The Game.com is probably the only piece of hardware less successful than the 3DO and the Atari Jaguar. In 1997, Tiger Electronics, a company known for making mediocre handheld games loosely based on licensed IPs, thought they could dethrone Nintendo's Game Boy with their own system. Apparently, they thought they could succeed where both Atari and Sega failed just a year or so earlier.
Well, the Game.com was, and still is, crap. Even though it was the first dedicated gaming device with both a touch screen and exceedingly limited Internet capabilities, none of its innovations were implemented effectively. The touch screen barely worked, the modem hook-up hardly ever functioned properly, and it was impossible to see the screen in most lighting because the contrast control didn't actually adjust.
Internet comedian Stuart Ashen reveals the Game.com's horrible truths in this lengthy video review.
Astoundingly, Tiger secured several well-known franchises for their handheld, including Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania, and Resident Evil. Of course, only the latter actually made it through production.
It's clear that Tiger understood how to generate hype for their practically unplayable device. But, just like their simplistic LCD titles, the Game.com felt like a bastardization of good, and colorful, console games.
Until recently, Tiger still had a website for the Game.com, complete with a useless guide for how to connect it to the Internet. Apparently the listed instructions didn't actually work. I think that sums up the handheld's three-year existence rather nicely.
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