Power Gig puts real guitar into music videogame

Seven45 Studios thinks it is time to put real guitars in the hands of people living out rock star fantasies with music videogames.

"Power Gig: Rise of the Six String" is the US start-up's first videogame and hopes to be build on the success of titles "Rock Band" and "Guitar Hero" in which players use plastic guitar-shaped controllers with colored buttons.

"This is the first full band game to use an actual six string guitar," said a leather-clad gamer Thursday at a booth converted into a mock nightclub, where players could try the game at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

"You could fully plug it into an amp; it will be a real guitar. It's also a universal controller that works with Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (consoles)."

Players must stay in tune with colored dots representing notes stream on a television screen, pressing strings on corresponding parts of the guitar neck and strumming at the right moments.

The action is similar to other guitar games in which players have to hit colored buttons on the necks of faux plastic guitars.

"It's as easy as pushing colored buttons, only you are pushing against all the six frets," said the player, who declined to give her name.

"It is not difficult at all."

There is even a tutor mode for players interested in learning how to play the real guitar, Mysha Chekmarev of "Power Gig" said as he led an AFP reporter through a try at the game, which will be released in October.

The game "is meant to be the answer for all of those gamers who have wanted to take their band game experience to the next level," Seven45 chief executive Bernard Chiu said in a press release.

"We believe that there is something unmatchable about the feeling of an authentic guitar in your hands," he continued.

The game features a fictional world of politics, heroes and villains governed by music, according to the studio.

Along with music duels in which top scores triumph, "Power Gig" has a mode that challenges a player to match chords by positioning fingers correctly on the neck of a guitar.

Game play is intended to help players actually boost their understanding of the basics of real-life guitar playing.

Seven45 Studios is a sister company to music instrument manufacturing giant First Act.

The game guitar and software will be sold bundled together for 179 dollars while a set consisting of guitar, microphone and drum pads for a band will be priced at 229 dollars, according to Chekmarev.

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