LeapFrog Announces Its Own $150 Child-Focused Video Game Console

Children's educational entertainment company announces LeapTV, which will come with a transformable controller when released this holiday.

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.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
47 comments
Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

Hold on a sec! I thought that was the Wii U? Leapfrog, Wii U...same craptastic thing

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

Sounds fantastic, what  agreat idea. Guess I have to make kids now so I can keep my collection up to date without looking weird for owning that system xD

kujel
kujel

Now that the teenagers have seen an actual kiddy console can we stop calling the Wii U a kiddy console when the average Wii U owner is older then the average ps4 owner.

hystavito
hystavito

This looks to be targetting younger kids than video games usually do, but looking at the WiiU in general parents don't seem to interested in consoles anymore.  I wonder if something like this can beat out those children's tablets, which I would guess Leapfrog also makes.

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

Hopefully something more educational than all the kids I see sitting around playing fruit ninja all the time.  There are a lot of weak minded kids these days.  The smartest ones I know are the ones that go real places and do real things. 

kujel
kujel

@Rayzakk There were always a lot of weak minded kids, you're just better at seeing them now.

nikon133
nikon133

They would sell much more games if they would do kids games for existing consoles. There are over 50 million PS3 (and equal number of x360 units) that will be slowly - or quickly! - demoted to secondary console in the house, as gamers shift to PS4/XBO. Wouldn't all those make perfect platform for kids' games? And more than a 100 million of them already out?

n0xinab0x
n0xinab0x

Batteries not included? Screw that shiit.

warriors30
warriors30

Just buy them a PS3 and a copy of GTA V (that's the ONLY game they'll ever need) and educate them about the REAL world...I mean...no...no don't do that.

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

So how long till Phillips sues over this one?

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

Nintendo beat them to market with the Wii U, but I bet this new system outsells the Wii U!!

DrKill09
DrKill09

Already exists; it's called the Wii.

imajinn
imajinn

I was wondering when they were going to actually do something like this. Parents will be going crazy on holiday to get stuff like this.

lilmcnessy
lilmcnessy

That's pretty expensive for a kids toy.

DrKill09
DrKill09

@lilmcnessy So are smart phones, but morons buy them for their kids.


What happened to the days of Legos, Lincoln Logs, Erector Sets, and K'Nex?

Mindwipe77
Mindwipe77

@lilmcnessy so is every game system, and most parents see those as toys too and this new one is the cheapest

kujel
kujel

@DrKill09 Those thing build your mind unlike iPhones or ps4s.

Spartan-1657
Spartan-1657

How do you figure? That's easily affordable by most parents. This is a great buy. My son is 5 months old. Gonna get this for him for sure when the time is right. With games ranging from 5-30 bucks, it'll be very successful.

lilmcnessy
lilmcnessy

@Spartan-1657 My parents would never have been able to afford me this when i was that old. Plus whenever I got the chance to play with those leapfrog computers and stuff, got bored with them after 5 minutes.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

Remember to include some sort of strap with it.  That vine-cutting game will cause the pointer to fly out of a kid's hand and hit the TV set.

coop36
coop36

Shouldve just made educational games for the Wii or WiiU imo.


xantufrog
xantufrog moderator

@coop36 I agree - Nintendo has an image of quality AND family friendly products. Dad can buy a Wii U for his wee one and rock out on some Bayonetta 2 after the tike has gone to bed

imajinn
imajinn

@coop36 I do not agree as many parents look to buy things from Leapfrog for their children. They really are not looking to full on gaming consoles for educational/learning games.

UnstoppableKARL
UnstoppableKARL

All three of those kids in the video will be playing Call of Duty Advanced Warfare next year.

Celsius765
Celsius765

Couldn't they just sell their games on the eshop, psn, and xbl?

pork7
pork7

It's called the Wii U.

Celsius765
Celsius765

@pork7 and playstation. I bet kids like Little big Planet. and I dunno if I'd trust a 3 to 8 year old to not obliterate the gamepad screen

LusterSoldierGS
LusterSoldierGS

@pork7 The Wii U is twice as expensive as LeapFrog's latest child-friendly console and parents will find it much harder to drop $300 on a Wii U.  Also, LeapFrog focuses more on educational content rather than providing young children with video games to play, but maybe their new console will represent a change in their direction.

sonyonly4
sonyonly4

Looks like Nintendo finally has some competition (I Joke I love Nintendo and Own a Wii U)

bouchart
bouchart

This actually doesn't sound like a bad idea.


Though back in my day, we used floppy disks and a command line interface to play our educational games.

kujel
kujel

@bouchart You had to go and remind me of old Reader Rabbit on an x386 running DOS.

bernard978
bernard978

Got an email about this earlier as my daughter owns an Innotab, I would say that I can't see it doing well but their child tablets did so.

IJONOI
IJONOI

Sony are doooooooooooooooomed. 

guydude3412
guydude3412

How is this more expensive than the ouya

fillup0
fillup0

They could've just made accessories for a console with better hardware, this is gonna tank and the kids are just gonna want the real deal. How about Leapfrog pours that money into a good development house?

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@fillup0 Exactly. They could have easily teamed up with Nintendo or one of their preferred studios and went big. This is very iffy.