CNET First Look
Rock Band 3's Fender Mustang Pro guitar versus a real guitarWe test drive Rock Band's new ultra-realistic guitar controller side by side with a real guitar.
I'm Dan Ackerman and we're here taking a look at the most exciting thing I think that can be the music games, probably The Beatles game last year and that is the new pro level controller for Rock Band 3. This is actually made by Mad Catz. You have to buy it separately. And unlike traditional guitar controllers that have 5 big colored buttons on them, this kind has 102 buttons, that's one individual button for each string at each fret making it look, feel and play at least a little bit more like a real guitar. For example, I've got my Fender Telecaster right here. This is actually a model of a Fender Mustang, but just as I can finger cords here across all 6 strings, I can do the same thing here on the Mad Catz controller. Now, I've set up a little demo section here in Rock Band 3 and you're gonna see the regular rock back notation slow down the screen. Exceptions were playing on hard mode is gonna let us play real cords on this guitar controller. Now, I have no idea with this notation they use in the game. I've been playing guitar for 20 years. I can figure it out, but if you just look at the name of the cord next to it and you finger that cord as if you're playing a real guitar, then miraculously it actually works. So, now we're gonna take over the very same section except for I'm gonna play on the Telecaster, but I'm gonna use exactly the same fingerings that I used on the Mad Catz pro level guitar controller. And that's about it in a nutshell. I paid a very simple brochure here just to illustrate the point and also because some kind of rescue, but it also works for solving a more complicated songs. You know for years, people have thought that being able to play music games would somehow magically translate to being able to play real guitars. And people could really play guitars and thought they've be really good at music games. In reality, neither case was really true. Now that we've got a guitar controller, the 102-button guitar controller that more closely mimics how an actual guitar fret bar works. The skills actually become more interchangeable and that's really interesting. Bear in mind you've got to play the game on either the hard or expert difficulty in order to get those real cords that you have to use on the guitar neck rather than sort of the truncated easy guitar games dial cords. So have music games finally across the line. It's a real music, not a 100% yet, but we're definitely a big step closer. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the Rock Band 3 pro guitar controller.