Children's educational entertainment company LeapFrog today announced LeapTV, a $150 education-themed video game console aimed at children ages three to eight years old.
The system comes with a transforming game controller that has been specifically designed for child-sized hands and for limited dexterity. Its standard configuration works just like a normal controller, but the controller can also morph into a Wii Remote-like pointer for other games.
The LeapTV system also sports a motion-sensing camera that allows children to interact with the television in a similar way to Microsoft's Kinect technology. The LeapTV will launch this year with over 100 games and videos in its "Learning Library" developed for children.
In a statement, LeapFrog director Dr. Jody Sherman LeVos said the lack of video game content content with a rating that deems it appropriate for children under the age of six is "shocking." She said LeapFrog designers worked hard to create the LeapTV "from the ground up" to make it a first-rate console for children. Not only does the LeapTV aim to serve as an education tool for children, but it also hopes to help them stay active through its motion-based activities.
LeapTV has three main modes of play, the first of which is Body Motion, which uses the motion-sensing camera to capture the child's moves. Children can wave their arms to defend goals, karate-chop blocks, or participate in a virtual scuba-diving trip.
The second mode of play is Pointer Play, which allows children to use the controller to virtually slice through coconuts, swing from building to building, or snap jungle vines. Third, Classic Control mode lets children use the controller as a standard input, using A and B buttons to play various games. The controller can also recognize when it is being shaken or tilted.
As noted above, the LeapTV system launches this holiday for $150. Game cartridges will be sold for $30, and you can also buy games and apps through the system starting at $5. The system has 16GB of memory and comes with built-in Wi-Fi; you'll also find an HDMI cable and a wrist strap for the controller in the box.