'You Rock Guitar': Game Controller To Double As MIDI Instrument

Some musicians have been critical of the success of Rock Band and Guitar Hero, pointing out that holding a plastic guitar and frantically pressing buttons doesn’t emulate the real experience of playing an instrument, and doesn’t teach any real skill that can be applied to learning the art. Prince even inferred that kids are being mislead.

Inspired Instruments is hoping to change that perception with the ‘You Rock Guitar’ controller/MIDI instrument.

The YRG will operate as a fully functional MIDI guitar with a Multi-touch fretboard, headphone jack, line in, amplifier output, and programmable samples. In other words, it’s a digital guitar.

With an eye towards instruction, the axe will have a training mode to teach budding guitarist REAL chords, REAL riffs, and REAL scales.

It will also feature the ability to connect to any PC, Mac, or current generation console through a USB connector, and will have swappable controller cards  (GAMEFLEX modules) for compatibility between consoles and games, allowing it to double as your plastic instrument of choice for your favorite rhythm game.

The controller is scheduled to hit shelves this summer with a MSRP of $149.99, with various GAMEFLEX modules retailing for $19.99 – $24.99.

So far, I’m on board with this. Sounds like a good idea, and strangely enough we were talking about this very concept the other day while kicking around the B.O.M.B. Shelter.

At this point, what we need to know is the form factor, and how well the unit performs.

Inspired Instruments will be showing off the guitar at E3 this year, and we’ll do everything in our power to get a hands-on for you.

Stay tuned…

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