When Nintendo got gamers off the couch with the Wii’s motion-sensitive controller, video games entered a new level of interaction and movement. Instead of twiddling a joystick and pushing a few buttons as found in the Playstation 2, Wii gamers swung their arms to whack golf balls and thrust their hands forward to hit a pool ball. A few gamers even cracked their televisions when they lost their grip on the Wii Remote and sent it hurtling into the screen.
Sifteo’s Sifteo Cubes are sort of like the Wii in that they require more interaction than pressing a button or wagging a stick. So, instead of imitating a potato on a couch, players take control of the three Sifteo Cubes and move them, shake them, and flip them around to engage in simple puzzle games and learning exercises. Note however that the Sifteo Cubes are not a standalone product – a PC is required to run the Sifteo software which is wirelessly transmitted to the cubes. An operating range of 20 feet is recommended by the company for optimal performance.
Sifteo bills their system as an alternative gaming system and according to company spokesman Paul Doherty, “We’re trying to create games that promote learning, spatial reasoning and truly interactive play.” The Sifteo Cubes opened up for preorder on the company’s website today and they are expected to ship in September 2011. Pricing is set at US$149 for the Sifteo Starter Pack. Company propaganda:
Sifteo’s Intelligent Play Platform™ is a fresh, tactile take on interactive play. Use your hands to move, shake, flip, rotate and neighbor your Sifteo cubes – you’ll be entertained and inspired by Sifteo’s unique gameplay.
At Sifteo we’re bringing together two great play traditions, combining classic play patterns from games like chess, dominoes and jigsaw puzzles with the richness of interactive game technology for an experience that is exciting, challenging, and fun.
Get your brain in gear! Sifteo cubes have all kinds of puzzles and games to exercise your spatial reasoning, word-finding, pattern-matching and other awesome cranial powers. Feel good about having fun through Intelligent Play™.