Synchronized Lighting Effects - The Next Big Thing in PC Gaming?
The PC gaming industry has evolved dramatically in the last decade, and no doubt eclipsing the console gameplay experience by far. Whether that is the outstanding audio and visual presentation, the smoothness of gameplay, or surprising quiet operation, PC gaming is slowly taking the crown of being the premium gaming experience away from the consoles. Over the years, another trend is the increasing demand for customisation. Gamers began to add lights strips to their systems to add personality, and slowly evolved from single to multiple colours, and eventually with controllable fancy effects making the ordinary, extraordinary.
RGB lighting effects are great. However, they can be a mess when they are not working in a synchronised order. We were stunned by the synchronised RGB lighting effects across the whole system when we saw the very first demonstration in Computex 2016 in the Asus ROG booth; where all LEDs changed colour together while interacting with the gameplay. We stood there for ages, and could not resist the urge to get our hands on it. It was not until late 2016 that ASUS finally launched this feature, the Asus Aura Sync.
Asus Aura Sync is the first and the most flexible synchronised RGB LED control facility for the PC market to date. It has eight stunning lighting effects (Static, breathing, strobing colour cycle, rainbow, comet, flash & dash, temperature) and eight music modes (rock, hip hop, party, sleep, funk, romance, jazz and normal). It even has fluid-like gradient effects. Users can alter the order of how each lighting section changes in terms of speed and other factors through its friendly user interface. It even comes with option to allow you to re-calibrate your RGB strips to the correct colour if you happened to have ordered the RGB strip in a different order. To date, you can already synchronise between VGA / Motherboard / DRAM / Chassis / LED Strips / Fan / Mouse / Keyboard. The monitor should come later to fill in the last piece of the puzzle.
The effects are amazing, but how do these components talk to each other to change together as one? The Asus Aura Sync compliant devices can actually communicate with each other via two different methods, with each suiting a different purpose.
There is hardwire cabling, where Asus provides a few standard +12V RGB headers on the motherboard and VGA cards to send the control signal to analog devices through it. This is the ideal solution for legacy devices such as RGB strips and fans. There is also software API/SDK, where Asus provides a software interface as the common language for each device to communicate with the Aura Sync software. This is ideal for devices supporting more flexible control or devices that require a cable-free connection. We should expect to hear more about the Asus Aura Sync SDK by late May 2017, when Asus makes their official launch in Computex 2017.
Gaming has come a long way from what we have known in the last decade. Will synchronised lighting effects such as Asus Aura Sync be the next big thing for the PC gaming community? We believe yes, it will be one of the highlights for the next couple of years.