After the failure of the R-Zone, Tiger Electronics realized that they needed a true handheld device to compete against Nintendo’s dominance of the Game Boy. In February 1997 announced the game.com as a direct competitor to the Game Boy. With advance features such as a touchscreen, optional Internet Access (through an add-on), dual cartridges port and other PDA functionality, hope was very high at Tiger Electronics with one spokesperson stating that the game.com would “change the gaming world as we know it,”.
In May 1997, the game.com was unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) and the reception was good. Everything was set for Tiger to rewrite history.
The game.com finally released in the United States in August 1997 for a retail price of $69.95 and bundled with the Lights Out cartridge and the built-in Solitaire game.The Internet-access cartridge was released a month later October.
Tiger had the ambition to take over the Game Boy and decided to launch an aggressive marketing campaign. Tiger wanted to imitate Sega’s success against Nintendo and decide to appeal to an older audience by creating a campaign full of the 90s attitudes. This resulted in weird ad campaign were the main protagonist was insulting gamers.
Although Tiger had access to various popular license such as Sonic, Duke Nukem, Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil, the games were a huge deception. Some ports were just awful where others were fairly decent but plague with the slow frame rate of the device and the ghosting of the screen.
With the upcoming release of the Game Boy Color, Tiger knew that the days of the game.com were counted. As they did for the R-Zone, Tiger decided to release an updated version to correct some of the flaws in the original design. In June 1999, Tiger Electronics released the game.com Pocket Pro. The console had a slightly better screen which produced less ghosting, had a smaller form factor and was now only using two “AA” battery instead of four. To achieve the small form factor, Tiger had to remove the second cartridge port. One of the most attractive features was the Backlit screen, which turns out was in fact a front-lit screen. With a new price of $29.99, less than half the price of the Game Boy Color, Tiger was hoping to keep the system afloat long enough to be able to release more game to increases its library.
A few months later, Tiger re-released the Pocket Pro in 4 different skeleton color (green, orange, pink and purple) but silently removed the “Backlit screen” function. Sadly, the flashing color and the updated feature were not enough to save the “game.com”. Tigers officially discontinued the product in 2000 alongside the Internet feature. In total, fewer than 300,000 units of the different models were sold, which make it one of the worst-selling console of all time.
- Batman & Robin
- Duke Nukem 3D
- Fighters Megamix
- Indy 500
- Lights Out (Only available as a bundled with the console)
- The Lost World: Jurassic Park
- Mortal Kombat Trilogy
- Quiz Wiz: Cyber Trivia
- Resident Evil 2
- Sonic Jam
- Tiger Casino
- Wheel of Fortune
- Wheel of Fortune 2
- Williams Arcade Classics
- A Bug’s Life
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
- Command & Conquer Red Alert
- Deer Hunter
- Giga Pet Deluxe
- Metal Gear Solid
- NBA Hangtime
- RPG Shadow Madness