We've been following the Sifteo Cubes for a while now, intrigued by their promise to give us an entirely new platform for fun, original games.
The gist is this: The system consists of a collection of cubes, each of which has a touch-screen and an accellerometer. The cubes are organised by a wireless base station, which sits in the middle. Games are built around moving, connecting, re-arranging and shaking the cubes.
Sifteo sent me a set of cubes (though technically: They're not quite cubes, are they?) and a base station, and I've been playing around with them for the past week.
I made the video above to show what the Sifteo Cubes are all about. You can find out more about them at the Sifteo site, and can be picked up at Barnes & Noble, though the Sifteo folks tell me they're currently sold out online, so you'll have to go to an actual store. It costs $US129 for a base station and three cubes, and $US30 for each additional cube.
Jury's out on whether these will still be cool next year, or if they're a neat but short-lived idea. But there's a lot still to come for Sifteo — their press materials mention games from Cipher Prime (who makes the Bit.Trip) games, Nidhogg's Messhof, Magic: The Gathering designer Richard Garfield, and J.S.S. Joust makers Die Gute Fabrik.
Even as it stands, Sifteo Cubes are cool — cooler even than I thought they'd be. They're certainly not essential, whatever that means, but they're fun, and would make for a great Christmas present for the hard-to-shop-for.