Did I blink and wake up in 2002? Perhaps not, but the newly announced Tamagotchi Pix certainly made me doubt myself for a second. Tamagotchi consoles were massively popular in the 90s and the early 00s, but have fallen out of favor after the prolific rise of smartphone technology.
However, the new Tamagotchi Pix looks to combine everything that made the original Tamagotchi models so great (i.e. cute virtual pets!) with new augmented reality technology that will let users 'pose' with their Tamagotchi pets.
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The Tamagotchi Pix still has the classic Tamagotchi elements that enables users to rear their virtual pets. However, while the Tamagotchi Pix likely won't rank in our best camera for kids (opens in new tab) guide, it also has a built-in camera that gives players the opportunity to take photos with the device and add their virtual pets next to them. These images are stored locally on the device, giving users the chance to document their gameplay with their virtual pet over time as it 'grows'.
According to The Verge (opens in new tab), Bandai, the brand behind Tamagotchi, has also made a few other upgrades to the game console. The physical buttons around the screen have disappeared, replaced with a touch-based system. Users also have more ways to influence the way their Tamagotchi develops, such as choosing different room decorations.
The new Tamagotchi Pix will be available in four colors, including "floral" (pink) (opens in new tab), "sky" (purple) (opens in new tab), "ocean" (blue) and "nature" (green), retailing for $60. You can pre-order the Tamagotchi Pix from Amazon US (opens in new tab), but it won't be available until 01 July.