The V.Smile Educational Video Game System Review

For parents who want to encourage learning through fun play, Vtech has introduced a tremendously popular video gaming system that parents can feel good about allowing their little children to play, called the V.Smile. Now, just like the big kids have their cool gaming system, children as young as 3 can also play with a fun game console system that is designed to be appropriate to their age range and suitable for fun and educational play.

The V.Smile gaming system has been such a popular hit among young children that it has expanded into a line of other V.Smile systems with different capabilities. The newest among these is the V.Motion system, which is a basic V.Smile console with special motion sensitive controllers that encourage children to be active and move about while playing their favorite games. There are also hand held versions of the V.Smile console such as the V.Smile Pocket, and the V.Smile Cyber Pocket. There’s also a V.Smile Baby Infant Development System, which uses the V.Smile name, but unlike the other V.Smile products, isn’t compatible with any of it’s namesakes.

The V.Smile game console system features a great number of different game cartridges, or “smartridges” as they’re called by the people over at Vtech. They feature characters from such popular children’s animated films and television shows such as Bob the Builder, Scooby-Doo, Go Diego Go!, The Wiggles, The Little Mermaid, Kung-Fu Panda, Finding Nemo, Cars, Ratatouille, and more. Certain smartridges are aimed at the features present in more recent V.Smile consoles such as the V.Motion. These smartridges are backwards compatible, so they can be played with earlier versions of the console system, however, the V.Motion components will be disabled so they will have limited use for play.

There are several accessories available for the V.Smile console system, such as the V.Smile Smart Keyboard, which helps teach children typing, spelling, logic, and letters. There’s also a V.Smile system available that includes a built in writing pad and stylus, as well as a joystick. A touch pad and stylus are also sold separately for other V.Smile consoles called the V.Smile Art Studio, which children can use to draw pictures which will appear on screen and allow them to edit their masterpieces with special tools and even create animations.

And there’s the V.Smiles Jammin Gym Class, which is a “soft exercise mat for interactive play, dance, and exercise”. This mat works on a similar principle to the popular Dance Dance Revolution mat for older kids. It includes 10 individual learning activities that encourage movement and fun exercise. The fun activities available with this mat help teach numbers, letters, spelling, colors, and health concepts.

And there are more accessories available and new ones coming out all the time. The V.Smile is certainly a flexible and varied tool for encouraging a fun and active learning environment for young children. It’s the kind of video game system that children will love and that parents will feel good about allowing their children to play with.

See our Author’s box below for a current list of the Top 10 Toys of the year.

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The Pros and Cons of the Nintendo Wii Console

Buying a new games console can be a daunting task – with three main players on the scene, it’s hard to figure out which one is best for your preferences. The Nintendo Wii Console is one of the leading consoles and is a favourite for numerous households. However, is it all great? There are a few issues that make it a second choice for PlayStation fans and Xbox 360 fans – exploring all your options and considering the pros and cons of the Nintendo Wii Console will definitely help you make a decision as to whether or not you need to buy it.

You see adverts on TV almost each day for the popular Wii console. As among the UK’s most well-liked games consoles, it’s not surprising that almost everyone you meet will either own a Wii or have a minimum of played on one before. Despite its various flaws, the Nintendo Wii has a great ability to bring families together, and more than anything else, bring an active aspect to video gaming.

For years, playing video games was classed as some thing that lazy people did – and it was regularly associated with causes of obesity. Prior to the Nintendo Wii, playing computer games was also seen as an anti-social activity. With numerous hardcore gamers spending hours and hours in front of consoles or computers, it wasn’t far from the truth. Nevertheless, in a world where technologies was (and still is) thriving, the Wii console was the very first of the major console providers to offer a completely new approach to gaming. Wireless technologies was already available, but Nintendo brought it to a new level when they released the Nintendo Wii console in late 2006.

The History of Nintendo Wii

The Nintendo Wii was the 7th generation console from Nintendo and was the successor to the Nintendo Gamecube which hit retail stores in 2002. With a gap of nearly four years, the Nintendo Wii console was definitely extremely anticipated. Since its release, the Nintendo Wii has broken numerous sales records across the world and in Japan is currently the leading console in terms of total sales. In Australia, the Nintendo Wii console beat the Xbox 360 console to become the fastest selling games console program in Australian history.

With hugely effective sales figures, came a slight problem with availability. In 2007, Nintendo announced that there might be some problems with availability due to such high demand. Despite reportedly producing in excess of 1.8 million units per month, the Nintendo Wii was still a tough item to obtain hold of – selling out nearly as soon as it hit the shelves in stores like Game and Argos.

Nintendo’s Objective

Nintendo as a business have always been about promoting the enjoyable side of gaming. With the Nintendo Wii they wanted to bring this forward even further. In December 2006, Satoru Iwata (President and CEO of Nintendo) insisted “We’re not thinking about fighting Sony, but about how many people we can get to play games. The factor we’re thinking about most isn’t portable systems, consoles, and so forth, but that we wish to get new individuals playing games.”

The Nintendo Wii was The very first console to bring about a new way of playing video games. The gameplay utilised the motion sensitive controller, allowing an a lot more active gameplay style. Nevertheless, as the very first console system to bring about this change, inevitably there were a couple of teething problems.

Later fixed by the “motion plus accessory” these problems weren’t a big issue. Nevertheless, other consoles had began work on their competing products (PlayStation Move and Xbox 360 Kinect). So as you can see, the good issues about the Wii can bring about some poor. But let’s weigh it up properly with a great old fashioned pros and cons list.

The Pros
Fantastic Fun
Simple to Play
Great Range of Games
On-line Gameplay using Internet WiFi Access
Active Gaming Style
The Price
Compatible with GameCube Games

The Cons
Poor Graphics (when compared with competitors)
Lack of DVD Player (again, when comparing against competitors)
Poor Internal Storage Size

As you are able to see from the list above, the pros do outweigh the cons. Nevertheless, I do not believe this tells the entire story. Deciding whether or not or not to buy the Nintendo Wii console is all about preference. If you like hardcore shoot ’em ups, fantastic graphics, massive hard drive capacity etc. then the Nintendo Wii will disappoint you. Nevertheless, if you are a casual gamer and you like the enjoyable side of gaming (think Mario and Yoshi!) and aren’t too fussed about graphics etc. then the Nintendo Wii will certainly keep you happy.

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