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Power Gig: Rise of the SixString

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Snooty musicians, luddites, and haters the world over: Shut the hell up. Newcomers, Seven45 are flipping a defiant middle finger to all of those cranky rock dinosaurs slamming guitar games for being child’s play, and they’re doing it by means we all knew were inevitable - but once thought were impossible. You guessed it: The controller is a REAL GUITAR.

 
Above: This thing’ll ship with a guitar pick and extra strings. Best of all, it looks 40% less ridiculous than your plastic axe

Yeah, as in plug into an amp, place your fingers on the frets, push down on the strings, REAL. (And it just so happens to be compatible with the rest of your Guitar Hero/Rock Band games, too!) Playing Power Gig in-game and the guitar IRL is just a quick adjustment to an extra pickup in the guitar’s body away, so at any given time you’re pretty much a split-second, flip-of-a-switch between acing Freezepop on Expert and desecrating "Stairway to Heaven."


Above: That doohickey in the middle is the only barrier between the virtual and analog

But what of the gameplay? Well, that’s where things get a little more intriguing. Power Gig's got the traditional color-coded beat matching you’ve seen a billion times before, but those six strings are there for a reason: Colored notes also that descend onscreen contain a number. Those familiar with guitar tablature certainly won’t struggle with the idea, but guitar n00bs should know that these correspond to specific strings. Chords. Actual chords! Strange though it may seem, it’s actually a much more logical evolution than the “difficulty” added by other guitar games, who’ve simply added superfluous notes to make the game harder.

However, the devs assured us that venture is going forth as a game, first and foremost. Creating a fun experience is the Power Gig’s primary goal, but when you're ready to take the next step, actual guitar tutorials have never been more possible, or at least easily accessible. (Having struggled with learning guitar ourselves, we can’t help but love that there’s an in-game method to tune your strings!)


Above: Beca Sizzle is a suitable Avatar, but real life rock star participation was definitely hinted at

Needless to say, Power Gig is adding a remarkable layer of depth to a genre sorely in need of it. Seriously, outside of new songs, and methods of distributing them, where else was there to go? So, while the chords you learn and play in Rise of the SixString game may not be instantly transferable to your actual guitar, the timing and finger fundamentals you learn certainly are.


Above: You’d better do what he says

Honestly, the answers to the “why?” are easy enough, the more important question at this point is “How much?” That’s what we don’t know, unfortunately. But what we do know is that publisher/developer’s sister company is First Act, a longstanding manufacturer of low cost guitars found at mega-retail chains everywhere, generally ranging from about $99 to $250. Last we checked, that’s about the same a new Guitar Hero/Rock Band bundle will set you back. And with the parts, factories, and general know-how set in place, it’s a safe bet that Power Gig: Rise of the SixString will be priced competitively.

We should be learning more about Power Gig later this week, on the bustling floors of GDC. You might want to stay tuned, since they informed GamesRadar that a playable guitar was only the beginning. After all, the door is now wide open for new game types, educational DLC, and of course... new instruments!

Mar 9, 2010 

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15 comments

  • starhaw - March 17, 2010 8:17 p.m.

    funny thing is people will take a long time to learn how to play the SONGS so to speak...real guitar playing takes sooo many hours/days/weeks/years of practice...you can't just expect someone to pick up a guitar like that(that connects to a game) and expect to be the next OZZY...I love playing real guitar and I love going into school and playing guitar with all the kids always saying pshhh I can play that on guitar hero or rock band on expert then I come in and play it for REAL...they are left with their jaws wide open and I always say...if you want to brag...brag with the right gear and the right knowledge.
  • BadToyota - March 12, 2010 12:55 a.m.

    Too bad its not using real guitars still. Offbeat promise that. Real guitars, real tabs, even with Amplitube 8). At http://jamorigin.com.
  • QWERTYCommander - March 11, 2010 6:48 a.m.

    @Sleepy92 Yes you can.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - March 11, 2010 3:28 a.m.

    i want this game to do good and all but at the same time i want rock band to stay on top i wonder if you can plug it into a real guitar amp and play it like a normal guitar and i wonder what the game will play like
  • nik41507 - March 11, 2010 12:59 a.m.

    looks like a cool idea and if you are left handed, I guess you will have to play like Jimi Hendrix backwards
  • tuomotaivainen - March 10, 2010 9:06 p.m.

    Sadly the added complexity is going to turn a good amount of those still playing music games away from this one. There's reasons why Harmonix lowered the difficulty a bit in RB2. Also the obviously high price-point for something like this would be a turn off. I will admit that the idea of using a REAL quitar is actually quite cool.
  • CreeplyTuna - March 10, 2010 8:22 p.m.

    it concerns me that after a week of someone playing that they'll be going a round braggin about how good they are at real guitar. im a drummer, not a guitarist, but when in school i hear a lot of people bragging about how good they can beat a whole lot of gh or rb songs on expert and ive got enough competition in the world, i dont want more poeple taking up space in the world tthe dont belong in. sorry about the rant, but i had too Recaptcha: and Kermit; ...did what?
  • FaceEater - March 10, 2010 6:52 p.m.

    More importantly, can I hook up the guitar I already own to this game so I don't have to buy the extra hardware.
  • gprime17 - March 10, 2010 6:35 p.m.

    Alot of people are probably going to give up on this game. Its not that simple to just pick up and play. And i agree with Kraken. The world dosent need any more guitar players lol
  • BlackKraken - March 10, 2010 5:45 p.m.

    Interested to see where this goes, as a guitarist myself, on a music diploma. Although if anything we could do with less guitarists, we're a dime a dozen :P. Plus i might actually play this without falling asleep (guitar hero is dull compared to playing an actual guitar).
  • stmcfa - March 10, 2010 1:38 p.m.

    Looks very nice, but what about us left handed players? Wolud we have to restring the damn thing???
  • lewis42025 - March 10, 2010 8:24 a.m.

    that's actually sounding pretty awesome...well, if it really does "teach" you how to play guitar for reals. if so, then they may have finally converted someone who could care less about music games
  • curly_jefferson - March 10, 2010 1:30 a.m.

    Great Big Huh, i always thought that the guitar game could make really good drum tutorials but actual guitar. Can't wait for more details
  • michaelmcc827 - March 10, 2010 1:29 a.m.

    this looks very cool indeed, especially since it looks Harmonix has gone the route of activision.
  • StrayGator - March 9, 2010 7:22 p.m.

    Great big YAY!

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