Sifteo Cubes

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.”

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.