[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Game.com Internet Module

March 26th, 2012 by Benj Edwards

Tiger Game.com Internet Module Box Front and Back - 1997Tiger Game.com Internet Module Box

Two years ago, I posted a scan of the Tiger Game.com instruction manual. Today, I bring you the box for that console’s little-understood Internet cartridge, released in 1997.

The box you see above included a Game.com serial cable (which allowed the console to be hooked up to an external RS-232 Hayes compatible PC modem) and a cartridge with the “Internet” software on it. In truth, the cartridge contained little more than ASCII text-based terminal emulator software.

In my previous Game.com Retro Scan, I described the Game.com’s Internet connectivity, which I will quote below:

The Internet on the Game.com wasn’t nearly as exciting as it sounds. Sure, it supported “checking your email” and uploading high scores to the Tiger website, but a user had to access the ‘Net through a text-only terminal emulator cartridge — and then only via a serial cable that linked to a stand-alone dial-up modem.

It was a messy business. Being text-only, the user had to type in commands to whatever ISP the user chose (assuming they provided shell access) with the stylus on a tiny on-screen keyboard. Tiger did provide its own ISP that made the process slightly more user friendly. While far from practical, having a terminal emulator was an amusing capability. I used the Game.com call some BBSes around in 1997 for a chuckle.

As you can see, the Game.com’s Internet feature wasn’t very practical or useful, but it certainly serves as an amusing footnote in game console history.

By the way, Tiger once offered (or planned to offer) its own Tiger brand external modem for use with the Game.com. I’m not sure if it ever made it intro full production, but it is extremely rare either way. If anyone out there has seen one, please let me know.

[ From Tiger Game.com Internet box (module 71-529), circa 1997 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What was the first video game console you bought that could communicate with the Internet?

3 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Game.com Internet Module”

  1. Arlandi Says:

    My first console that could connect to the net is Sega Dreamcast. but since it’s the version that uses dial-up, i didn’t connect much. only occasionally to check emails, simple browsing. and i don’t have the keyboard/mouse, so typing must be done with selecting letters from an on-screen keyboard. very slooooow when replying emails….

  2. CT Says:

    The first console I bought that could connect to the net was the PS2 Slim, which I almost never use, unless I’m craving some buggy and jerky racing a la TOCA3.

  3. TheSaintOfPain Says:

    I just bought a working Game.com this past weekend at a flea market for fifteen bucks. It came with 3 games: Lights Out, which originally came with the system; William’s Arcade Classics, and Wheel Of Fortune. I never owned one when they originally came out back in the ’90s, and now I’m glad I never did. It’s great to have since I’m a collector of vintage video games and consoles, but to try to actually use the thing on a regular basis because I just spent seventy bucks on the stupid thing would’ve driven me absolutely insane.

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