back to article Ubisoft reveals rock game with REAL guitars

Ubisoft has announced a guitar-based game that uses a real six-string rather than a button-bashing imitation. Avid axemen groaned when Rock Band type games first surfaced. "It doesn't teach you how to play guitar," we moaned. "It's nothing like the real thing!" Ubisoft's upcoming title Rocksmith seeks to change all that. " …


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  1. Pooka

    Rockband 3 Pro guitar....

    Says hi!

    Ubisoft, slow to the party!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Not really good for learning

      I have RB3 and the Keyboard controller/instrument and a friend of mine has a Pro-Guitar controller.

      The game really isn't quite up to the task of teaching you to play guitar. I mean you sort of learn to play guitar, but really only by rote. They're not really teaching you any sort of music theory like which chords "go" with what notes, reading sheet music, etc.

      There are lessons, but this is more about teaching you where to put your hands in order to play the game rather than where the notes are. I don't know if the Ubisoft game will do any better.

      PS: No, I did not expect to learn guitar or piano playing this game, but others do. Just my $.031415

  2. Greg J Preece


    I might actually learn to play that guitar I bought 2 years ago, huh?

  3. Thomas 4


    I've always wanted to learn to play guitar but I found it hard to hear the notes over the sound of my tutor's molars grinding together. Shame it's being put out by Ubisoft but if it's on a console, the DNA scrape DRM should hurt less than the rectal DNA scrape the PC version uses.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      *Title requires constant broadband connection to be read*

      Ubisoft would be the real downer on this one.

      Do we really want to breed a generation of guitarists that keep having to stop mid gig because the broadband disconnected?

      Mines the one with the Mesa Boogie logo....

  4. Lottie


    I seem to recall a game a few years ago where you connected your midi keyboard and then by playing the right notes, your little androud raced along and jumped platforms.

    Looked cool!

    Anyway, I can see this taking off quite well, but also seeing shitty cheap guitars being labled as compatible with this system ( just like DVD compatible!!!eleventyone SCART sockets)

    1. James Hughes 1


      No problem with shitty guitars being sold as compatible. After all, they are, indeed, compatible.

    2. Jay 28

      Keyboards much easier

      Unfortuantely it's always been a lot easier to do things like that with a keyboard than a guitar.

      The keyboard is digital and the notes are switches (not withstanding aftertouch et al but that's still just digital info as far as MIDI is concerned) so it's easy to caputure that information and use it to trigger actions.

      Guitars however are a whole different boiling vessel of aquatic creatures. They way they sound and play are affected by a great many factors - not just what note you're playing but whether you're playing chords; using harmonics; tapping; sliding; pouring lighter fuel and setting fire to... etc

      With a MIDI hexaphonic pickup you can at least pick up which string is being played and isolate the tone on that string (to an extent, although modern ones are getting very good). I'd venture this is how the "Rock Band Pro Guitar" works.

      Without a MIDI pickup you're relying purely on the line signal from the jack which is purely analogue. If you're playing a single note it can work out what that note is (that would be how tuners work) - say a C - but it can't tell you WHICH C it's playing as with the guitar the same note (in the same octave) appears in several places on the fretboard and you won't know from the line output which one is being held down.

      That's before you get into chord voicings, fingerings, harmonics and alternate tunings.

      I'd be very interested to see how well this technology works (and how much it actually attempts to do - i.e. is it just going to tell you if you're playing the right tonality or somehow try to work out if you're correctly playing the right fret/chord fingering) though. Could, if it's good, lead to some really nice inovations in the "real" guitar world... or it could just be a gimic.

      We'll see :)


      ... and jack sockets on guitars aren't like SCART. They are all compatible by nature :)

    3. Rob Beard
      Thumb Up

      Yep... was possibly this...

      I remember it from the early 90's. IIRC there was a version for the NES, Super NES, Megadrive, Amiga and PC (at least according to Wikipedia). I remember the NES and Amiga versions myself.

      I wonder if Ubisoft will release something along these lines for the current consoles?


  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Perhaps gaming geeks will finally find a way to get laid"

    Yeah, maybe they'll all turn their Xbox 360s off and go do something worthwhile, and maybe pigs will fly.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Cause trolling the internet is so productive.

      "Yeah, maybe they'll all turn their Xbox 360s off and go do something worthwhile, and maybe pigs will fly."

      Like trolling internet forums?

