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Music Games

Ubisoft Announces Music Game For Real Guitars 172

Despite recent troubles in the music game market, Ubisoft thinks the genre still has room for innovation. They have announced Rocksmith, a rhythm game designed for use with real electric guitars. The guitars will connect to a console or PC through the standard output jack. "... the 'note highway' is actually a virtual guitar fretboard, complete with numbers which correspond to the different frets, and the 'target zone' consists of six horizontal strings. Wherever each note appears on the virtual fret board, that’s where your finger(s) go on the physical fretboard. Once the note reaches the target area you strum the string it comes into contact with. Simple. The camera zooms dynamically to highlight where on the fret board you should be looking at, in much the same way that a musician’s eyes would scan up and down the neck of the instrument during a performance."
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Ubisoft Announces Music Game For Real Guitars

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    You can already play with a real guitar using rock band 3. You can't use any guitar though, you have to buy the Fender Rock Band Pro Squier Strat. I have it and it is awesome.

    Ubisoft's game is not the first announced game that lets you use any electric guitar. That honor goes to Guitar Rising, which was never released.

    • by ProppaT ( 557551 )

      Rock Band has this but, as you stated, you have to buy a $300 guitar. I already have a $300 guitar, I'm not gonna plunk down $300 for their SPECIAL guitar. This is a great option for me as they've stated you only need to buy a cheapo guitar USB adapter like one that you'd use with Garage Band.

      • Indeed - also, the $300 Rock Band guitar isn't nearly as nice as what you can get for $300 in the regular electic market. That's approaching the price of being able to get something actually pretty nice and functional. I didn't pay much more than that for my best guitar (a 2004 Gibson Melody Maker - back when they still came with the dogear P90 pickup).

        • Can you buy a guitar and a midi controller/pickup for that much?

          Because that's what you get for $300. It has a standard midi-out you can use for anything you'd like. That's not really that horrible. While I don't know which telecaster it is that they're using, most of them are in the $150 - $250 price range as a "standard" guitar.

          And given that, I suspect you should be able to figure out how to use any other midi guitar with rock band 3 as well.

          • MIDI doesn't interest me that much. Also, from my understanding they're using the Squire line of Fender Stratocasters (not Telecasters). I've seen those for as little as $99 on sale new. Normal non-sale price at Guitar Center is $119. I have a used one that I picked up for $60 from a pawn shop. Technically not TOO bad of an instrument. They work, and are "real" guitars as opposed to something like the First Act stuff they sell in department stores which are more or less toys, but as I said - you can g

  • by Confused ( 34234 ) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @06:54AM (#35514292) Homepage

    The Wii and the various dance games started this trend by making players move and exercise. Now Ubisoft wants to introduce formal music teaching and practise via a game. Well it seems that simple games are getting too shallow and the game industry is poaching time honored ways to waste time from other domains, which have proven to offer more or less unlimited levelling capacity.

    I just can't wait to hear people talk about how easy it was to beat the Bon Jovi level but that they're stuck on that evil Habanera Flameco boss before they can get to the Mariachi level.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17, 2011 @07:06AM (#35514362)

      It is all the ultimate plan. Make games increasingly realistic by weening you off of the games and systems themselves.

      A generation from now we'll be paying a $15 a month World of LIfecraft fee to be hooked up to the most realistic game ever. MPAA and RIAA will declare eyes and ears recording devices and seeing unlicensed events for free copyright theft.

    • Well, it's good to see this development finally comming. A lot of companies have been working on this for years, so I'll believe it when I can actually play it and it doesn't suck.

      Of course, I was also playing with a real football long before the first Madden game was ever released.

  • Well I think its great when any game can impart a skill people could use in real life the existing and even the Rockband 3 "Real Guitar".
    Arn't real guitars IMHO.
    Its like the final step but lets hope that more than a couple of people get hooked and make some good music.

    P.s. isn't this a bit like [] Which seems like its going to be vapour-ware when it comes out.

  • by bl8n8r ( 649187 ) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @07:15AM (#35514404)

    it's really frustrating trying to learn guitar. Following finger positions is almost impossible at first because as you face the person everything is backwards and your brain wants your hand to move left, for instance, when you see the other person move left.

    what's more is trying to learn guitar with guitar-hero and the like is like trying to learn sex through masturbation. You are kind of doing it, but there is way more going on with the real thing.

    i 'll be checking this one out when it hits the shops!

