Published on Monday, 02 December 2013 00:00
The Tamagotchi craze in the 1990s was something to be fondly remembered as kids (myself included) smuggled them into schools to show off their new Tamagotchi devices and feed their virtual pets at regular intervals (less they die). The 90s kids can now relieve their childhood as Tamagotchi is back with an all-new, improved series of devices that will launch on 26 December 2013!
As a 90s kid myself who spent most of my childhood fixated on digital games which started off with the Tamagotchi, followed by the Digimon Pendulum and then the Gameboy, I am immensely excited for the new Tamagotchi series to arrive!
The Tamagotchi is a little plastic digital device that contains a virtual pet. The virtual pet starts off as an egg and has to be carefully nurtured to adulthood by the owner. The state of the virtual pets' happiness and hunger levels are indicated by meters which has to be monitored closely. If the device is left unattended for a couple of hours, owners might risk their virtual pet dying from sickness or starvation.
Bandai first introduced the beloved Tamagotchi 17 years ago, and has since sold over 80 million units in 44 versions worldwide. Today, Tamagotchi remains the #1 Character Brand for girls 7-9 in Japan, and one of the top nostalgic brands in the US market.
The Tamagotchi of the past required a lot of attention as it did not have a pause option and their owners had to bring them everywhere they went if they did not want them to die. This led to students all around the world constantly getting distracted in school with feeding their pets, cleaning up their poo, and playing with them to make them happy.
The new Tamagotchi called Tamagotchi Friends is set to release on boxing day. It features a short-range communication function that will enable owners to “bump” other Tamagotchi devices so their pets can play together, send text messages, exchange gifts and even go on dates. Apparently, the more you “bump” with someone else's pet, the more points and rewards will be earned with the totals reflected in the “best friend meter”. It also includes new characters, five games, and most importantly... a pause function and on-off sound function.
Passionate fans who has a sustained affinity with the old Tamagotchi's charm will be delighted to know that the new version will still sport its endearing dot pixel graphics, though featuring more sharply designed characters. The new version will come in 6 captivating designs.
“Part fashion, part friendship, part community and all fun, the new Tamagotchi Friends combines the nurturing features and simple play pattern of the beloved handheld virtual pet, with exciting new entertainment that we believe will really resonate with Tamagotchi fans,” Bandai said. “And now, with the new bump feature, similar to what’s found in today’s smartphones, these lovable, whimsical friends can connect with each other for massively increased levels of interaction.”
It is said that the adorable Tamagotchi creatures are actually aliens from the planet Tamagotchi who crash-landed onto Earth and were placed in egg-shapped cases by The Professor and his assistant, Mikachu. Now they are once again placed in the care of your hands.