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Philips amBX PC Gaming Pereipherals

by December 04, 2006
Filed under: Miscellaneous

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Philips today unveiled its launch range of amBX PC Gaming Peripherals at CES. Created by Philips, amBX is a leap forward in the development of ambient intelligence and extending games beyond the screen and into the real world. amBX tries to provide gamers with a full "sensory surround experience" by empowering game developers to use light, color, sound, vibration and even air flow during gameplay.

The launch range of amBX-enabled peripherals, detailed in graphite and silver, includes a pair of left and right satellite lights, a pair of left and right satellite 2.1 speaker lights and subwoofer, a pair of desk fans, a wrist rumbler and a directional wall washer light and controller unit.

The left and right satellite lights will change color and intensity in the context of what's happening onscreen, capable of representing a staggering 16 million different colors. The high performance RGB LED lights are able to represent countless in-game lighting situations. These include rapid flashing, from white lightning to red-hot explosions, and more subtle changes in ambient lighting, from a hypnotic fireside flicker to a tranquil blue sky. The left and right satellite 2.1 speaker lights and subwoofer also offer 160-watt multidirectional sound complete with dynamic bass boost, adding realism while reducing the clutter of separate speakers, saving on all-important desk space.

Compact, adjustable and with variable rotation speed, the desk fans allow both slow and fast airflow, up to 5000 RPM - simulating a variety of in-game experiences. These include wind, collision impact, acceleration, velocity, air flow from an airplane propeller or a draft under a door and even a drop in ambient temperature. Philips has conducted extensive focus testing within the PC gaming community and the desk fans have proven to be universally popular.

With two integrated motor drives and variable rotation speed, the wrist rumbler enables gamers to actually feel movement in the game, experiencing the action through vibration. The rumble will work simultaneously with the light and air movement to create immersive experiences.

Serving as the central control unit, the directional wall washer light and controller unit flood the wall behind the PC or laptop screen with different colored light through three powerful banks of LEDs. amBX periperhals are linked to the central control unit through USB 2.0 connections.

Philips' amBX PC Gaming Peripherals range will launch with the following four kits: a $199 starter kit which contains a directional wall washer light, controller unit and satellite lights; a $299 Pro-Gamer Kit which includes a directional wall washer light, a controller unit, satellite 2.1 speaker lights and subwoofer; a $99 Extension Kit featuring a set of desk fans and wrist rumbler. For the ultimate gamer, a $399 Premium Kit encompasses all of the above.

User friendly software allows players to indicate where the peripherals are located. A Configuration Manager adjusts the various effect levels to their exact location. An easy check function acts as a fail safe to complete this process. More adventurous players can even customize the settings to create tailored effects for their own environment through sound and light tuning and balancing.

Games that are currently amBX-enabled include THQ's popular Broken Sword: The Angel of Death. Codemaster's Toca Racing Driver 3 and DEFCON from Introversion.

Kuju's RAIL SIMULATOR, to be published by EA and Gas Powered Games', Supreme Commander published by THQ are both currently being developed as amBX games and more games will be announced in the coming weeks These will include other games also in development and existing games which will be patched with amBX.

Thanks to the amBX FX Generator, Philips' amBX PC Gaming Peripherals range is also backwards compatible, offering amBX lighting effects across many existing PC games.

This unique feature also allows users to experience amBX light shows while listening to music on the PC.

Philips amBX PC Gaming Peripherals range will launch in the U.S. in Spring 2007.

Additional information is available at www.ambx.com .

About the author:

Tony is our resident expert for lifestyle and wireless products including soundbars. He does most of the reviews for wireless and streaming loudspeakers and often compares soundbars in round ups and helps us cover the trade shows.

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