A closer look at Rocksmith

I remember very fondly when Guitar Hero became the hottest video game. It was a great idea, and for a moment it actually helped keep the music business alive.

Not to mention, it inspired a lot of kids to want to pick up the guitar and try to become real life guitar heroes themselves. Although a lot of artists made big money when Guitar Hero used their songs, there were several musicians who grumbled about the game. Jimmy Page famously disliked it, and in fact, refused to allow a Led Zeppelin Guitar Hero, even though Activision received more requests to make a Zep game than any other band.

Other well-known players scoffed at Guitar Hero, and reminded people that it’s a lot harder to play the real thing. With the sad state of the music business today, other musicians also grumbled that you had to go to a video game to hear good guitar playing these days.

Now with Rocksmith, you can have the best of both worlds. As you may recall, Rocksmith was announced by Ubiosft less than a month after Activision pulled the plug on Guitar Hero, but with Rocksmith, you can plug in virtually any electric guitar and play.

While you’re not hearing about Rocksmith as much as Guitar Hero at the moment, apparently the game is catching on. In North America, the title is available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, while a Windows version of the game is slated to go live on October 16, 2012.

As one of the game’s developers told MCV, “At a time when people said that rhythm and music games were dead, it’s been kind of amazing that people have found success and a place of growth in this game. There is a sense of personal attachment that you don’t quite get with Guitar Hero or Rock Band. I love playing those games, but with Rocksmith there’s an emotional tie to what’s happening.”

Rocksmith will also show gamers that trying to master a real guitar is not as easy as it looks, and it’s also teaching people how to really play. It seems to be the next evolution of the Guitar Hero game: Combine real instruments together and make it educational as well as fun. Again, so far Rocksmith hasn’t had the impact of Guitar Hero, but we’ll be watching to see how Rocksmith does this Fall, which promises to be a very big season for gaming.