      Why do so many people who spend their time moaning on internet forums consider other peoples hobbies as a waste of time?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        because gaming IS a waste of time.

        "Why do so many people who spend their time moaning on internet forums consider other peoples hobbies as a waste of time?"

        Maybe they are bored at work or something.

  6. Phil W


    "a videogame that teaches us how to play an instrument strikes a chord with most bands"

    Strikes a chord with them? really? <insert sigh of disbelief in the key of F>

    1. Steven Knox
      Thumb Up

      Key Message

      Dear Register,

      Please make a note of the above comment.

      While the tone is a little harsh, I agree that the frequency of puns on this site has gotten quite high recently. While they may reverberate with some readers, they don't sound natural, and leave many of us feeling a little flat.

      So tell your staff to get sharp and root out the source of this problem. Thank you.

  7. Miek

    "Teaches them how to play a guitar"

    ... but sadly not how to read music. Perhaps these games could include an option to "learn from sight", "learn from tabulature" or ultimately "learn from score".

    1. Jay 28

      Though whilst ...

      ... this might get some more people interested in learning a real instrument instead of whinning away with autotune on x-factor, it won't necessarily be a good teaching aid (though I'd reserve judgement until there are more details - it could turn out to be very clever at note tracking/chords and the other analogue guitar techniques).

      Somehow I doubt it's going to pick up on sloppy technique though that'd ultimately hold a lot of people back and then put them off playing.

      Combine with some funky hand/finger kinect (or similar) tracking though and you may have something useful.

      Not saying it wouldn't be fun though for real guitarists to play though :)

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Very interesting ...

    Wonder if it'll work with my 6-string bass :-)

    Unfortunately, it's ultimately a FAIL because UbiSoft are involved.

    1. Les Matthew

      @Simon Ward

      "Unfortunately, it's ultimately a FAIL because UbiSoft are involved."

      It will probably snap your strings if you lose internet connection.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Steve Gill

    Copy of Rock Band 3 then

    This is exactly what is available from Rock Band 3 (excepting that it also has keyboards, vocals etc.). There are lessons, over 120 tracks for real guitar already, etc.

    Will Rocksmith also be using the Fender that was developed for Rock Band 3?

    Unfortunately Rock Band doesn't (yet) teach how to read music or traditional tab.

    Also how come the article's author only mentions (the now defunct) Guitar Hero that never moved away from buttons but not the abominable Powergig that also claimed it would teach guitar?

  10. King Jack


    Why must a game teach you skills in the real world? I shoot aliens with a controller, but I doubt that will stand me in good stead with a real rifle. Same with sport games. . People who think these games should reflect reality need their heads examining. It is a game, a bit of escapism, you know

    1. Angus 2

      I am not being sarcastic or anything

      but playing a real Guitar can actually be fun too, so no reason why combining the two couldnt work. Course they might make a pigs breakfast of it.:)

  11. tom 24

    But it's Ubisoft...

    They made some good games once. I'm generally opposed to edutainment, but I do have a Gibson Explorer hanging on the wall right next to my PS3 gaming station... if they do it well it could be good. One for the "wait and see" list, I think.

  12. Lennart Sorensen

    Not quite the same as rockband 3.

    Rock band 3 works by using a special midi enabled guitar (or the 150ish button plastic toy if you want that instead). The midi guitar has sensors in every fret on every string so that it can show on screen where your fingers are compared to where they need to be. A regular midi enabled guitar (not that they are that common) would only send the notes played.

    Now the guitar for rock band 3 is a proper electric guitar with a jack to connect to an amp, so it could be connected to the input for this "game" if you wanted, but it sounds like this one will work by analyzing the sound (and hence making sure you are in tune as well), rather than by midi. So you can use any electric guitar you want with this one, unlike rock band 3 that only works with a couple.

  13. Mike Hanna

    This game teaches you

    Think it will teach you how to properly tune a guitar before you play? Or will loads of people holdin their fingers in the right places be getting low scores and doing a Clash and smashing their axe off the TV

  14. thomas newton

    @ jay 28

    I'm playing all the right notes...just not necessarily in the right order.

  15. JDX Gold badge

    Learning by rote

    It's worth pointing out that lots of professional 'musicians' never learnt music theory, sheet music, etc, certainly not in any formal way.

    Learning how certain chords sound good will let you pick up common sequences and even recognise them in other songs, I'd guess.

    Not a real lesson, but I don't think it deserves snobbery.

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