November 23 Tamagotchi was 17 years old. For virtual pet cared for millions of children, and seems to be their age long passed. But, paying tribute rebyatni craze of the '90s, I'll tell you about this toy.
ET in egg
Tamagotchi is considered the inventor of Aki Maita (Aki Maita), an employee of the marketing department of the Japanese toy manufacturer Bandai, known, for example, a series of Power Rangers. According to legend, Maita loved animals and wanted to have an animal, which you can take with you everywhere. This year had the idea of such a toy, and finally the idea emerged after it got television advertising, which wanted to take the boy to school turtle.
Maita has developed the concept of toys, and the device helped create Akihiro Yokoi (Akihiro Yokoi) from the company WiZ, also engaged in the production of goods for children. In October, Maita started to show a test version of the device schoolgirls, and, in her memoirs, "their eyes immediately light up." She took a few weeks to monitor the reaction of about 200 girls in the toy to bring it to perfection.
November 23, 1996 the company Bandai released a first version of Tamagotchi - a small plastic toys in the shape of an egg with a black-and-white small screen and three buttons. According to the official version, the word «Tamagotch» formed from the merger of the Japanese word «tamago» - «egg" and the English «watch» - «Watch».
And for egg actually had to constantly watch: children took him to the school because of the half-day unattended pet died (the ability to pause the game only appeared in later versions of the Tamagotchi). Legend toys is: Tamagotchi - a "kibersozdaniya", who arrived from their planet with, to learn what life on Earth. They found the professor, who along with assistant built for visitors protective shell in the form of eggs, allowing them to survive on Earth. But a little protective capsule - the players have to constantly monitor the needs of your pet and promptly satisfy them.
Most attention was required at the very beginning: the first hour of "newborn" had to constantly feed, entertain and clean up after them (otherwise the hero threatened to literally "zasrat" full screen). The "adult" Tamagotchi became, the less worried owner. However, the toy periodically beeps, alerting the owner that the character needs something. The way a player sensitively reacted to all the vagaries of "pet", is directly dependent on the character, interests and appearance of the character.
If the "young" Tamagotchi were the same, the process of growing up - at first there were four stages - they could be transformed into one of the species. In the first version of the device was laid on two variations of "young" and six "adult" characters. To get a particular pet, the player had to comply with a number of strict requirements, for example, to grow adult Mametchi, had in the previous step to be a hero with feet, and on the day X (about a week after "birth"), when began the transformation, continuously monitor the level of the character's life, giving him "lose" more than one "heart." Caring for "growing" a hero was complicated by the fact that he was able to squeak and to the point, when I had to look after him and just.
By the end of 1996 in Japan, it has sold 350,000 copies of toys, and in May 1997 she was admitted to the US market. By 1999, the world has already sold 40 million Tamagotchi. At first, the production could not meet all the demand, so some toys bought "with hands" - the cost in such cases reaches from 300 to 1000 dollars, that is 50 times higher than the prices in 16 shopping dollars. Often Tamagotchi became a pretext for robbery, which is why they had to use secretly.
It's worth noting that in the Tamagotchi characters were mortal, one Earth day by their standards was regarded as one year. The maximum term of "life" of toys was 31 days - after this character dies, and in the first version of the game device can not be "reset." Not always, livestock lived to such an advanced "age" - three weeks is considered very good result. Rumor has it that even Aki Maita was a "bad mother" and her Tamagotchi usually die in childhood.
In 2011, the RIA Novosti news agency, recalling the history of toys, told me that many times children are committing suicide because of the irreparable loss of virtual pets. It is unclear how widespread was this practice, but many really serious about the Tamagotchi: very quickly, first on the Internet, and then in various cities around the world began to appear cemetery for the "dead" toys.
They say she Aki Maita received no bonuses or improve on the work of giperpopulyarnosti his toys. However, in 1997 it together with Akihiro Yokoi nominated for mocking Ig Nobel Peace Prize in economics for "diverting millions of man-hours to care for a virtual pet».
Trogni to give birth
Years passed, and Bandai, of course, did not want to lose the benefits: the new models are constantly coming out with minor changes in the mechanics of the game, and the total number associated with the Tamagotchi goods reached 400, including various souvenirs. Serious updated line of toys was in 2004, eight years after the original release came Tamagotchi Connection, devices allows you to interact with each other.
Communication occurs via infrared: Tamagotchi owners could "make friends" with toys, play games and give each other gifts. Sometimes, linking two adult pet, you can get the "child" and create a "family».
Tamagotchi Connection, also known as the Tamagotchi Plus, also gradually updated. Version 4.5 had the opportunity to play on the computer, with mechanical connection between the two devices was trivial. In the toy you can enter into a special mode that suspends the process of life pet and displays a special code. Enter this code on the website TamaTown, player of "entry" into a special Flash-play your character. In the PC version you can visit different places of the virtual city, for example, a school or a hospital, develop and earn in-game points.
Departing from the computer, the player presses the "go" and received the new code, which is needed to enter in the game - so it tolerated earned experience.
Tamagotchi Connection 5, released in 2008, developed the "family" theme: from virtual pet was six developmental stages, the last of which - "parent." If by that time the character did not appear the children, he could only play in two of the four games, "watching TV" and "tea". Like in life.
All of these versions have been a classic black-and-white screen and three buttons. Color screen appeared Tamagotchi Plus Color, released in November 2008. Tamagotchi ID, released a year later, in addition to a color screen has a number of additional features: for example, the device could download games and add-ons from a special mobile site - communication with a smartphone implemented all on the same infrared port.
By 2010, the world has sold 76 million copies of the original - not counting counterfeit versions and competitors who began to leave a few months after the first Tamagotchi. Based on the universe of the game came out a cartoon that tells about a girl trapped on the planet Tamagotchi, and several anime series.
Bandai has released several models (in 2011 in honor of the 15th anniversary, and in 2012 version, allows you to combine three devices), but interest in it has been far from those seen in previous years. In November 2013, 17 years after the original Tamagotchi, it was announced that is preparing a new version of the toy - Tamagotchi Friends, where you can take care about several pets. Connectivity will be made by means of collisions, and the characters will be led to "Goodbye».
New release toys scheduled for early 2014. Perhaps, Bandai seriously intends to revive the fading interest in one of its most successful products: earlier in 2013, the company released the official version of the game for iOS and Android. For the reactionaries are provided in simulation mode of the original toy with three buttons.