiger Telematics, developers of the Gizmondo) in 1997 and discontinued in 2000. It attempted to capture older audiences with new features at the time, such as being one of the first systems to have access to the internet, a PDA, and a phonebook.
Why it Flopped
- 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 there was no online play to use. The main reason to use this feature was mainly 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. Even worse, the screen had an issue called "ghosting", meaning the screen became blurry in high paced games.
- 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 midget (played by an unidentified actor) insulting gamers while promoting the Game.com. Gamers actually thought it was a real press conference and were offended.
- It had a Mortal Kombat game WITHOUT Scorpion and Sub-Zero, the series' two most iconic characters.