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I was thinking about the LeapPad vs PowerTouch debate this weekend. And being a big gamer myself it struck me that while the PowerTouch might be better technology, that often has meant nothing in the past in the realm of game consoles.

For instance, Sega Dreamcast was "better" than the Playstation technologically by a long shot, but Dreamcast got trounced big time mostly because their were more games for the Playstation. Also game publishers would rather make games for the playstation because of the larger installed base of users to buy their games.

The same goes for LeapPad vs Powertouch. Sure Powertouch is neat with not having to press go, or use a pen, but in the end LeapPad is still very competitive technologically. Companies would rather make books for LeapPad than PowerTouch because more people own LeapPads. Also LF can sign multi-platform deals say for Disney to make books for ALL their different types of LeapPads (and leapster!). I bet the number of people that own LeapPad "platforms" is easily 10 times that of PowerTouches.

The Power Touch is more of a competitor for "Little Touch" leap pad. And in that arena it probably is doing some real damage to the Frog, from the reviews I read on Amazon. Little Touch supposedly is harder to press, and you still have to press GO. I wish LF had made this product without requiring GO to be pressed, but alas.

One could make the argument concerning the advantages of the LeapPad vs PowerTouch in terms of technology. Such as the pen is good for teaching kids how to hold a pencil, or the GO symbol helps them follow directions, or that the PowerTouch can be annoying if other parts of your hand touch the book triggering a tidal wave of sound. My point is that if the PowerTouch IS better designed, it will probably lose out from the sheer volume of books LF has.

Another point I'd like to make is that the LF books seem better designed overall. The PowerTouch Lady's voice sounds more robotic and mechanical, and the LF speaker's voice sounds more smooth. I think the games are more fun on LF, and overall the books are more creative as well.

Mattel can simply keep the PowerTouch alive to hurt LF, even without making much profit. But Mattel is also wasting resources while they do this. Mattel has a true hit with Kasey the kinderbot, and I think they'd be wiser to concentrate on improving that platform, instead of attacking LF with this risky strategy of producing PowerTouches.
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