Backstage: Dogs, iPod cases, and video games
Yes, we love dogs - at least, most of us do. And this week was a big one for canines and electronics at iLounge: Tiger started out the week with i-Dog, an electronic toy that rocks out to iPod music, and then two cool, mostly unrelated items arrived here for us to check out.
Incase has developed this special edition Hachiko case to commemmorate the opening of the new Apple Store in Shibuya, Japan. The case, based on Incase’s standard full-sized iPod Pouch design, is brown with bright orange lettering, sides, and interior, and features the image of a faithful Akita - an interesting departure for Incase, given its music, dinosaur, and preppy cases we’ve looked at in the past. They’ll be giving some of the cases away to lucky people at Shibuya’s opening, then selling others for around $40 only at that location. It’s a super cool idea, and further proof that Incase is willing to go to unusual extremes to make the iPod case a hotter, boutique phenomenon.
Is Japan dog-crazy? The big thing over there right now - at least, for video gamers - is Nintendogs, which can best be described as a dramatic evolution of Tamagotchi. You choose your breed from around 18 different types - 6 breeds are found on each of 3 cartridge versions Nintendo sells - and then raise and train your dog. “Chihuahua and Friends” also includes German Shepherds, King Charles Spaniels, Yorkshire Terriers, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Boxers. “Miniature Dachshund and Friends” also has Beagles, Pugs, Shih Tzus, Golden Retrievers and Siberian Huskies. “Labrador Retriever and Friends” also has Miniature Schnauzers, Toy Poodles, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Shiba Inus, and Miniature Doberman Pinschers.
The twist here is that the Nintendo DS has a built-in microphone and, of course, its touch screen and stylus, which allow you to interact with the dog in ways those little egg-like Tamagotchi keychains could never have imagined. Your Nintendog learns his name, tricks, and other behaviors from your voice and touch interactions, and the DS’s realtime clock keeps track of how much attention he’s getting. Its release in Japan a few months ago gave the DS a major shot in the arm, particularly amongst females, and now Nintendo is hoping to replicate its success here. To that end, they even added a few popular breeds to the U.S. versions - thankfully including the Siberian Husky - though the Chihuahua & Friends cartridges I received sadly don’t have that breed. A wireless feature, however, lets me swap breeds with other people who have different cartridges. Now if I could only find someone else with a DS and the game - three weeks before its U.S. release.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Sonos speakers available on Apple’s online store today, in Apple Stores next month
- Apple lacks lobbying power in fight with EU
- Apple to offer ‘Spoken Editions’ of written content from top publishers
- Apple working to turn HealthKit into diagnosis tool
- Hackers expose security flaw in iOS 10’s local backups
- Apple releases iOS 10.0.2 to fix headphone controls, iCloud Photo Library
- Report: Apple’s Siri home hub has reached the prototype stage
- Apple acquires machine learning company Tuplejump
- Apple releases iOS 10.1 public beta
- iOS 10.1 beta adds ‘Portrait’ Depth of Field effect
- Mass Fidelity Core Bluetooth Speaker
- Thought Out Simplex Tablet iPad Stand
- SmartX Galaxy ZEGA Starter Kit
- Apple iPhone 7 Plus Leather Case
- Apple Watch Series 2
- iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
- Twelve South HiRise 2 for iPhone + iPad
- Nomad Pod Pro for iPhone and Apple Watch
- Sevenhugs hugOne Sleep Monitoring System
- Kanex GoPower Watch Portable Battery for Apple Watch
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps