The V.Smile is a game system with an educational twist, the system is built for children 3-7 years old . Titles come on ROM cartridges, which during a brain storming session by VTech employees became known as "smartridges".......just in case the user did not understand that titles were meant to have educational value. The system has simple large buttons for control to accommodate a child's reduced dexterity. The system controller consists of one large push button in the middle of the pad as well as 4 smaller buttons above this larger button. The four smaller buttons are color coded and are used in various games to promote color recognition when answering questions or solving puzzles. Also of note the joystick portion of the controller can be rotated along the outer edge of the push button portion of the controller allowing the user to use the joystick in the left or right hand depending on preference.
The V.Smile range of consoles are not region-locked. While the console itself come in NTSC and PAL versions and the BIOS on the consoles appear to be region specific (distinguishable from the speech sample played in the screen after the V-Tech logo when the console is started with no cartridge inserted), games purchased from an NTSC region would play on PAL systems and games purchased in PAL territories will also play on NTSC systems. Observations suggest that both the V.Smile and V.Smile Infant Development System used different methods of booting- The V.Smile and V.Smile Pocket variants will apparently boot into their own BIOS, then obligingly run the software on the cartridge. The V.Smile Baby appears to boot from the default BIOS when a cartridge of the same region is inserted or when there's no cartridge in the system, but appears to boot from a different BIOS when a cartridge of a different region is inserted. Currently it is unknown if the extra BIOS resides on the cartridge or on the console itself.