Philips and Ubisoft Games Technology Alliance Announced at CES

Philips' amBX technology to be implemented in upcoming Ubisoft games.

Philips hopes to help Ubisoft enhance it's games software and game play experience by employing its amBX-technology into upcoming games Brothers in Arms Hell’s Highway and Far Cry 2.

From the show:
Philips today announced an alliance with Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, to amBX-enable Brothers in Arms Hell’s Highway and Far Cry 2, both due for release in 2008. The agreement will also see an amBX patch being released for the original Far Cry. Further patches for existing Ubisoft games will also be released with the amBX-enabling of additional titles to be announced later.

Demonstrations of amBX-enabled versions of Brothers in Arms Hell’s Highway and Far Cry 2 have been on show at Philips' show stand at CES, Las Vegas.

Shorthand for ‘ambient experiences’, amBX reinvents the gameplay experience by extending the traditional gaming world out of the screen and into the real world. amBX delivers full ‘surround senses’ by allowing developers to use light, colour, sound, rumble and even air flow through enabled devices, including the Philips amBX PC Gaming Peripherals range of LED colour-controlled lighting, rumble peripherals and variable speed desktop fans.

Developed by Gearbox Software, Brothers in Arms Hell’s Highway proudly builds on the critically acclaimed World War II game franchise and sees players dropped into Operation Market-Garden, the largest paratrooper operation in wartime history, fighting to open the famous ‘Hell’s Highway’ in a daring bid for a quick end to the war. Incorporating amBX in Brothers in Arms Hell’s Highway will create a huge arsenal of real world effects and experiences using air movement, light and rumble.

Variable speed fan effects will simulate wind speed from soldier movement on foot, in the air and in vehicles, as well as punches of airbursts from explosions and object collision. LED light effects will deliver directional light - across a 16 million colour range - to indicate danger, bullet and shrapnel impact and simulate everything from the use of torches in dark environments to full-on explosions. Finally, rumble effects will create distinct tyre and track rumble from different vehicle types, a wide range of weapon recoil effects and the thud and shock of being on the receiving end of a bullet, grenade or bomb. All these explosive amBX effects will be running throughout both gameplay and the game’s detailed cinematic cut scenes.

The original Far Cry won PC Gamer’s ‘Action Game of the Year’ Award in 2004. Since then the Far Cry brand has gathered critical acclaim and numerous awards, selling a whopping three million units. Developed by Ubisoft’s Montreal Studio, Far Cry 2 is all set to continue the original’s award-winning success and despatches the player to a collapsing central African country to tackle a factional mercenary conflict.

Using the developer’s tailor-made Dunia game engine, Far Cry 2 will deliver incredibly realistic destructible environments, special effects such as dynamic fire and storm effects, real-time day and night cycle, dynamic music and non-scripted enemy A.I. - all of which will be given the real world treatment through the amBX light, fan and rumble effects.

“In striving to create high quality games, incorporating the most innovative technologies to produce the best possible gaming experience is of fundamental importance to Ubisoft,” commented Vincent Greco, Worldwide Production Technical Coordinator, Ubisoft. “With amBX we can enhance the immersive experience, adding a new dimension to our games.”

“Working with one of the world’s largest publishers on two of the most successful gaming franchises of all time is an amazing opportunity for our amBX technology to really shine in front of a worldwide audience,” commented Jo Cooke, Chief Marketing Officer, Philips amBX. “Brothers in Arms Hell’s Highway and Far Cry 2 are titles that will showcase just how powerful and in your face amBX effects can be in a war game. This is just the start of the alliance between amBX and Ubisoft and the level of our co-marketing with Ubisoft will underline our dedication to bringing all-new ambient effects to world class games.”

Philips is setting a global standard by licensing the amBX technology to computer game developers, publishers and peripherals manufacturers and Ubisoft joins a rapidly growing list of content creators, including Codemasters, THQ, Introversion, Gearbox Software, Gas Powered Games, Zombie, Riot Games, Brain in a Jar, Invictus Games, Instinct Technology, Kuju, Revolution, Sumo Digital and Rivers Run Red.

• A full list of specifically amBX-enabled, modded and FXGenerator compatible games, searchable by genre and publisher, can be found at