CES 2007: Philips AmBX to bring light, wind and good vibrations to gamers

Las Vegas (LV) - Philips hyped a number of forthcoming products (see our story Philips goes ambi-extreme) at its CES press conference Sunday, including one series of products aiming specifically at gamers: the AmBX PC Gaming Peripherals, which uses light, vibration and air to create an immersive environment for gaming.

The product set is actually quite simple; AmBX includes a pair of left and right satellite lights, a left and right satellite 2.1 speaker light and subwoofer, a pair of desk fans, a wrist "rumbler" and a directional wall washer light and controller unit. According to Philips, the left and right satellite lights will change color and intensity in the context of what's happening onscreen. The lights themselves are capable of representing 16 million different colors and the high-performance RGB LED are designed to replicate, for example, explosions with intense flashing red lights or the dim ambient light of a fireside.

The left and right satellite 2.1 speaker lights and subwoofer also offer 160-watt multi-directional sound and dynamic bass boost. The new AmBX series also includes two desk fans that run both low and high in order to simulate various in-game experiences, such as high winds, heavy drafts, propellers and explosions. In addition, the wrist rumbler is designed to allow gamers to actually feel movement in the game through vibrations and is designed to work simultaneously with the AmBX's light and air movement to create immersive experiences. The peripherals all connect back to the directional wall washer light and controller unit. The AmBX peripherals are linked to the central control unit through USB 2.0 connections.

During the Philips press conference, Stewart Muller, president of Philips Consumer Electronics North America, presented a demonstration of the amBX with trailer for the forthcoming PC title Supreme Commander. "It gives gamers an experience in the real world, not just in the virtual world," Muller said.

According to Philips, some of the PC games that are currently AmBX-enabled are THQ's popular Broken Sword: The Angel of Death. Codemaster's Toca Racing Driver 3, and the popular DEFCON from independent developer Introversion. In addition, Supreme Commander and Kuju's Rail Simulator are currently being developed as AmBX-enabled titles.

Philips AmBX PC Gaming Peripherals are scheduled to launch in the U.S. in Q1 2007. 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.