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CTR July 2013: PS4, Xbox One, Leapfrog Ultra, and 11 Outstanding Products

Children’s Technology Review, No. 160
July 2013

July 2013 Volume 21, No. 7, Issue 160

Untitled Document Note: This is the editor's letter. Full contents of this site, including this issue and access to the review database, are available to subscribers ($30/year for 12 issues). To subscribe quickly and securely for instant access, visit http://childrenstech.com/subscribe

Welcome to the 160th Issue of Children’s Technology Review.
Here’s what you need to know for this month: 

Video Games: The Next Gen Game Consoles Have Arrived. By now you’ve heard about the Xbox One and the PS4, and are thinking “what do these new consoles have to do with kids?” That’s what I was thinking as I wandered the annual E3 conference last month. Because video game hardware can drive innovation, here are three things you need to know.

  1. Nintendo’s Wii U hasn’t changed since last year. But it runs more games, some of which present excellent, highly social problem solving opportunities, e.g., Pikmin 3 .
  2. The Xbox One comes with a newer, better Kinect camera that is all the better to watch you with; right down to your fingers. The $500 system is a signal that we’ll start seeing more motion-based sensing integrated into your favorite TV programming. Want to vote for your favorite singing contestent? Just raise your hand. The new Xbox can see you, count you, and could, some fear, send information to outside parties.   
  3. Don’t miss Sony’s interesting Dualshock 4 controller, because it can now also track your movements using a new camera. It also has a capacitive track pad, and internal speakers. See how it works, in this demo called “The Playroom” http://youtu.be/qSTJc9UqNk8.

 

Toys: InnoTab 3 is Here; LeapFrog Unveils Two Important Devices. Last week in New York I tried the LeapReader and the LeapPad Ultra. The LeapPad Ultra http://youtu.be/QsRGcsDKGiU takes the children’s “toy” tablet option into a new price and feature range. But can it compete with InnoTab 3, which costs 1/2 as much, or the dozen Android options, also $150? LeapFrog thinks so.

Apps: Good, Bad and Beautiful. This month has been busy with another excellent batch of apps, plus some prime examples of seedy publisher behavior. See what not to do in Play-Doh Create ABCs, a 2 star app (by our rating) that received multiple five star ratings in iTunes. Hmmm. Don’t miss the Wall Street Journal’s article that shows exactly how apps turn children into “click magnets” at http://on.wsj.com/1aTGAlL Finally, don’t miss the 11 examples of good design on page 4, especially Curious about Shapes and Colors (cover) and Toca Builders, a $.99 app for iPad that pushes the boundary of building in 3D, on a flat screen. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzhzLbesBD4

LittleClickers: Ice Cream. What’s the most popular flavor of ice cream? Who holds the world record for making the largest tub of ice cream? See page 3 or visit http://www.littleclickers.com/ice-cream

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Save the Date — The 13th Annual Dust or Magic Institute, To Be Held Nov 3-5, 2013 in Lambertville, NJ The main meetings will be held in the original location, in the Riverside Room at the Inn at Lambertville Station. Seats cost $1480 for one seat, $990 for 2 to 5. Visit http://dustormagic.com to register.

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CTR, July 2013

Vol. 21, No 7, Issue 160

REVIEWS IN THIS ISSUE

A Cautionary Tail, p. 5
Animal Crossing: New Leaf, 5
Caterpillar and the Ladybug, The 14
Curious About Shapes and Colors, 6
Disney Kerpoof Tell A Story, 6
Disney Pixar Monsters University Storybook Deluxe 7
Donkey Kong Country:
    Tropical Freeze 14
Factory Balls, 7
Grandma’s Kitchen, 8
Hohokum, 14
Hot Wheels Car Maker, 14
iLearn ‘N’ Play: Adventure Explorer, 15
InnoTab 3, 8
Jorgits, The 15
Kaplan Inspire-NG Move, 15
LeapPad Ultra, 16
LeapReader, 16
LEGO Batman 2: DC,
Super Heroes for Wii U, 8
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, 17
Mario Kart 8, 17
Match Blitz, 9
Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure, 9
Meet the Insects: Water & Grass
    Edition, 9
PBS Parents Play & Learn App, p 10
Play Lab, 10
PLAY-DOH Create ABCs, 10
PlayStation 4, 18
Rayman Legends, 18
See Me Talk, 11
Shiny Party, 11
Skylanders SWAP Force, 19
Spatter & Spark, 11
Super Mario 3D World, 19
Toca Builders, 12
Turbo: Super Stunt Squad, 19
Williamspurrrrg, 12
You Are Stardust,                                         
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One Response to "CTR July 2013: PS4, Xbox One, Leapfrog Ultra, and 11 Outstanding Products"

  1. Daniel says:

    nice post…nice topics i would like your next gen console topics…thanks…

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