The next breed of music games: play real instruments

There’s a new music game in the works that has a rather ambitious goal in mind: players who master it will be able to transfer their skills to real guitar-playing. It will be the first game of its kind to use a specially created “real” instrument instead of a fake plastic one.

Guitar Hero and Rock Band have built an army of extremely talented “musicians.” The only problem is that gamers are not playing real instruments, so even though someone may spend weeks mastering how to play More Than A Feeling on the guitar, the accomplishment remains rather hollow.

In fact, some music enthusiasts have even gone so far as to say how terrible of a conversion the skills are between hitting those colored buttons and actually playing a musical instrument. Well, a small game publisher called Seven45 studios is introducing “Power Gig: Rise of the SixString” to bring an end to this controversy.

The game is being introduced at this week’s Game Developers Conference.

Power Gig will come with a guitar controller, but unlike those packed-in with Guitar Hero, this one will have an amp port – that’s right, to plug it into a real amp and play the guitar by itself without the game.

“The leap to (playing) guitar will be seamless,” said the studio’s marketing VP, Jeff Walker, in an Associated Press story. The company is working directly with guitar maker First Act. The game mechanics will be tweaked over what music gamers have grown accustomed to – instead of just hitting buttons, they will have to hit specific strings and produce chord sounds.

The guitar will actually be compatible with Rock Band and Guitar Hero as well, though the experience would most likely not be ideal. Power Gig is slated for release on the PS3 and Xbox 360 by the end of this year.