Everyone’s favorite digital pet, the Tamagotchi, is being reinvented for its 25th anniversary. The new Tamagotchi Smart puts the creature into a colorful smartwatch, allowing you to strap your digital pet — and all the chores that come with it — directly to your wrist. Kotaku reports that the new device features a touchscreen for petting your little friend, voice recognition for chatting, and a pedometer. Oh, and it can also display the time. Neat.
After their original release of the Tamagotchi in the late 90s, there was a global flurry of enthusiasm, leading to a spin-off anime series, video games, and a movie. The Tamagotchi Smart is fundamentally very similar to the 90s toys, but benefits from 25 years of tech progress. Its screen is color rather than monochrome, and there’s also wireless connectivity for interacting with other Tamagotchis. An official FAQ puts battery life at around 30 hours.
According to Gizmodo, Tamagotchi’s manufacturer Bandai is initially selling the Tamagotchi Smart via lottery, but the device will go on general sale on November 23rd for 7,480 yen (around $68). Buyers will be able to unlock extra content by plugging in small physical keys, which Bandai is selling separately for 1,100 yen (around $10). There’s no word of an official release outside of Japan just yet.
Personally, I swore I’d never love a Tamagotchi again after I was forced to watch my first digital pet die during a family road trip in the late ‘90s. The ‘select’ button had fallen off the plastic egg into a public toilet (seriously), which left 8-year-old me unable to feed my little friend. Instead, I had to watch it die slowly as I helplessly cradled it in my arms. That day I swore I’d never open my heart to another digital creature.
Still though, the new smartwatch looks pretty neat, eh?