Press release: 1996-02-13: Sega's Pico edutainment system drives ELA category growth

From Sega Retro

This is an unaltered copy of a press release, for use as a primary source on Sega Retro. Please do not edit the contents below.
Language: English
Original source: The Free Library

Sega's Pico edutainment system drives ELA category growth; Pico grows 114 percent in 1995; Sega announces price drop on Pico software.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 13, 1996--Sega of America Tuesday announced that sales of Pico, Sega's best-selling, introductory edutainment system for kids 3 to 7, have nearly tripled since its introduction less than 14 months ago.

A phenomenal 114 percent increase in Pico sales was recorded for 1995, making it one of the fastest-selling electronic learning aids (ELA) in the industry. Pico now has an installed base of more than 400,000 to date. Combined software sales yielded a software to hardware ratio of 2:1.

In addition, Sega announced a $10 price break on Pico storyware titles which will now range from $39-$49.

Introduced in Fall 1994, Pico is one of the most interactive edutainment products available for 3- to 7-year-olds. An integrated hardware/software system, Pico plugs into the television set and plays like a videogame while educating like a computer; it is a serious learning aid that teaches counting, spelling, matching, problem solving, memory, logic and hand/eye coordination.

"Pico has truly been a remarkable success story at Sega," Mike Ribero, executive vice president, Sega of America said. "Its growth is indicative of the high consumer demand for quality edutainment products that give young children a head-start and prepare them for an increasingly interactive era."

Top-selling storyware for 1995 titles included Disney's "The Lion King" and "Pocohontas." Other popular titles were, Scholastic's "The Magic School Bus," "Winnie the Pooh," and "Berenstain Bears."

In response to excellent consumer demand and more favorable product costs, Sega lowered the price of its storyware by $10. The regular line of Pico storyware now sells for under $40, and deluxe titles now sell for under $50. The Pico hardware system has a suggested retail price of $139.

The key to Pico's interactivity is the Magic Pen, a jumbo, crayon-like stylus that brings stories to life on the television screen with a simple touch. Kids can control the page, the game, create their own animation and more. There are currently 15 storyware titles available for Pico; several new titles including "Sonic's Game World," Walt Disney's "101 Dalmatians," "Smart Alex and Alice" and Jim Henson's "The Muppets; On the Go" will be released in 1996.

Sega of America is the arm of Tokyo-based Sega Enterprises Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega products in the Americas. Sega Enterprises Ltd. is a nearly $4 billion company known as a leader in interactive digital entertainment media, with operations on five continents.

CONTACT: Manning, Selvage & Lee

Sabrina Skacan/Kelly Fitzsimmons, 213/782-6600


Sega of America

Angela Edwards, 415/802-3908