CES 2007: Philips Ambisound and amBX

The taste for greater immersion in entertainment activities is spreading to the rest of the Philips agenda. The One Bar Ambisound HTS8100 caught our eye; similar to the Yamaha YSP Digital Sound projector it's a single bank of speakers which create surround effects without satellites.

To make it more enticing, though, it comes with a built-in DVD player capable of upscaling content to 1080p and DivX playback - and all for $999.

Alongside the Ambisound, Philips also formally launched its amBX line of games peripherals. These USB lights, speakers and fans aim to ensure that "the ambience of an electronic game is extended to the entire room," according to Philips' Stewart Muller.

In a similar way to Philips' Ambilight TVs, LED lights change colour according to the 'mood' of the game, theoretically drawing players deeper into the experience.

To heighten the sensation, fans can be triggered when, for example, a character on screen starts a parachute jump, and rumbling wrist straps further invite the suspension of disbelief by leaping into action when something explodes on screen.

There's a downside, of course. Only four titles currently support amBX - Broken Sword: Angel of Death, TOCA Race Driver 3, Defcon and Supreme Commander - although more will be announced later in the year. And such total immersion doesn't come cheap. While a set of fans and a wrist rumbler will launch at $99, the full kit of lights, controllers, speakers and subwoofer will come in at $399. Adam Oxford