Last week we took a look at 5 Obscure Consoles You’ve Never Heard Of and this week we’re going to do the same thing, only we’re going to shrink those consoles and put them into the palm of your hand. We’re going to take a look at the handhelds time forgot – the most obscure and rare portable consoles that ever existed.
The Game.com is probably the least obscure of the bunch. Released in 1997, the Game.com (pronounced Game Com) was produced by Tiger Electronics, a company best known for their single screen licensed LCD games. Originally aimed at an older audience, the Game.com was the first portable console to include a touchscreen and a stylus and allowed owners to treat it like a PDA, enabling them to save phone numbers and memos to the device’s internal memory. Surprisingly, Tiger even managed to release a 14.4k modem to allow for text-only internet browsing and highscore uploading.
On the games front, Tiger only managed to release around 20 games before the Game.com was pulled from shelves. Many of these games (all of which were produced in-house by Tiger) were based on popular licenses; The Game.com featured ports of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Duke Nukem 3D, and even Resident Evil 2. Despite the impressive pedigree of it’s licenses, the games themselves were considered terrible and that combined with poor marketing and even worse market visibility meant that the Game.com’s run ended in 2000 with less than 300,000 units sold.