    • I just learned myself from looking at tabs and trying to play along to recordings.. no other person necessary! Rock Band 3 does really have the right idea, though it's bloody difficult.

  • by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @07:20AM (#35514424) Homepage Journal

    I've played guitar for 30 years, and the following quote is disturbing to me:
    "in much the same way that a musician’s eyes would scan up and down the neck of the instrument during a performance"

    You're not really supposed to be looking at the frets while you're playing. Your fingers are supposed to know where to go without looking, much like when one learns to properly touch type. Looking at your fingers while you're playing is a bad habit that sadly a lot of new guitarists fall into. Yes, in the initial learning stages one needs to do so, but any good teacher will break that habit in their students as soon as possible.

    That being said this might still be a useful learning aid for aspiring guitarists. I'm not interested.

    • by slim ( 1652 )

      I guess they should stop putting those marker dots between frets?

      I think most guitarists at least glance at the fretboard when they're playing. I don't think I could reliably go from a chord at the nut to a barre on the 9th, blindfold.

      But, I don't think you'll have much time to look at the fretboard in this game -- you'll be effectively sight-reading a tab as it scrolls past you.

    • by hengdi ( 1202709 )

      Well, I've only played for 20 years, but surely using your eyes is an advantage? I don't scan the fretboard constantly because in a band situation you need to checking with the drummer, or nodding to the keyboard player to take a solo; but when I'm in a complex passage or ripping out a solo I'm 100% concentrated on getting things right, and to me that includes visual feedback of the fretboard.

      Sure riffing some Am chord or playing some simple blues riffs you don't NEED to look down all the time but I don't s

    • by Rary ( 566291 )

      You're not really supposed to be looking at the frets while you're playing. Your fingers are supposed to know where to go without looking, much like when one learns to properly touch type. Looking at your fingers while you're playing is a bad habit that sadly a lot of new guitarists fall into. Yes, in the initial learning stages one needs to do so, but any good teacher will break that habit in their students as soon as possible.


      This is an honest question. I'm also a guitarist with about 30 years of experience playing the instrument, and I look at the neck a lot. Not all the time, obviously, but I definitely look. So what? I can play the instrument very well, and that's all that matters. Who cares if I'm looking at the neck or looking at the ceiling or looking at my audience? I'm not interested in what I look like when I play, I'm interested in what I sound like, and I seem to be doing okay in that area.

  • If this game works out, these guys [] are going to be very sad pandas.

    They've been active for a few years now, producing computer-aided practice/scoring software for a variety of instruments, and voice. The computer knows what sounds are supposed to be produced, takes MIC input, crunches it into a reasonably meaningful delta(or, rather, series of deltas over time, so that the instructor can see where the student is or isn't having difficulty with a given piece). It is heavily geared toward schools, with lot
  • by Yogijalla ( 630186 ) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @07:48AM (#35514586)

    Guitar Rising [] was first to announce a real guitar game back in 2008 but never released, presumably because of problems with the polyphonic pitch detection.

    The first real guitar game released was LittleBigStar [], back in 2009. LittleBigStar supported a wide range of instruments, including guitar and bass, and loaded mp3s and standard tablatures in different open formats. It had a good momentum and indie developers made different kinds of musicgames, which they called MusicWare, but it was closed down two years ago. By those measures RockSmith is hardly new...

    The LittleBigStar team decided to go commercial, presumably because they had success cracking the polyphonic pitch detection nut. They released Offbeat guitarist [] which is freeware, support open formats and works great.

    In 2009 Disney claimed to have found the holy grail of music gaming: Disney Star Guitarist [] but it was never released.

    In 2010 Rise of the SixString was released with a guitar-controller hybrid.

    Holiday 2010, Harmonix showed RockBand 3 pro-mode with the Squier Strat Controller. It went for sale in BestBuy stores in March 2011.

    Holiday 2011, UbiSoft claim to have found the big new thing...

  • As someone who at least had 7 years of classical guitar lessons, even though never any super-great guitarist came out of it, I can only shake my head in dismay. Like with any other instrument, without a teacher who corrects your posture and technique you will become an absolutely horrible guitar player and the more you get used to bad technique the harder it will become to later correct it.

    Of course, it's just a game... but the way they advertise if t there weren't already enough lousy guitar playe

    • That said, playing guitar with an easy to read interface for your notes coming up (instead of flipping pages through books and turning pages), as well as a back track that syncs up automatically with your music, *and* feedback as to what notes you're playing wrong, is just a better way to practice.

