In the early 80s, the Casio was one of the most respected brands in electronics. Mostly known for their scientific calculators, electronic watches and musical instruments, Casio decided to jump on the video game craze in 1982 with the release of a few handheld games. The handheld did fairly well and in 1983, Casio flooded the market with handhelds.
Based on their recent success, Casio decided to extend their reach and release two other devices to appeal to gamer, the PV-1000 a dedicated video game system and the PV-2000 a computer, a system loosely based on the MSX system. The PV-1000 did very poorly and was discontinued fairly quickly. Casio doubled down on the computer segment and released in 1984, two MSX compatible computers, the PV-7 and PV-16. Both systems lacked to have memory to fully support all the MSX title (8 KB and 16 KB respectively) although the PV-16 memory could be extended to 24 KB. In any case, the Casio computer line was not successful enough to justify its existence and Casio just pulled out of this segment completely.
Casio was still actively invested in the video game handheld segment and started to cross their different products together. They released gaming watch and introduce game in their calculator as well. In the early 90s, Casio stuck gold with their release of their digital assistant. These were incredibly successful and Casio which convince Casio to experiment with other device in this segment. This is how Casio entered the world of personal Diary. Aimed at young girl, these devices were also very successful. Casio released updated version of their Diary on a regular basis adding more options each time, like games, modem connectivity and infrared connectivity. Casio wanted to offer other device targeted to the young female audience and decided to create a video game console especially made for girl.
The Loopy was released in Japan on October 19, 1995 at an initial price of ¥25,000. The console came with a built-in thermal printer which allowed the player to print seal (sticker). The console was subtitled My Seal Computer SV-100, to put emphasis on its sticker creation capability.
The seal themselves came in 3 formats and were sold at the price of ¥1,980:
- Standard Size (XS-11) : 30mm by 40mm.
- Mini Size (XS-14): 1/4 (4 sticker by sheet)
- Video Size (XS-31): 18mm by 148mm.
Aside from the integrated thermal printer, Casio also tried to give the Loopy a very feminine design with its hearths logo prominently on the front of the console. Casio also build the Loopy around the games that they wanted to release: visual novel and design games, none of which required a lot of power. Although not the top of its generation, the console itself was not bad from a performance stand-point. It used a SH7021 CPU, a CPU similar to the one in the Sega 32X (although the 32X contain 2 of theses) and could have handled acceptable graphics for the time. But the power of the console was never planned to be its selling point as all the games would have a look and feel closer to an early Super NES games than a 32-Bit console. The Loopy only have one controller port which shows that the console was never design to support multi-player games.
The console came in three bundles, the first being the console itself with a controller and no game. The second bundle, the SV100SET-A, included 2 games (Anime Land and Bow-wow Puppy Love Story) and 3 sticker cartridge. The third bundle, the SV100SET-B, was the same thing but included 2 games Dream Change: Kokin-chan’s Fashion Party instead of Bow-wow Puppy Love Story. The consoles were released along 5 games, all priced between ¥6,000 and ¥7,000.
- Anime Land – Sticker creation software
- Dream Change: Kokin-chan’s Fashion Party – Dress up game
- Bow-wow Puppy Love Story – Adventure game
- Caricature Artist – Caricature creation game
- HARIHARI Seal Paradise – Sticker creation software
An accessory called the Magical Shop (or more specifically the Video Seal Word Processor Magical Shop), was detailed at ¥14,800 and allowed to connect any RCA video source to the Loopy (ex: VCR), make a screen capture and modify it before printing it. The peripheral plug itself in the cartridge port like the Sega 32x and support the uses of other cartridge in pass-through mode from its own cartridge slot.
Casio released 5 other games over the course of 1996 and introduce a new peripheral, the Loopy Mouse. All these games released from that point had mouse support. The mouse was either sold individually or bundled with either PC Collection or Lupiton’s Wonder Palette
- PC Collection – A mini game collection containing 10 applications including astrology, word processors, drawing, music composer, horoscope, etc.
- Little Romance – Cartoon creation software
- Lupiton’s Wonder Palette – Drawing software
- I Want a Room in Loopy Town – Simulation game
- Chakra-kun’s Charm Paradise – Fortune-telling game
By October 1996, it was clear to Casio that the Loopy was going nowhere and were getting ready to jump ship. In an effort to boost the sale and liquidate some stock, Casio released 2 bundles. Each bundle included either the game Anime Land or Bow-wow Puppy Love Story and a Seal cartridge. The promotion was officially marketed as the 1st anniversary commemorative Loopy special set.
By the end of 1996, Casio completely stop the support of the Loopy, a bit more than a year after its release.