Power Gig: Rise of the SixString Impressions

The next rhythm game to challenge the Guitar Hero and Rock Band thrones uses a guitar that works as a video game controller and a real instrument.

No matter how you look at it, it's obvious that the rhythm genre has witnessed better days. Last year, we saw both Guitar Hero and Rock Band slow down in terms of sales, with Activision going so far as to significantly cut the number of Guitar Hero games on its 2010 release schedule. But those cloudy skies haven't scared off an upstart developer by the name of Seven45 Studios. The recently established Boston shop is currently working on a new entry in the rhythm genre called Power Gig: Rise of the SixString, a game due out for release later this year that uses a very unique guitar peripheral.

Your look at the Power Gig controller, err, guitar.

The difference between Power Gig's guitar and those found in other games boils down to one key feature: it's a fully functioning electric guitar. Before you ever sync it with your console, you can simply plug in an audio cable from the guitar to an amplifier and strum away on six real strings to create what is (hopefully) beautiful, beautiful music. The size is more akin to a scaled-down Rock Band guitar than a standard electric, but it's functional as one nonetheless.

But, of course, it also works as a video game controller. Thanks to some clever engineering work, the team at Seven45 (who, we should probably mention, also designed the hardware) has been able to get the guitar working as a game peripheral without the need for clicky fret buttons. A collection of five real frets are colored according to the genre's universally adapted standards (green on one end, orange on the other). You don't need to press a button, because the guitar can simply tell which fret you've got your finger on and the point at which you strum the string.

The whole setup works similarly to other rhythm games when you're playing on the default setting. You see notes scrolling down the screen, and you play them when they hit the bottom. Easy as that. But with enough time, you'll eventually graduate to chording mode. This option transforms the experience to something pretty new within the realm of rhythm games. You see notes coming down with numbers on them, with the numbers suggesting the placement of secondary fingers on the strings. Suddenly, you're now playing real, honest to goodness power chords. And once again, the guitar can tell the notes you're playing without the need for typical button-pushing.

Leather hats: the new leather pants.

That's how the guitar hardware works. Seven45 is also working on a drum peripheral that it claims will be just as unique as the guitar, but we won't be seeing that device until the Electronic Entertainment Expo. As far as how the game itself runs, the brief gameplay we were shown wasn't trying to do too much: while the song plays, a number of stylized musicians patrol the stage in time with the music. The one area the team is trying to focus on to differentiate the game is the career mode, which will tell a proper story from start to finish. Details are scarce, but Seven45 was keen to mention the transformative power of rock and roll as being one of the key themes. Expect to see our impressions of that drum peripheral when E3 rolls around in June. The final game is expected to arrive this fall on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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46 comments
XxDuSaNxX
XxDuSaNxX

@FelipeMagro More like ROCK revolution

BossmanX
BossmanX

yeah, I agree with skabobaobaken(did I spell that right, thats a mouthfull), About all this game will do for new guitar players is help build the calauouses on fingers, but it is a pretty cool new style, plus I can play realish guitar during loading screens which is a plus

skabobabobaken
skabobabobaken

@MrCozza There is no way learning 5 frets on one string will be enough to teach someone more than hot cross buns. Even a simplified version of smoke on the water uses 6 without changing strings.

darren25
darren25

Hey San-Frodenzo, think before you post. Do you really think you can pick up a guitar and play the songs that are on the game? Do you think you can become Randy Rhodes overnight? It takes years on a real guitar when it takes minutes with these games.

MrCozza
MrCozza

@San_Frodenzo This will make new Guitar players learn, and have fun at the same time. Learning guitar normally can get quite tedious and boring. It did for me anyway.

San-Frodenzo
San-Frodenzo

if this game will be somewhat close to play a real guitar.. wouldn't be better just to pick up a REAL (and I mean real, full sized electric or acoustic guitar) and learn to play it ? :)

FelipeMagro
FelipeMagro

this may be a revolution, just depends on seven45 studios.

HappyApryl
HappyApryl

Wow, I've been wondering when something like this would come about. Die hard guitar players have been the main complaint with the guitar hero and rock band games being too fake to buy. I don't play real guitar, but this could be a big step in that direction.

soulzDestroYer
soulzDestroYer

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

brodo64
brodo64

might be hard for people who dont play guitar but ill only buy if the setlist is good ive already got 5 real sized guitars so if this games a fail i wont need a tiny crappy one

Mr_Alexander
Mr_Alexander

If you can use a real electric guitar it's a day one for me, it would totally be possible, even 10-dollar guitar tuners can recognize which tone is being played. If you can't, I won't buy it, no way I'm buying another expensive, worse guitar just so I can look at a score chart when I finish songs.

texasjgc
texasjgc

Would be awesome If you could plug your REAL guitar into the game HAHA! I would do it!

jubai_5
jubai_5

Wonder if it will also come with a function to actually teach people to play the guitar.

solidniko
solidniko

well if u can play drums its a maybe for me cuz i can play guitar

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

sounds interesting, i wonder if the guitar controller will be wireless, or hook upto the system with a wire? also, how much will the controller, amp and game run? i am not willing to pay over 100, but maybe i should rethnink that, for a real guitar, and amp...

gamermanps2
gamermanps2

Awesome. I would trade in my rock band for this.

tttttank
tttttank

id rather use my guitar and save some money still it will be interesting to see how it works, its a really clever idea, becuase the amount of DLC they could push for songs people want to learn, i just hope they have some metal

Nintendo_Ownes7
Nintendo_Ownes7

I'm interested in this but I don't have a 360 or PS3. I still need to buy a PS3.

