While the Pokémon Card Game has embraced online and mobile applications to coexist with its physical card game for almost a decade now, following the release of Pokémon TCG Online through mobile browsers and later, PC, Mac and mobile devices. It allowed players to play the Pokémon TCG digitally anywhere they wanted with other players. While video games based on the Yu-Gi-Oh card game have been released on a regular occurrence ever since its inception, none have replicated the physical card game experience or been regularly updated in the way that Pokémon TCG Online has. Yu-Gi-Oh has and likely will remain a stubbornly-physical card game, but Konami have decided to utilize technology within the card game in order to ease tournament participation through the release of Yu-Gi-Oh Neuron in Japan.
In typical official tournament circumstances, tracking life points and other aspects of the game must be done on paper, while a printed or hand-written list of all cards in the deck you plan to use in the tournament must be handed over to the tournament organizers before the event begins. This application promises to impact both of these issues by being an officially-sanctioned method of tracking life points, flipping coins and rolling dice (where necessary), as well as including a feature that allows players to use the camera on their device to capture up to 20 physical cards at a time to add to your deck list, massively speeding up this preparation for the event.
Although this currently only supports OCG tournaments in Japan, additional features within the app such as the ability to search officially published deck lists from around the world and the option to display card effects in 8 languages suggest that an international release is at least being considered, when the time is right. This looks to be the happy medium Konami desire, as the company are unwilling to expand into a fully-digital card game but can use technology to enhance the physical product. After all, before now, the cumbersome Remote Duel introduced in response to COVID-19 is the closest that has come and likely will come anytime soon. Aid to the physical game through applications is a preferable alternative.
As of now, the Yu-Gi-Oh Neuron application is available exclusively in Japan.