updated 12:30 pm EDT, Thu June 2, 2011
Owner teaches tricks, shapes toy's personality
Activision announced that it has partnered with Sega Toys to develop Wappy Dog, a robotic toy puppy that "learns" from interactions with its owner. Wappy has touch sensors and responds to commands entered using the Nintendo DS. How the player interacts with the toy affects the toy's responses - what the company calls its "personality and happiness" - as well as how quickly new tricks are unlocked.
The toy dog will respond to its owner by barking, wagging its tail, dancing, and singing. Giving Wappy the proper amount of attention keeps it happy, making it easier to train. Wappy's happiness level is shown by the colors on its cheeks. If the player is irresponsible with Wappy, the dog will be stubborn and refuse to perform tricks.
Wappy's behavior also changes as it matures from puppy to adult dog. The different age stages are accompanied by changing reactions, new songs, and the pitch of its voice. Wappy has over 350 responses that change in response to the dog's age and player prompts. The toy's responses are automatically translated by the console.
The game has a Travel Mode that uses the console exclusively. In Travel Mode players interact with Wappy virtually, performing routine pet care and playing mini-games with the dog. Progress made in Travel mode is synced automatically when the player switches back to Home Mode in range of the toy.
Activision says Wappy Dog will be available for the 2011 holiday season. Pricing has not been announced.