Fry and I have been up all night sleuthing this new Tamagotchi Family Iro Iro.
Here are our findings, based on scrutinizing pictures and sounding out the Japanese as best as I can:
The official Japanese short name of the product is "FamiTama".
The official Japanese release date is November 23, 2007, which you can see on the Bandai Japan FamiTama site
: it says "2007 (kanji) 11 (kanji) 23 (kanji)" - which spells out the date. I think it's like Tamagotchi's birthday or something, according to the little talk bubble above the date.
What makes the FamiTama different is, you are raising a whole family at a time, not an individual character. Families have up to five characters in them, plus (or perhaps including?) a pet. There are five family types based on character types: a Mimitchi-type family, Violetchi-type, Memetchi-type, Kuchipatchi-type and Gozarutchi-type.
You can buy the FamiTama alone, or with a DVD (probably region 2 or whatever so it won't work on non-Asian DVD players). The DVD contains games that you play using your DVD remote. If you win the games, you can win items for your FamiTama.I found a post on TamaTalk by a Japanese guy named Tarokaja.
He translated a Japanese page from an online store selling preorders of the FamiTama. The translation is a little confusing, but here's what I think he means.
An important aspect of raising the Tamagotchi family is feeding them. As cooking was an important part of the Entama, portioning and cooking is important for the FamiTama. They will thrive or starve based on whether you can feed them appropriately. You feed them all together as a family so you must give them enough food for everybody.
There are four games on the FamiTama that are relevant to each family member. There's a golf game, a shoe shopping game, a tea ceremony game, and a TV channel changing game.
There will be a TamaTown for the FamiTama too.
There are three shell colours available to be seen on the official page. I want the pink one.
So those are our findings so far, based on synthesizing evidence from all over the Internet. I hope most of it is right.