What you need to know
- Bandai America is updating the Tamagotchi with new features, customization options, and more.
- It'll be available starting July 28 for $60 in North America.
- Fans can pre-order the Tamagotchi On for $60 at Amazon, starting May 13.
Many of us remember the Tamagotchi: that egg-shaped, key-chained sized device that allowed you to take care of, clean, and love a black and white, pixelated pet. It's not a modern concept in 2019, but the brand is going to try and make an updated comeback.
On Monday, Bandai America announced that the Tamagotchi Go, a new take on the nostalgic toy, is set to hit stores with new all-new features, customization options, styles, mini-games, and more this summer.
The original Tamagotchi was first released in Japan in 1996 but soon took off across the world, allowing kids to take care of a digital pet as it grew up. This involved taking care of it when it was sick, cleaning up after it goes to the bathroom, playing with it, and more. It's seen a few iterations since the initial release, some with new mechanics like marriage, but it was never as popular as it was in the late 90s.
The Tamagotchi On looks similar to the Tamagotchi of yesteryear with the iconic egg shape and the three small buttons, but features some of the biggest updates to the toy in its history and hopes to bring the toy into 2019.
"The new experiences and social connections raises the fun-factor and provides users with endless hours of entertainment," said Bandai America marketing director Tara Badie said in a press release. "We wanted to keep aspects of the original Tamagotchi gameplay but make it more relevant for today's users."
While the outside of the Tamagotchi looks the same, it starts to look different the moment you boot it up. The Tamagotchi On features colored digital screens, which is a huge step away from the black and white screen we're used to. Players can also choose from "millions" of different characters so they can create a pet of their own. There are also two styles — Fairies and Magic — that players can choose between and each offers its own unique characters and lands to explore.
The Tamagotchi On also incorporates mechanics and gameplay introduced in earlier versions. Gotchi points, which players can earn while playing games to purchase items from the in-game shop, are here. Players can connect the Tamagotchi On to the interactive app, where they can play games and meet new characters. Marriage and family-building are also available.
Despite all the changes, the Tamagotchi On hopes to keep the spirit of the original toy at its core. The player can still wash, clean, and take care of their pet. They just now have the option to go explore the world beyond the home.
The new device is set to cost $60, which is almost four times as much as the original, which cost around $18. Bandai wrote in the press release that it hopes children 6-12 can enjoy it but at that price, it looks like it might be more attractive to adults who can afford it.
Pre-orders will be available starting May 13 at Target, Amazon, GameStop, and Urban Outfitters. Tamagotchi On will be widely available on July 28.
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