Media: Zeitgeist - It's back. Tamagotchi is set to return and this time they can reproduce themselves

It is with a heavy heart that Zeitgeist has to report the return of the Tamagotchi. And this time they really mean business - they have evolved.

Tamagotchi addicts will be able to do all the old nourishing and caring stuff with their digital dependant but now, via infra-red ports, the things will be able to communicate with each other.

In other words, they will be able to play together, exchange gifts, make friends, even get married and (you've heard it all now) make babies.

The manufacturer, Bandai, says it expects to shift two million units worldwide by the end of 2005 but early indications from Japan, where this has just launched, are that this could be an extremely modest target.

Let us not forget that the 1996 version sold 40 million - and, although the screen resolution has doubled and its memory has been bumped up, Bandai is proud to have been able to keep the price just the same as it was then.

If our arithmetic is right, that should work out at somewhere just over a tenner.

You have been warned.

The phenomenon: A mild form of mental illness

Marketed by: Bandai

Price: Y1,980 or local equivalent

When: There is no escape

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