One of the highlights of last year's CES was the— one of the first ones we'd seen. Of course, now they're a dime a dozen, as are third-party guitar controllers. But as we speak, there aren't many of either type made by companies who specialise in manufacturing instruments.
The Peavey Raptor and the RockMaster Gaming Audio System. (Credit: Ty Pendlebury/CNET Australia)
The Peavey Raptor 1337 Game Controller guitar is different. Peavey is a guitar specialist and the guitar is based on the company's own RockMaster series.
What makes this particular guitar cool is the quality of the finish. Though the RockMaster is a budget guitar, this doesn't feel like a budget controller. Most impressive is the use of all-chrome hardware — which includes a solid-feeling strum bar. And of course, because it's a modified guitar, it actually feels like a real guitar, unlike the tiny plastic copies.
According to the staff at the CES stand, the product had been out for a while, but had never been promoted. No local availability or price is known yet; however, seeing as the company's products can be found in all music shops we don't think there should be a problem.
At US169, though, it's cheaper than the Logitech Wireless Guitar Controller (US$249) but also misses out on the weird "glissando" bar which is found on the Guitar Hero World Tour products. To us this isn't a great loss. Supported consoles aren't listed, but we saw it in use with the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero. If you're really keen, you can also customise the top with one of your own designs, or pick from pre-made ones from the likes of Kiss and Pantera. This is pretty ex-y though at US$399.
While you're at it, why not supplement it with the RockMaster Gaming Audio System. It looks like a regular guitar amp, but actually houses your console and — surprise, surprise — amplifies it. It features a 150W amplifier with four 10-inch speakers and is compatible with PS2, PS3 and Xbox 360. Good luck trying to balance a TV on it though as the EQ and volume controls are also on the top. The system comes with RCA connections and four mic inputs, as well as a microphone, stand and cable.
Ty Pendlebury is attending CES 2009 as a guest of LG.