From Sega Retro
|Manufacturer: Tiger Electronics|
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The Game.com (pronounced "game com") was a short-lived cartridge-based handheld video game system by Tiger Electronics originally released in late 1997. Though not the first to be developed by the company (this title goes to the Tiger R-Zone), the Game.com is perhaps its most memorable foray into the market.
Despite an aggressive marketing strategy the handheld system was largely ignored by the gaming press at the time, and under-performed significantly, leading to it being pulled in the space of two years. It is a heavily criticised console, which despite being released eight years after its main rival, the Nintendo Game Boy, offers few advantages and in many areas performs worse.
Critics have highlighted the Game.com's poor screen, audio capabilities and software library, consisting of poorly programmed games, many of which fail to maintain a constant framerate. The Game.com was largely exclusive to the US market and was the first to offer limited internet capabilities. It also contains two cartridge slots and a resistive touch screen, plus various pieces of built-in software such as calendars and calculators.
Despite its limited success many big publishers backed the console during its early years, including Sega. Only two Sega games were released for the handheld, both of which were watered-down "ports" of Sega Saturn games - Sonic Jam and Fighters Megamix. Sonic Jam stands as the first Sonic the Hedgehog game to be released on a non-Sega console.