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A gaming console that gets kids outside? Meet Picoo

This revolutionary toy will get screen-addicted kids playing outside

A group of children hands holding Picoo gaming consoles Credit: Picoo

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If you're anything like I am, over the last two years you've spent a lot of time yelling at your kids to get off their iPads and go play outside, and you are so over it. Expecting your backyard to compete with the appeal of Collins Key or SSSniperWolf has been a lost cause—until today's CES debut of Picoo.

Described as "the world's first outdoor game console," Picoo is a portable and screen-free system that gets kids outside and engaged in physical activity without having to sacrifice their attachment to technology. Picoo requires no Wi-Fi to work—the controllers use a radio network to communicate with one another—and it offers a range of classic games like Hide-and-Seek and Whack-a-Mole.

Wondering how the Picoo works? It's actually very simple: Kids use one of the controllers to scan a game card, and then follow the audio and LED light cues to start the game. The controllers play charming sounds to signal the start and end point of a game, and they include a built-in accelerometer to detect and measure movement so they can sense when players are near or far from one another. Another major plus to the Picoo is that it automatically creates teams when a game starts, thereby ensuring that no one has to suffer the indignity of being the last kid picked.

Designed for kids ages 4 to 12, Picoo adapts the challenge level based on the proficiency that it senses during a game, essentially balancing the playing field so that all kids have a fair shot at winning. This feature means that Picoo is ideal for kids of all abilities to play together, and they offer a selection of game cards designed just for kids with special needs as well.

The Picoo Starter Kit retails for $249, and includes four chargers, two USB-C charging cables, five game cards on a wrist strap, and four helper cards. Extra games and controllers are available for purchase separately.

Get the Picoo Starter Kit for $249

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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