Surround sound set-ups have been enhancing our gaming experiences for some time now, and as 3D also enters the fold, gone are the days when you simply sat in front of your PC, manning keyboard and mouse on your favourite FPS.
The idea of creating an immersive gaming environment in your own home continues to evolve, and with the Cyborg amBX gaming lights, which uses ambient lighting technology that reacts to video and audio in your game, this could be the next step to help liberate gaming from the confines of your computer screen.
Cyborg amBX Gaming Lights: Features
The setup comprises of two RGB LED desktop lights which connect to your PC via two separate USB ports and are powered by an AC mains adaptor. Bundled with the installation disc is the MMORPG Age of Conan: Hybrian Adventures, while there's also a copy of Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway which comes with embedded amBX support. The lights, which are a little bigger than a tea coaster, feature a hinged design so can be folded up when not in use. You can have up to twenty four sets of lights which can be configured to give a 360-style sensory surround set-up.
Cyborg amBX Gaming Lights: Specs
Emitting up to 16 million colours, the 2W-powered lights need to be positioned facing away from your vision projecting light and colour behind your PC. You can expect to get around 20,000+ hours of LED life which should last some considerable hours of game time. Interestingly, the games supplied in the set-up were titles that are now a few years old, but the amBX gaming lights does support a significant range of Direct 3D games including the likes of Call of Duty: Black Ops and Grand Theft Auto IV.
Cyborg amBX Gaming Lights: Performance
Using Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway as our test bed, the results were surprisingly very rewarding. Using just the two lights it wasn't long before we could see the benefits brought by the amBX technology. Subtle changes in light density and colour brightness reacted beautifully to in-game events. In scenarios where we were outside we got a sense of the warm glow as we walked into the direction of the sun, while creeping around a building in the middle of the night our bleak surroundings were mirrored with cool, dark colours in much softer lighting. We were left impressed by the directional response in one particular scene where a man doused in flames ran across the screen with the natural flow of light helping to emphasis that sense of movement in front of your eye line. Status lighting which essentially reacts to key elements like taking damage or being shot, added tension to the gameplay.
Cyborg amBX Gaming Lights: Verdict
There is no doubting that this one for the serious PC gamers out there, and while the amBX lights had all the hallmarks of being a gimmicky and an altogether unecessary device, the benefits of projecting light and colour compositions added genuine depth to gameplay. Environments felt richer with the lighting setup in place and with a decent surround sound set-up to accompany it, gamers will see its immediate value. Our major gripe is having to free up two USB ports and another plug socket on our extension lead to use it, but it is certainly an innovative piece of kit that goes some way to help us forget that we are still just playing a computer game.