Educational software company Picoo has created a new video game console … of sorts. Named after the company itself, the Picoo is a “screenless” gaming console that hopes to get kids outdoors.
The “console” looks a bit like a PlayStation Move controller. It’s a one-handed remote with a wrist strap and glowing light encased in translucent plastic on one end. It doesn’t have any buttons, other than an On/Off switch. Instead, it uses a speaker, accelerometer, and vibration for play.
The system doesn’t require any online connection to use, though players will need to download a mobile app to set it up initially. It interacts with other Picoo devices through radio networking and plays games by scanning cards. Its battery lasts up to four hours and takes just as long to charge.
So, how does gaming on a console with no screen or buttons actually work? The Picoo starter set comes with five games, which range from Whack-a-mole to Hide & Seek. The Picoo uses sound, vibration, and motion control to simulate basic actions like whacking a mole. Other examples include Lightning Bolt, where players need to catch bolts with their Picoo, and Zombierun, in which players run around searching for zombies.
The Picoo is a concept built with children’s fitness in mind. The console is built to be inclusive as well, as it can scale game difficulty based on a player’s detected proficiency level. For team games, the Picoo automatically pairs players together to avoid the classic schoolyard situation where the least popular kid gets picked last.
A Picoo starter set costs $250 and includes four controllers and five games. Education and pro kits aimed at school use cost $1,449 and come with 12 controllers and eight games initially, with 12 added over time. Those with a starter set can purchase additional games starting at $5 each.
While it’s no PS5 (and is probably more accurately categorized as a toy than a gaming console), the Picoo is a cute concept that might finally encourage young kids to get outside and play some games for a change.
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