      I don't see anyone claiming how this will take the place of music lessons, but if it means that people actually play their instrument in between lessons it's a *huge* win.

      Not to mention that seven years of guitar

    • by ifrag ( 984323 )
      I suppose I should not be surprised... People complain that Guitar Hero is trash and stupid because it's not playing a real guitar. Ergo, game is designed to use real guitar and now the complaint is that it is a real guitar. At least now everyone gets something to complain about.
    • by Rary ( 566291 )

      ...without a teacher who corrects your posture and technique you will become an absolutely horrible guitar player...

      Yeah, you might end up like that Hendrix kid who kept wrapping his thumb around the neck. The poor kid never did learn to play that instrument well.

      • And that Albert King fellow, never learned how to hold his bloody guitar right, upside-down-backwards, flipped over, jeeez!

        What was his nickname again? Oh right, the one of the kings of the blues guitar.

        We must not be classically trained.
  • Really! A decent beginners guitar will set you back $50, a violin $120 or a keyboard $200. Yes, you can pay more for better, but if you are learning or just jamming for fun there is really no need. There are plenty of instructional DVDs, Youtube clips, web advice, books and CDs for learners. Lots of people play so It's also a great way to meet people, whatever your style.

    You don't need a game to do this! It's called Real Life and it's a lot more fun.

    • by Zebedeu ( 739988 )

      There are plenty of instructional DVDs, Youtube clips, web advice, books and CDs for learners.

      And now there's a video game. What's your point?

    • by kuzb ( 724081 )
      People play music games because they don't want to take things seriously you fucking retarded sack of emulsion. It's astounding how many of you idiots don't get it.
  • Leave it up to the hyper-analytical lot at slashdot to show complete ignorance about music. You can't quantify music. It is very subjective and playing an instrument is an art that cannot be measured by frequency analysis. A qualitative analysis (i.e. qualified judges) is the only way to determine how well an instrumentalist is playing.

    • by kuzb ( 724081 )
      Then you aren't educated very well, since music is math, and successful music has very distinct formulas. In other words, you're a fucking idiot. Get an education.
      • Me? Get an education? You mean like a BA in Music Education? Riiiight. Something tells me you don't really know me, since that's precisely the undergrad degree I have.

        Now if you'd like to just throw blanket statements out there about music = math plus formula, I would say that's good enough for a wiki entry. It also shows you aren't a musician if you believe that overly simplistic generalization.

        • Did you just admit to having a BA? I thought that was the kind of thing you'd want to keep to yourself.

          Music may indeed be subjective, but playing an existing song isn't. Playing the right notes at the right time is what makes a song, if you're not playing the right notes, or if you're playing them at the wrong time, then you're not doing very good.

          Also, why do they need to be qualified judges, I can tell you whether or not I like a song (didn't you say that it was subjective?) and I have bugger-all qualifi

  • Sadly, any music you play by learning this way will not be considered art.
    • by kuzb ( 724081 )
      How is this any different from learning music by ear, or learning to play from sheet music?
  • I've been training for this game for 30 years. I knew the reason I have 7 guitars and thousands of dollars of supporting gear was so that I can finally crush the video game skills of a 12 year old. At least for the first couple of months, after which they'll blow past me and I'll go back to playing my real guitars for fun.
    • by kuzb ( 724081 )
      The point of the game is that you will use your real guitars with it. I can't believe how fucking stupid you people are.
      • I started to reply that my post doesn't imply what you think it does, but then I had a look at your other replies and discovered you're a twit, so now I'm looking for the ignore function. I'll be very sad if there isn't one.
  • Anything that can't be picked up and enjoyed by everyone out of the box is doomed to failure. In this case because: 1) Barrier to entry too high, especially for people who already have a truckload of guitar hero/rock band stuff 2) Not comparable with existing rock band/guitar hero tracks that people own a metric ton of 3) The whiny bitches who complain about plastic guitars are the minority who are too stupid to understand that it's a game, not a life choice. This game will appeal to them, but probably n
  • The scrolling effect is a novel improvement, but the limits with the "note highway" are the same as they are for tab notation: it's a low level representation. It adds in an extra level of translation from cue to sound that will slow a person down. Sure, people who only master all levels of this kind of guitar training might be able to shred on tunes they've already learned, but they will be stuck trying to play along to something they've only just heard, or playing along with others live.

    Positional nota

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