A virtual dog that lives inside a console? It's been done. A robot dog controlled by a video game, though? Now that's exciting.
That's the basic idea behind Wappy Dog, a new venture from Activision and SEGA TOYS that's set to mark its territory at Christmas. A combination of DS software and real-life toy, the virtual pet supposedly grows and evolves whether played with at home in toy form or on the road in console form.
As ideas go it's pretty odd, but considering the voracious appetite of young kids for all things puppy-like, combined with the continuing popularity of DS, could see this becoming a real sleeper hit when it's released this Christmas.
ACTIVISION ANNOUNCES WAPPY DOG, THE FIRST VIDEO GAME CONTROLLED TOY PET
The Evolution of Virtual Pets Comes to Nintendo DS
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 2, 2011 – The next evolution of virtual pets will come to the Nintendo DS™ family of handheld systems this holiday season when Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) releases Wappy Dog, a toy puppy, developed by SEGA TOYS, that interacts with the player through the Nintendo DS™.
Already hailed by TimeForKids.com as “the best of the toy world and video-game world”, Wappy Dog teaches young gamers to raise their very own puppy in both the real and virtual worlds and teach it cool tricks, play mini-games together and even converse! Each pet is a fully personalized experience, enabling players to customize both the in-game version and physical dog with different colors and accessories.
The player’s interaction with their Wappy Dog determines the pet’s constantly evolving personality, skills, and happiness. Players communicate with Wappy using commands given through the Nintendo DS™ and he responds both virtually, by wagging its tail among other tricks, and physically, with vocal barks and movements, just like a real pet! One that also sings and dances that is.
“We were excited about Wappy Dog from the moment we saw it,” said David Oxford, Activision Publishing. “This one-of-a-kind toy and video game combines a strong emotional bond and exciting virtual experience with the interaction of a physical pet. Wappy Dog is a truly innovative next generation toy and video game that gives kids an instant companion.”
Players choose between “Home Mode”, which enables them to engage with Wappy Dog through the Nintendo DS™, or “Travel Mode”, which gives on-the-go players a chance to continue caring for and playing with their pet virtually without the physical dog. When the player returns home, their dog’s progress instantly transfers to the toy as if they’ve never been apart.
The game’s unique features include:
· Communication and Interaction with Wappy - more than 18 conversational prompts are answered with more than 350 evolving responses, with each “barked” response translated by the Nintendo DS™ software. Some of the exciting interactions include Wappy singing adorable tunes in “Home Mode” or moonwalking its paws off when in “Travel Mode”!
· Intelligent and Engaging Behavior - Building a healthy and happy friendship is the key to unlocking Wappy’s many tricks. Five mood states are reflected by the colors of Wappy’s cheeks; an unhappy Wappy will be uncooperative and stubborn, so it is vital for players to keep its cheeks shining bright. With easily recognizable color schemes, young players will know how Wappy is feeling at any moment.
· Fun and Exciting Mini-Games - Thrilling games build a healthy bond between pet and owner; Cooperative, competitive or supportive games will continue to develop the friendship while simultaneously unlocking more games for even more exciting experiences. Wappy will directly participate in games and cheers when it wins or sulks when it loses.
· Nurture and Care for Wappy – Wappy’s nickname can be chosen by the player who will enjoy feeding, bathing and changing Wappy’s style as it matures from a puppy to an adult. Five uniquely varied age states will be accompanied by changing reactions, songs and even the pitch of its voice. Players will love caring for Wappy from precocious puppy tyke to blissfully happy adult pooch.
Wappy Dog will be available this holiday season on Nintendo DS. This game is not yet rated. For more information, please visit www.WappyDogGame.com.