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Handheld Game Machine...for 5 Year Olds

Boot Camp feature for Monday, February 28, 2005

A handheld game machine for five year olds. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Vtech Electronics captured the best overall toy of the year from the Toy Industry Association for its V.Smile TV Learning System. The game console, with an emphasis on learning, is designed for toddlers…and uses what the company calls Smartridges. Now the company has announced it will make a handheld version. Marketing Vice President Julia Fitzgerald….

"The V.Smile Pocket is actually the big brother to V.Smile. It's coming out this fall and it is actually the handheld version of V.Smile. It is the educational alternative to handheld video games."

The V.Smile Pocket will cost about 90 dollars. And while it will use the same Smartridges as the console…the handheld….is designed for slightly older children…

"The V.Smile Pocket is actually a little bit more sophisticated and it takes more hand dexterity. So for a child to really be able to operate the V.Smile Pocket, it's probably going to be the big brother of the child who is having a great time with V.Smile."

The portable machine…can also attach to a TV for use on a bigger screen. But the smaller controls are what keep it from being usable by children younger than five. Vtech's success in the gaming business for toddlers is drawing competitors into the business. More on that in upcoming reports. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.