KingKronik
KingKronik

so can i use my own guitar? ive spent enough on mine to justify not buying another game controller.

drea130
drea130

also curious if the game will sound like the guitar heros. when a note is hit if will play a sound sample or actually generate the sound from the strings into the game. maybe a diffculty based

drea130
drea130

I think this is a wonderful thing. being a musican myself and love the guitar hero series also. anything that get more people intersted in pick up an insturment and learning to play real music is great.

pspro95
pspro95

That is totally going to be better than any other guitar game!The question is how are we going to play?Is it going to be Guitar Hero style with notes coming down on a fretboard?If this thing it that realistic like you're playing a guitar,then why not learn to play the real guitar?

iluvgames32
iluvgames32

nobody seems to notice one important thing... ITS A FRIGGIN REAL GUITAR, NOT PLASTIC TOY!!! how do we know it'll be accurate? I agree with dwbtd. It''ll go over as good as a lead baloon... well, thats what they said about Led Zeppelin (and that ^ is how they actually got their name... owell)

headbound
headbound

I wonder if it will have like a recording studio in it, if it does i would love to use my guitar and record stuff, that would be great, kind of like gh studio but with a real guitar.

dj_pulserfan
dj_pulserfan

Awesome! I hope this turns out good. I haven't played guitar in 6 years (yes, it's sad I know) and maybe this might inspire me to pick it up again.

megamega777
megamega777

First thought, "HOLY F***IN S*** it is a guitar that, not only is a controller, works in my amp!" Second thought, "My crazy guitar skills can help me out and on the plus side I can learn new songs! I have been iching to learn new songs without the eyesore of looking at computer made tabs!" My guess is that the guitar is a cheap $150 and the game is $50 ($200 total)... Can't I just plug in my other guitars and save the $150? Besides, my real guitar is cooler! (Look up "Ibanez Xiphos" in google)

GaudyMarrko
GaudyMarrko

I hope this works out because I barely know how to play guitar and I think a game like this could actually help me get better. The price tag and the music scrolling system are going to be a huge eyesore though.

chaoscontrol489
chaoscontrol489

webbut You play this to learn How to play guitar. Instead of your kids just pretending to play instruments, now they will actually be learning how to play a real instrument. Lessons are friggin expensive.

Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

The price tag on this is going to be ridiculous and lol @dwbtd for the zeppelin reference.

kotetsu2k2
kotetsu2k2

yes, i lawl. a real guitar player with a thousand dollar ESP chillin in the corner would rather jam out to songs they LOVE by looking up some tabs or learning by ear, than pluggin in a piece o crap like that and playing the songs that the company wants to pay to use in their game. Nice try tho.

dwbtd
dwbtd

This will go over about as well as a lead balloon.

Cinquler
Cinquler

@_melkman_ yeah but doing that would be even more expensive @webbut completly agree with you, why play a game that feels like playing a guitar? if you can actually go out and get some guitar lessons

_melkman_
_melkman_

if they would let you use a REAL guitar, that would be awesome

webbut
webbut

This is where the line is drawn...why play this when you can play guitar?

Norikita
Norikita

Sounds great,I'm tired of knocking the plastic buttons

fkbwii
fkbwii

This sounds awesome! I hope the guitar sounds good by itself!

ColonelX24
ColonelX24

It sounds good, but how much will a controller like that cost?

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

Playing a rhythm game with a real guitar...it's just so kooky it may !

pete_merlin
pete_merlin

Oh for gods sake, done you think this is going a little too far? This Guitar thing has been done to death, its time for you to get creative and come up with a new idea

WTFitsPauL
WTFitsPauL

if it also teaches me real guitar lessons + with better graphics & better tracklists then its a buy for me

HanJeSu
HanJeSu

Very impressive. I doubt it can do this, but it would be awesome if I could just use my real guitar in the game, or any rhythm game, really. Maybe for a free play mode where I could just play along with it, and provide digital amp effects built in. For example, my friends could play on their fake instruments but I hook up with my real one in quick play mode. Could be fun.

felipebo
felipebo

Looks lame, I'd rather play with a controller rather a more elaborate version of GH's guitar.

Bobzfamily
Bobzfamily

Sounds cool although I already have enough guitars (electric, acoustic, and plastic video game peripherals). I am not sure whether or not I could be bothered to go out and purchase another one, and frankly, won't this appeal to only a small scale of people considering gamers can't just pick this up and play without previous guitar experience?

madd_hatter
madd_hatter

this sounds pretty impressive, but to be honest, I'm getting sick of these plastic peripherals hanging around the house. I'm curious to know the tracklist.