Just weeks after Activision closed the book on Guitar Hero, rival videogame publisher Ubisoft announced plans to introduce a new band-based music game called Rocksmith.
The new game hopes to set itself apart by using a real guitar as its controller, not the plastic-button replica that defined the genre to date. The idea is for the game to teach users how to play the guitar. It's reportedly in negotiations with Gibson and other manufacturers to bundle the game with a working electric guitar for around $200. It's expected to come out in September, with some 45 master licensed tracks, including songs from the Animals, the Black Keys, David Bowie, Nirvana and the Rolling Stones.
Ubisoft isn't the first to attempt this instructional tack. Rock Band 3 has an "Pro" mode that works with several types of guitar and is designed to apply real guitar tablatures to the game experience. Additionally, independent developer Seven45 Studios created "PowerGig: Rise of the SixString" last year, developing its own miniature electric guitar designed specifically for the game.
That Ubisoft is entering into the stale guitar-based gaming market is rather surprising. It's dance-based titles like "Just Dance" and "Michael Jackson: The Experience" have both sold well, but those are based on the new motion-capture systems from Microsoft and Sony. These motion-based dance games are considered the future of the music game genre, while guitar-based games are well past their peak.
Still, there may be some life left in the instructional market. Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos told Billboard last month that it will continue to support Rock Band 3 and feels there's room to expand on the Pro mode.
- Real Player
- A Look At the Next Weave of Music-Based Videogames