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Games Consoles for Kids 2012

Updated on April 19, 2013

Top Games Consoled for Kids - Handheld and Family

Are you looking for a games console for kids? There are some good options available for Christmas 2012. Let's take a look at the best options for kids of various ages who want to play video game on either a handheld console or a family games console connected to a TV screen.

Video games are very popular with kids. They can be educational, fun or both. It's important to choose a console and games that are age appropriate. Younger kids are getting interested in video games as they increasingly see technology around them.

This page will help you choose the right games console for your child. We'll focus on the newest devices available for Christmas 2012 as many kids will want a games console as their main Christmas gift.

Image: LeapFrog LeapsterGS Explorer

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LeapFrog LeapsterGS Explorer

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Leapfrog Leapstergs Explorer - Pink

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LeapFrog have a new games console for 2012, the LeapFrog Leapster GS. This is a handheld games console aimed specifically at younger kids who want to play games. It's less expensive that the market-leading handheld games consoles and will keep kids on age appropriate titles.

The Leapster has games controls built in and there's a range of educational and fun games designed for kids aged 4-9.

You can choose from a green color or pink for girls.

Note that LeapFrog also offer the LeapPad 2 kids learning tablet which has touch controls.

LeapFrog LeapsterGS Explorer Video

Nintendo 3DS XL - Blue/Black

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Nintendo have long been the favorite for kids hand-held games consoles. The consoles are not specifically for kids and lots of adults enjoy them too, but getting your first Nintendo handheld is a right of passage for many kids, especially boys.

The Nintendo 3DS XL is their latest hardware. This is an update to the Nintendo 3DS which has larger screens. This console has 3D capability which can be switched off, Wifi support, with parental controls, and a good range of games that are suitable for kids.

Nintendo 3DS - Aqua Blue

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You could also choose the Nintendo 3DS which is the original smaller version which comes in a range of kid-friendly colors including Flame Red and Pearl Pink.

Note that the 3D feature should be turned off for children under 7.

Nintendo generally go several years between major new console releases and the Nintendo 3DS is at the beginning of its life so it's likely to be the current model for quite some time. So while this is a fairly expensive gift, it should last several years. Many kids play games well into their teens and there's no upper age limit on the Nintendo 3DS, it's owned by many adults.

MG Portable Android Wi-Fi Game System

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The MG Portable Android Wi-Fi Game System is similar to an Android smart phone or small tablet but with controls designed for gaming (and without the phone functionality.) This device is designed for older kids and supports a prepaid card for buying games and notifications to parents on usage.

Apple iPad MC705LL/A (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black) NEWEST MODEL

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Another option for a games console for kids is the Apple iPad. Yes, it's a more expensive option that will be out of the reach of some. But it's a very versatile device that does a lot more that just play games.

This year we're seeing lots of App Toys for the iPad. These are physical toys that interact with apps and games on the iPad for an experience that mixes the real and virtual world.

App Toys for iPad Tablets
App Toys that interact with tablets are a hot toy this year. Find out about the top app toys and how they work. Most of these toys are designed to work with...

Nintendo Wii U

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If you're looking for a family games console with plenty of games for kids then the Wii U is the most up to date offering. The Nintendo Wii U is due a fall 2012 release.

It's predecessor the Nintendo Wii U has been very popular over the last several years and the Wii U adds innovative new controllers and updated hardware as well as lots of new games.

The original Nintendo Wii U is still worth considering if you are on a tight budget.

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Games Consoles for Kids

Do you know a child who wants a games console? - Comments

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      My soon to be 7 yr old wants an i-pod. I say go for the bigger screen like a kindle fire or nook or i-pad. He wants the i-pod and of course 5 yr old brother thinks he wants one too. Of course cost is a big decision maker in this house, but I would like for something that will satisfy them for more than one year. I am torn to which product to choose.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I don't know a child who wouldn't want one, I think they are pretty cool myself. Great lens, Thanks for sharing

    • TwistedWiseman profile image

      TwistedWiseman 5 years ago

      I am a child! GIMMEH GIMMEH!

    • ImmatureEntrepr profile image

      ImmatureEntrepr 5 years ago

      Helpful lens, thanks for sharing! :)