Bandai Namco is bringing back the Tamagotchi we all know and love with a modern twist. The new Tamagotchi Smart adds a step-counting feature, but the real draw is the ability to communicate with the virtual pets via voice command or the touchscreen. A slot on the Tamagotchi Smart accepts TamaSma Cards, which will be sold separately and include exclusive items and characters that users can download onto the device. Bandai Namco claims the smart wearable will have 30 hours of battery life.
Debuting in pastel-colored hues of pink and blue, the Tamagotchi Smart (via Kotaku) comes after a slew of revamps for the virtual pet toys in recent years. In 2019, Bandai Namco announced the Tamagotchi On, which was known as the Tamagotchi Meets in Japan. And in April, we got the camera-equipped Tamagotchi Pix. A Neon Genesis Evangelion Tamagotchi was also announced for Japan last year.
So far the Tamagotchi Smart has been announced for Japan only, with a release on November 23. Buyers can expect to pay around $60 (¥6,380) for the wearable virtual pet and around $10 (¥1,000) for the TamaSma cards.
Hear me out — The voice feature is innovative for a Tamagotchi, but it appears to be a bit basic and not very smart. Speaking to the pet wakes it up, but, according to the FAQ, there is no actual voice recognition on the device that understands what you’re saying. It just knows a voice is speaking, triggering the pet to wake up. Another way to interface with your pet is via the touchscreen, which users can tap for virtual head rubs.
The TamaSma Cards are a more interesting feature that expands the content on the device, a feature that will continue to provide value over time. Once tied to a Tamagotchi Smart, the link cannot be severed, but it’s possible to download the data from the card to a maximum of three devices. Since the system can only hold one card’s data at a time, the old card’s data will be saved onto the new one.
Kinda smart — The video above suggests that some type of co-op play is possible, and it also seems that there could be a way to listen to music (it’s not clear if users can add their own songs). While the Tamagotchi Smart tracks steps, it doesn’t do much else in regards to fitness tracking so maybe don’t toss out your Apple Watch or Fitbit just yet.
Choose your color — It may be light on overall “smart” features, but I do love the color selection and bulky egg design, which somehow looks larger than the chonky G-Shocks. The marketing very obviously targets teenage girls, but I’m also here for it, especially since I missed the boat as a kid.
The Coral Pink and Mint Blue Tamagotchi Smarts will be out this November along with the Sweet Friends and Rainbow Friends TamaSma Cards. International shipping is available from the Bandai Namco store.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Tamagotchi, a limited-edition white Tamagotchi Smart will be available via a lottery sale and ship out this August. The white color is a tribute to the original Tamagotchi from 1996. A special 1996 Friends TamaSma card will be included that adds classic characters and changes the UI to recreate the nostalgic monochrome screen of the original.