Tomy is a Japanese entertainment company that makes children’s toys and merchandise. The company, founded in 1924, have dabbled in video games since the late 1970’s. The most notable incursion was the release of the Pyuta Jr in 1983. Over the years, Tomy developed various concept that integrated video game as an additional functionality to other electronic devices. Among these device are the Kiss-site Karaoke machine and the Data Battle Electronic Agenda.
Release in 1995, the Data Battle | Virtual Simulation. This electronic agenda is designed around a robot battle game. When you first start a game, you create your own mech. These robot are called Metal Solid (メタルソリッド). You then battle other robot to gain new parts and therefore increase your own power. The game is more a strategy games than an action game. At the beginning of each combat, the player provide instruction and then the combat is then fought automatically. The types of instruction depend on the customization level of your Metal Solid. Enemies were also stronger or weaker depending on the day of the weeks. Additional cartridges that added new parts were also sold separately.
Once of the drawback of the device was the system had no wireless communication capabilities (such as infrared). This mean that in order to play with a friend, you had to save your Mech on your cartridge and loan your cartridge to your friend. Your cartridge could then be loaded to your friend device for him to compete against your Metal Solid. Tomy even created a tournament at the launch of the device where player would send their cartridge to the manufacturer which in term would have the different Metal Solid sent this way, battle against each other. The cartridge would be returned to their owner via the postal services at the end of the contest.
The main problem was the price. At that time, it was possible to get a Game Boy for approximately the same price which had way more possibility than the Data Battle | Virtual Simulation. The fact that we could only give rudimentary tactics at the beginning of the combat and then just watch it play before your eyes was also a negative point for many of the players. In the end, not much unit were sold making this console hard to find today.
Three additional cartridges were confirmed so far. Cartridge 1 & 2 being somewhat common and the Cartridge no. 4 being the rarest. This lead us to suppose that a Cartridge no. 3 also exist, but we haven’t been able to found any proof of it existence yet.