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Mad Catz announces amBX hardware development kit

Kit to assist developers integrate 'sensory surround' tech into PC games

Mad Catz Interactive has announced it is to release an amBX hardware development kit designed especially for the PC software studios.

The kit will help developers to integrate amBX technology into their PC games and will be freely available to qualified publishers and developers from spring this year, the company confirmed.

amBX - short for ambient experiences - is described as a 'sensory surround' system, which delivers added atmosphere to the gaming experience through dymanic real world effects such as light and colour.

The HDK will come with the amBX-enabled Cyborg Gaming Lights and keyboard. The former are light pods that sit either side of a user's monitor and produce up to 16 million colours, the latter is an interactive backlit keyboard capable of producing real time lighting effects in conjunction with on-screen gameplay.

According to amBX UK CEO Neil MacDonald, together with amBX's software development kit, the new partnership will give game studios all they need ahead of the company's commercial release of the Cyborg hardware to integrate the technology into their games.

"We're extremely pleased that Mad Catz have made an amBX HDK available for developer studios," said MacDonald.

"Having the HDK ahead of the commercial release of the amBX-enabled Cyborg products, and with our free amBX SDK, game studios will have all the tools they need to quickly and easily implement amBX immersive effects into games. The fantastic new amBX Cyborg range will bring new dimensions of immersive gaming to PC gamers and represent a leap ahead for the gaming experience."

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz in November last year, MacDonald said amBX hoped to bring its technology to consoles as well as PC sometime in the future.

Consumer console products would hopefully be on the market by the end of 2010, he said. amBX had already been licensed for the PlayStation 3 and the company was in the process then of embarking on the same process for the Xbox 360.

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