Microsoft's Illumiroom concept may have died the death, and we're still a little way away from consumer VR tech. But that doesn't mean you can't step up the level of immersion in your gaming sessions in the meantime. Speaking at the IFA tech trade show in Berlin, Philips has told Gizmodo UK that it's currently working with a whole range of AAA games that will be able to sync up to its Hue lighting system, offering synchronized ambient lighting effects to match what's going on in-game.
“With our connected lights we’re able to elevate gaming to a whole new level,” George Yianni, Head of Technology at Philips Lighting Home Systems, told Gizmodo UK.
“Just two months ago we launched the world’s first fully immersive gaming experience with hit game Chariot where Philips Hue lights interact, in real time, with game play, so when enemies attack for example, the lights blink red. We’d had great feedback on this innovation and we’re working on equipping more games with this technology.”
Interactive ambient lighting was Philips' big push at this year's IFA, from its clever Lightstrip Plus to the mad AmbiLux UHD TV. These all working in tandem could deliver some truly special gaming experiences, especially as developers learn how to use ambient lighting not just for jump scares or explosive additions to visuals, but as offscreen HUD alternatives – Yianni described for instance a scenario where ambient Hue lighting could gradually turn red as a character took damage.
Due to the way features are so quickly tested and discarded during game development, Yianni couldn't share details on which titles would be getting the Hue features (beyond a nod that "triple A" developers were involved). But with Hue-enabled features in Chariot making their debut on the Xbox One version, safe money would point towards an expansion with titles on Microsoft's console first.