The Tamagotchi is back for its 20th anniversary
Who says the 90s were rubbish? We had great innovations in gadgetry, like Scalextric, Mr Frosty and of course… the Tamagotchi. What do the kids have these days? A selfie-taking drone and a remote control wall-climbing car? Modern children don’t know the simple joys of bringing up a digital pet and forgetting to feed it until it goes cross-eyed. Until now, that is. Namco America has announced today that it will be releasing a smaller 20th anniversary edition of the classic virtual pet.
The Tamagotchi launched in 1997, making it 20 years since it first came into existence. Since its initial release, Namco has sold over 82 million Tamagotchis worldwide.
It works exactly the same way you remember. You bring it up from a tiny hatchling, play games with it, feed it until it poops everywhere and then forget it exists. Uncovering a long-forgotten Tamagotchi and discovering a long-dead pet inside was an important rite-of-passage for any child of the 1990s.
The new version of the toy features six unique egg shell designs and six different characters. And for that extra bit of authenticity, they’ve kept the design of the packaging exactly the same as the original. Being slightly smaller, the screen size is only 16×16 pixels from the original 32×16 pixels which might be a hassle for some.
It’s not the first time the company has brought the Tamagotchi back, though. In 2015, they released an app for the Apple Watch and earlier in 2014, they launched Tamagotchi Friends, a spin-off of the original, letting you raise a baby into an adult.
The mini Tamagotchi’s release comes at an increasingly nostalgia-filled period for games and toys, with major companies announcing and releasing mini versions of well-beloved gadgets. Nintendo has most notably released miniature games consoles from the past, like the NES Classic Edition and the SNES Mini. Everyone seems to be trying to recapture the nostalgia, and the SNES Mini is duly already sold out everywhere.
If you want to get another Tamagotchi, for your kid, then the miniature anniversary edition is available for pre-order for a modest £9.99 and will go on sale in November. Or you could just get a browser version, that will die if you open too many tabs.