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Serious Games Connecting Online Gameplay With Schoolwork

Via: FoxBusiness - LeapFrog Introduces New Web-Connected Gaming Handhelds

Setting the New Standard in Educational Gaming, Leapster2 and Didj (TM) Provide Parents with Exclusive Access to Kids' Educational Progress

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Feb. 5 - LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., a leading developer of technology-based learning products (please find my prior post LeapFrog - Serious Games To Inspire A Love Of Learning), announced this week two new web-connected video game systems that are tied to the proprietary LeapFrog(R) Learning Path.

The Leapster2 Learning Game System, the latest handheld in the popular Leapster (R) family, expands the gameplay online with fun activities and rewards that encourage continued play while allowing parents to see what their child is learning and share in their accomplishments.

The online capabilities in the all-new Didj Custom Gaming System connect gameplay with schoolwork, allowing grade-scholars to customize the game with spelling lists, math problems and more.

"LeapFrog is the leader in educational handheld gaming and now with Leapster2 and Didj, we are offering parents and kids even more choice and capability," said Christian Cocks, vice president of gaming at LeapFrog.

"Kids want to play video games, and as parents we want them to get the most from that experience. Our new Leapster2 and Didj handhelds are products that parents can feel good about and that kids can have a terrific time playing."

The Bestselling Educational Gaming Handheld Just Got Better

Four years ago LeapFrog broke ground with the original Leapster handheld, and since then nearly 5 million Leapster family hardware units and over 14 million software titles have sold in the United States. In addition to creating age-appropriate educational games, LeapFrog was the first to recognize that four- to eight-year-olds are still developing fine motor skills. Ergonomically designed to accommodate smaller hands, a biggerD-pad and larger buttons as well as an attached stylus made the Leapster handheld kid-friendly, as did offering relevant learning games that can be played with only a stylus.

The Leapster2 system offers a sleek new form for enjoying new games such as the exclusive educational game license for Star Wars: The Clone Wars or the summer 2008 Disney/Pixar blockbuster WALL E. As with the original Leapster system, the Leapster2 handheld auto-levels, adjusting games to children's particular skills and progress, so players are appropriately challenged. The Leapster2 handheld's new online connectivity allows parents a window into their child's accomplishments, while kids earn rewards to encourage continued playing and learning.

Taking Customized Learning to a New Level

When kids are ready to graduate from the Leapster system, the Didj handheld is the smart option to extend the learning. The first totally customizable educational gaming platform, the Didj system lets kids personalize the look and feel of the games, from designing their avatars to choosing background scenery, color schemes and music.

Beyond making visual customizations, parents and kids can customize the learning content on the Didj handheld, connecting gameplay with schoolwork. For example, a custom spelling list can be created from the 10,000-word database, giving kids the ability to practice for next week's test while playing the classic Sonic the Hedgehog. The Didj system supports what kids are learning in school and lets them practice skills in a fun way-through gaming.

Built for discerning six- to ten-year-olds, the Didj system offers high resolution graphics presented on a 3.2 inch LCD screen featuring 16.7million color TFT on a 320x240 display. Perceptive players also will appreciate the processing speed (ARM 9 @ 393 MHz), which is comparable to that of other handhelds on the market today. In addition to processing game logic, the combined 32 bit ARM and 256MB Flash memories ensure high-quality, real-time audio decompression and playback.

Learning is Not One-Size-Fits-All

Also launching this summer is LeapFrog's proprietary Learning Path, a free online tool at that interfaces with LeapFrog products to show parents what their child is learning and how their activities or games map back to the Scope and Sequence of educational skills that LeapFrog has always built into every product.

Based on an award-winning LeapFrog School product used by teachers across the United States to individualize assessment and instruction, each time parents connect their Leapster2 or Didj system, they can see how education comes to life for their child -- the games their child has been playing, the skills they have been practicing and the progress they have been making.

This information populates each child's personalized LeapFrog Learning Path profile, empowering parents with insights into what excites their children, and letting them know where their kids may be struggling and in need of extra attention.


The Didj system will be available in the summer of 2008 with an MSRP of $89.99. The Didj system software library offers nine learning games during launch year, with an MSRP of $29.99 each. The Leapster2 handheld will be available in the summer of 2008 with an MSRP of $69.99. Five new Leapster system games will be available at the launch of the Leapster2 platform, with refreshed versions of 10 of the most popular legacy titles available;all are optimized for the Leapster2 handheld's LeapFrog Learning Path connectivity. The entire 33-title Leapster library is compatible with the full Leapster family of Learning Game Systems. All Leapster titles MSRP at$24.99.

About LeapFrog

LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. is a leading designer, developer, and marketer of innovative, technology-based learning products and related proprietary content, dedicated to making learning effective and engaging for all ages, at home and in schools, around the world. The company was founded in 1995 and is based in Emeryville, California. LeapFrog has developed a family of learning platforms that come to life with more than 100 interactive software titles, covering important subjects such as phonics, reading, writing, math, music, geography, social studies, spelling, vocabulary, and science. In addition, the company has created abroad line of stand-alone educational products for children from birth to16 years. LeapFrog's award-winning U.S. consumer products are available in six languages at major retailers in more than 35 countries around the world. LeapFrog School's multisensory products currently reach students in more than 100,000 classrooms across the United States. LeapFrog School is a business division of LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.