The famous '90s toy is back, and this time it has a camera. Bandai America, Tamagotchi's parent company, is launching the new Tamagotchi Pix.
Tamagotchi Pix feature
The core of the toy remains the same. It is still egg-shaped with three buttons, and the goal is to raise a virtual pet.
The virtual pet goes through different life stages, starting from hatching from an egg to growing up and demanding attention, like asking to be played with or fed. It then dies a few days later.
However, those familiar with the original toy will see it has been updated for 2021. Instead of a pixelated black and white screen, the Pix screen is now in full color, according to The Verge.
The upgraded Tamagotchi now has a built-in camera that lets users take pictures with their virtual pet. To feed your Tamagotchi, you can cook for it or even have food delivered. You can also nurture the pet by painting or cooking with it using the camera to snap pictures for your pet.
There's also an explore mode, where other Tamagotchi friends can pop up to do activities with your virtual pet. You can also schedule playdates, and connect with a friend's device through a Tama Code.
But, just like the original version, there is no WIFI connection needed in order to connect to your Tamagotchi, so you don't necessarily need an internet access to enjoy the toy.
The $59.99 toy is available for pre-orders now, and it will go sale in July, according to Venture Beat.
The Tamagotchi Pix captures a bit of the feeling of "Pokemon Go's" augmented reality camera. It is not as robust, as you are just pasting your pet on a photo instead of finding them moving out in different places, but some of that AR features is there.
Documenting your pet's life in photos can create a type of bond, but what is more powerful is the basic feeling the Pix's little AR photos could conjure: that you exist in the same space as your virtual pet and that, in some way, it is real even if it is confined to a plastic egg.
To celebrate its 20th anniversary in North America, Bandai launched a mini version of iconic digital pocket pet in 2017. Then, in 2019, the company launched Tamagotchi On, which introduced Tamagotchi on a color device into the North American market.
Bandai does not share regional numbers, but Tara Badie, Bandai's senior director of brand strategy, said that sales exceeded their expectations.
Badie stated that they do have plans for the next couple of years to continuously bring new items into North America.
In its almost 25 years in the market, the company said that it has sold over 82 million Tamagotchis globally. The brand first launched in 1996 in Japan, and it came to America in 1997.
Unlike the United States, Tamagotchis never needed to make comeback in Japan. The Tamagotchi brand has had regular launches in Japan, thus becoming a staple children's toy in the country.
Badie told CNN in 2019 that just like in America, there are certain products that all children can play with, and Tamagotchi is that product for children in Japan.
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Written by Sieeka Khan