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CTR December 2019
Vol. 27 No. 12 Issue 239
Download this issue as a PDF
Year in Review 2019

Publisher’s Note: We’ll be switching to a quarterly format next year, following this schedule:
Mid-Winter (KAPi Winners, CES roundup, Feb 1)
Spring (BolognaRagazzi Winners, April 1)
Early Fall (Back to School, September 1)
Late Fall (Dust or Magic News, November 1)
Our weekly reports will continue to be delivered to subscribers by email with a holiday break from Dec 18 to January 15. Contact us with any questions

2019 Year In Review
As the year winds down, we’ve created a detailed roundup of the year’s important products. The report starts on page 4, or you can follow this link to see the list in CTREX at http://bit.ly/ctrexbestof2019. In case you don’t want to read the entire article, here are some trends at a glance:

When it comes to supporting families and children, Nintendo continues to rise above the others in 2019. While we didn’t care much for the new Switch Lite, we continue to love Nintendo’s ability to create innovative, high quality, commercial free content for all members of the family. Case in point? Ring Fit Adventure. There’s no doubt that the Switch platform will be a key player in 2020.

It is still possible to find quality, ethical children’s content in the app stores, however it is more likely to come from Europe or Canada, and not the United States. I continue to be disappointed by the lack of children’s media leadership displayed by USA tech giants who could easily create a “manipulation free” zone for children in their app stores. Apple’s new Arcade is on the right tack with a simple $5/month subscription plan, but it is video game-centric. Recent changes to YouTube are also promising, but they appear to be a defensive move, as a way to sidestep impending legislation. As Apple and Google continue to squeeze cash from their massive app stores with such things as automatic renewals and “free content,” young people are still getting pulled into the trap. So it’s no wonder why busy families tend to avoid these manipulation spaces altogether, as something bad. In 2020, we’d like to see services like Apple Arcade, only with a wider variety of ethical children’s content.

The chicken/egg relationship between hardware and software was on full display in 2019. The launch of the $400 stand-alone VR system (the Oculus Quest) and the increasing presence of cheap, smart speakers is making it even more essential to redefine literacy as a child’s ability to be fluent with a variety of digital platforms.

Heist: One Team, One Mission
*Jenny LeClue Detectivu
*Luigi's Mansion 3
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
RoGo Coder - Kids Can Code
Sesame Street Yourself
Shifu Plugo
Tori Explorer Pack
*Wolves in the Walls