During Toy Fair I had the opportunity to get a preview of an upcoming Activision product, Wappy Dog. Wappy Dog is an innovative product which combines the pet simulation genre of gaming (think NintenDogs) with a robotic dog (i.e. Aibo). Developed for the Nintendo DS, players can interact, care for, and play with Wappy on the DS, while the robot dog responds, expresses emotion and plays along. For example, though the game you can ask Wappy to sing and dance, and the robotic dog responds by singing or dancing. But play isn’t restricted to when you are in the presence of the robot, you can effectively ‘download’ your Wappy into your DS for on-the-go play. Development of new skills, games, personality traits that occur when in ‘Outing Mode’ can be transferred back to Wappy when you return home and synch Wappy and your DS. This enables the player to have some flexibility with Wappy, always keeping the gaming fresh. To help with evolving game play, Activision indicated that the game would likely support DLC, allowing content to be added.
Having the opportunity to see the prototype Wappy in action was quite interesting. Combining both the pet simulation game with the physical, customizable, robot puts a new twist on an existing theme. Specific pricing is not yet available and the product should be on the shelves in time for the holiday season this year.