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Tamagotchi is Back! New Tamagotchi Uni Coming in July

You can already preorder the new Tamagotchi Uni, which includes limited online multiplayer functions

Phil Owen

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The Tamagotchi, a virtual pet on a keychain, was a smash hit when it first launched in the late-1990s, and it's making a comeback in the age of smartphones with the Tamagotchi Uni, a new model of standalone Tamagotchi device that includes online functions, including limited online multiplayer in the form of minigames that your pet can play with other anonymous Tamagotchis. The Tamagotchi Uni launches on July 15 for $60.

For those who don't know or who just need a refresher, the Tamagotchi is a small electronic device the size of a watch face--the Uni even includes a watch strap for the device--that houses a virtual pet on a tiny screen. You take care of the pet by feeding it, petting it, and various other normal nice things you do with your real pets. The hook is that the Tamagotchi is always active--if you don't feed your Tamagotchi, for example, it will die.

The Tamagotchi Uni follows the same general three-button design as the original model, but with an improved screen and new online functionalities--this thing has Wi-Fi. Connecting online will take you to the Tamaverse, where you can play minigames online for special rewards. But don't worry, parents: there's no chat function whatsoever, and so users cannot communicate with each other through a Tamagotchi Uni. It's a way for your Tamagotchi to make friends, not for you to make friends.

If you're into grabbing a new Tamagotchi but don't want to pay that premium price, there are tons of standard Tamagotchi models available, many of which come with a distinctive nerd flavoring.