Real Guitar Players Or Just Gamers
Rock Band 3 Guitar players have something to celebrate, with the forthcoming release of a brand new controller designed especially for the game in association with the company that is responsible for defining what half of the rock and roll guitars have looked like since the 50’s, Fender (the other half probably being designed by Gibson!).
Not only does the new Rock Band 3 Guitar controller do all the usual stuff that the regular controllers do, but now with the addition of real strings and a pickup (a sort of “microphone” for a guitar for want of a better description), means that gamers can take their skills from the virtual stage onto the real world stage by actually learning to play.
The fact that playing the previous versions of the Rock Band games has always had the stigma of being a child’s toy rather than a real instrument attached to it by serious musicians has always kept the game well and truly on the store toy shelf. The gap has been considerably closed with this new controller, the choice is now a clear one, you can keep on playing the game like you always did with the standard controller, or take things to the next level and become a real musician, how cool is that?
While all this sounds fantastic, what is the reality of the situation and how well is this all really going to work?
There are some issues with this new technology, for a start the new Rock Band 3 Guitar controller currently only works in pro mode which means that you can only play roughly 4% of the available games, this is something that most prospective buyers are hoping will be addressed before the launch, because otherwise it means that you will need 2 controllers to actually play all of the songs in the game.
While the available videos and previews make this guitar look like it does everything it promises and more, this is something we have seen recently with another rival product that promised so much in the demos but is getting terrible reviews right now, I am of course referring to the Power Gig guitar.
While I have seen this guitar I have not checked it out thoroughly, the complaints range from things like the game itself and the software in general are not good and look very dated, to complaints that the guitar strings have to be pushed down very hard to make the sensors pick them up. This last point may be something that will affect a lot of beginner guitar players on the new Fender guitar as well, any guitar player knows that you have to build up strength in your fingers to fret correctly and eradicate the buzz, and you will get pain and callouses on your fingertips.
This begs the question, will kids be turned off by this and just go back to the much easier option of using their familiar controller?
We as human beings tend to go the easy route and this could well happen, but my guess is that while some may fall by the wayside, a lot of new musicians will come from using this device, and this is similar to instruments and kids in general, some keep at it, some give up.
Whatever happens one thing is sure, these are exciting times for gamers and want to be musicians alike, I for one will be checking this new guitar out as soon as I can.