Some of the best Bandai consoles
Here is a list of some of the consoles that were key players in the history of Bandai, and in the history of retrogaming in general.
Never heard of the Playdia? Don’t worry, it’s not surprising. This console, nowadays a popular retrogaming article, was a big commercial failure.
Released in 1994 in Japan only, it was a console targeting children, thus its colored and childish design, similar to the VTECH educational consoles.
The Playdia had a certain asset: Bandai’s partnerships and famous licences such as Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon and many others. Surprisingly, this 32-bits console has good graphics for its era, even though the games’ interactions are rather poor. As Bandai’s only home video games console, the Playdia is a real gem for retro consoles enthusiasts!
A legend claims that the Playdia has been recycled in some love hotels to broadcast erotic films on CD. A bit rich for a console intended for children.
Released in 1999 in Japan, the Wonderswan is the only (not including its evolutions) portable console manufactured by Bandai.
Despite being monochromatic (and the GameBoy Color being already on the market), the Wonderswan will be a success, thanks to its small size and its autonomy: only one AA battery for 30 hours! Once more, the Wonderswan takes advantage of Bandai’s famous licences, such as One Piece, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z and many others. A must-have console for manga fans’ retrogaming collections!
Many accessories were also release with the console, such as the Digimon Connector, a Digimon version of the Pokedex, or the Wonder Coin, a directional pad to improve the gaming experience of fighting games like Pocket Fighter or Guilty Gear 1 and 2. Even more amazing: the WonderGate: an accessory that enabled the console to connect to the Internet! The retro version of the Xbox Live !
Two other versions of the Wonderswan exist: the Wonderswan Color, released in 2000 that, as its name suggests, brings color to its games; and in 2002, the SwanCrystal equipped with a better screen. These two consoles were retro-compatible with the games of the original Wonderswan.
Even though it is little known in France, the Wonderswan is a gem of the video game world: many innovations, fun games, very convenient. Unique portable console of Bandai, it still marked the history of video games.
You can play both horizontally and vertically on this console! Some games, such as the Shoot-them up genre are better played vertically, which is why the Wonderswan has two directional pads!
Many accessories for the Wonderswan were produced, but the most bizarre one is the MamaMitte: a scales connected to a cartridge on the SwanCrystal that permitted to pregnant women to see the evolution of their pregnancy!
Fans of Final Fantasy, hear ye ! The Wonderswan has a Chocobo limited edition: a bundle of the customized console with the game Chocobo’s mysterious Dungeon
After the commercial failure of the Playdia, first and only home video games console created by Bandai, we could have thought that the firm’s video game history would end there. However, a true revolution changed everything in Bandai’s life but also in yours: the TAMAGOTCHI.
This little electronic toy shaped like an egg was released in 1996. Easily transportable, that can be hooked to a bag, this gadget offered the possibility for every parent to say “No, you won’t have a dog! But look at this amazing Tamagotchi!”. Yes, a Tamagotchi is a small electronic pet that needs to be fed, washed, etc. How fun to be able to play with a pet that consists in a screen and three buttons!
In 2004 a connected version of the Tamagotchi is released: it is now possible to make Tamagotchis meet each other, make them have babies, etc. Playing with a Tamagotchi is now a group activity. In the following years, many other Tamagotchi versions were released with always more functionalities: take it to school, make it an idol…
If Tamagotchis are not really gaming consoles but rather electronic gadgets, but their impact on the gaming history was so strong that its popularity never stopped! Tamagotchis are still today essential items in retrogaming collections, being emblematic of the nostalgia of the video game history
The world’s oldest Tamagotchi lived for 15 years! Its owner never stopped to take care of it for all this time!
It’s the Tamagotchi that inspired the Nintendogs series, a big success of the Nintendo DS, that are based on same concept: taking care of a virtual animal.
And many figurines, toys and other goods that you MUST see !