9. Tiger Game.comYear released:
By the late 1990s, Tiger was well established as a maker of handheld electronic games. Every toy store had a cheap Tiger LCD handheld in stock, and it stood to reason that Tiger would eventually come out with a product to challenge Nintendo's Game Boy preeminence in the handheld gaming universe. It did so with the Game.com, the first handheld game console with a touchscreen and Internet connectivity. The Internet part of the program fell a bit flat, though: It ran through a terminal emulator cartridge that supported text only and then through a serial cable linked to an external dial-up modem--in other words, 1980s technology. Not exactly a portable setup either. Signature problems:
Terrible, terrible game library, most titles plagued by choppy animation. Blurry, low-resolution touchscreen. Silly name that attempted to capitalize on Internet mania. Redeeming features:
First touchscreen console. Built-in solitaire game (best game on the system) and primitive PDA functions. Could double as a tiny serial terminal.
Photo courtesy of Empani.