ディスプレイを備えた1.5インチのインタラクティブ積み木 Sifteo Cubes が、Sifteo社から正式に発表されました。モーションセンサや近接センサを備え、互いの位置などによって表示を切り替えて遊ぶ「ゲームシステム」です。アプリケーションはPC / Macから付属のUSBドングルで無線転送するため、利用時はPC / Macが近くに必要。無線圏内は約6メートルほどとのこと。具体的な遊び方の例については過去の紹介記事に動画で掲載していますので、そちらをどうぞ。
発売時期は事前情報どおり、今年の第1四半期。そして問題の価格は、事前情報より安価な99ドルとなりました。同社いわく、本来は149ドルのところをお手頃価格で提供するアーリー・アクセス・プログラムとのこと。キューブ x 3、アプリ転送用のUSBドングル、ACアダプタの基本セットに、アプリストアで利用できる1000ポイント、正式ローンチ時に利用できる50%オフクーポン（200ドルの製品まで）、おまけに限定Tシャツまでが付属します。しかしこのアーリー・アクセス・プログラムは発表直後に完売し、今は「登録いただければ、ご用意できたときにお知らせします」状態。残念ですが、この人気なら大々的に売られる日も近そうです。
Sifteo Inc. Debuts Sifteo™ Cubes - A New Way To Play Announces details of Early Access Program for Sifteo Cubes; Top 10 Finalist for Last Gadget Standing Contest at CES;
CES Innovations Award Honoree, Electronic Gaming Hardware category
San Francisco, Calif. - January 5, 2011 – Sifteo, Inc., the inventors of Sifteo cubes, a new way for adults and children to play, today announced it will be demonstrating its new game system at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Sifteo also shared details of its Early Access Program which will give consumers the opportunity to buy Sifteo cubes at a discounted price before they go on sale nationally. In recognition of the innovation Sifteo brings to gaming, Sifteo cubes have been named a top ten finalist in the Last Gadget Standing contest which will take place at CES on January 8, 2011.
Sifteo cubes are a brand new way to play games using wireless 1.5-inch blocks with full-color screens that respond to motion and start interacting with the player and each other, as soon as they are picked up and moved around.
"New sensing technologies have changed the face of gaming in just a few years," said David Merrill, co-founder and president of Sifteo. "We believe that Sifteo cubes are the next leap forward in game play," said Merrill.
Co-founders, David Merrill and Jeevan Kalanithi first came up with the prototype for the cubes when studying human-computer interaction at the MIT Media Lab. During their research they realized that the way humans typically interact with physical objects i.e.: picking them up to examine and arrange them, had been overlooked by legacy gaming companies.
"Traditional game consoles have lost the tangible and interactive nature of classic tabletop games like Mahjong and dominoes, that bring people together," said Jeevan Kalanithi, co-founder of Sifteo. "Players tell us that Sifteo cubes reduce 'screen stare', banish tired thumbs and give families and individuals a more 'natural' way to have fun," said Kalanithi.
How to Play with Sifteo Cubes
To play with Sifteo cubes, players first install Sifteo's software (Mac, Windows) onto an internet-connected computer and then buy games and apps from Sifteo's online library which is accessible through the software. A USB wireless link enables games and apps to be downloaded on to the Sifteo cubes for play. For best performance, users should play within a few feet of the USB wireless link. In optimal conditions, the range may extend up to 20 feet. Sifteo's game studio has built an initial collection of titles that will include challenging games for adults, learning puzzles for kids and games people can play together.
Sifteo Early Access Program
Sifteo will launch its Early Access Program in Q1 2011. For a discounted price of $99 (compared to the MSRP of $149) participants can join Sifteo's Early Access Program and receive:
• The Sifteo pack: three cubes with a charging dock, USB wireless link and AC adaptor
• 1,000 points to purchase games and apps from the online store
• Coupon to redeem when product is launched
o 50% off anything in the Sifteo store up to $200 (expires 6/30/2012)
• Limited edition t-shirt
Sifteo has been selected as an honoree of the CES Innovations 2011 Design and Engineering Award in the Electronic Gaming Hardware category. The award recognizes the most innovative consumer electronics products in the industry's hottest product categories.
Sifteo cubes are expected to be widely available in the Fall of 2011. To participate in the Early Access Program please visit www.sifteo.com.
Sifteo at CES
Sifteo will be exhibiting at CES: booth #3317A in the Mommy Tech Zone, North Hall. The Last Gadget Standing contest will take place on January 8 at 10.30 a.m. in Room N257, North Hall.