The Sifteo Cubes, one of the coolest pieces of technology in gaming, just got a little cooler. Sifteo has announced that the next generation of its innovative, interactive blocks are coming soon.
The small devices are motion-aware 1.7 inch blocks with touch-sensitive screens, but what really makes them special is their capability to communicate with each other by contact. Up to 12 cubes can work together to play a single game.
“Sifteo Cubes combine the timeless, and tactile, tabletop play experiences seen throughout history — think dominoes, Lego, mahjong, building blocks, cards, and so on — and fuses them with breakthrough computer and video game technology, creating an Intelligent Play experience that will stretch the imagination and boost critical thinking powers,” said Sifteo in a press release sent to GamesBeat. The new versions of the gaming blocks will offer, “richer graphics, juicier colors, and updated sensing technology.”
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The first Sifteo Cubes debuted last September. While the originals depended on a wireless connection with a computer, these new versions are completely portable thanks to the Sifteo Base, a small device that plays audio and stores games while connecting to the interactive blocks wirelessly.
“We’re extremely proud of the original Sifteo Cubes product, and the next-generation Sifteo Cubes are the next step in Sifteo’s mission to make classic play interactive,” said company president and cofounder Dave Merrill in the press release. “Creating a completely portable system has been a top priority since we started Sifteo, and today we’re incredibly excited to be achieving that goal and more.”
Sifteo also announced a partnership with Nickelodeon for licensed games, including a title based on the newest version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Richard Garfield, the creator of the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering, is also working on a new game for the next generation of the cubes.
The new Sifteo Cubes will be available in November. A Sifteo Pack comes bundled with three of the devices, the Sifteo Base, five AAA batteries (which the cubes run on), a USB cable, a carrying case, four games pre-installed, and a voucher for another title called Sandwich Kingdom, which the company describes as its version of a The Legend of Zelda-type adventure (presumably with more cold cuts). The whole package will go for $129.95, with additional cubes costing $29.95 each.
If you’re still curious exactly how this technology works, you can see the cubes in action in the video below.