Rocksmith 2014

Rocksmith 2014 Edition PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release date announced

PlayStation 4 and Xbox One editions of Ubisoft's teach-yourself-guitar game Rocksmith 2014 launch on 7th November, the publisher has announced.

Both will be sold exclusively through Amazon in the UK.

It doesn't sounds like there are many changes from the earlier last-gen version of Rocksmith 2014, which launched last year for Mac, PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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Earlier this month I celebrated the 30th anniversary of my first published article - tips for Atari's Pole Position coin-op that I wrote as a teen for Computer and Video Games magazine. I still remember the impact that game had on me the first time I sat inside its cabinet. Today it looks comically blocky, sounds like an angry hornet, and handles like a series of multiple-choice questions - but in 1983, my imagination anti-aliased its chunky pixels, conjured F1 music from its furious buzzing, and fooled me into believing I really was driving a racing car at 200mph. It made my heart pound and I left the machine almost breathless.

Rocksmith 2014 Edition review

Rocksmith 2014 Edition review

The Rolling Pwns.

More often than not, video games attempt to approximate real-world activities that would otherwise be too perilous, expensive, physically demanding or scarce for us to enjoy. As we push light around the television screen with our thumbs, we catch something of what it might be like to fly a fighter plane a few feet above the ocean, to tilt a Ferrari around the Nürburgring's lingering corners, to miss a penalty for England, to shoot Hitler in the balls or, in the case of Shenmue, to work a fork lift shift down at the local docks. We know that the video game versions of these activities are only a faint echo of the real thing, but the thrills are sufficiently representative to compel our attention.

Konami's Drummania and, more recently, Harmonix's Rock Band stand apart. For the video game drummer there is no abstraction from the instrument to the game: the game is playing the drums. Skills learned in one domain transfer without friction to the next. Ubisoft's Rocksmith series is a serious and laudable effort to do for bassists and guitarists what Rock Band 3 did for drummers.

There is no Fisher Price-esque plastic peripheral here to help you pretend to be a rock star in front of your television; rather, you connect your own instrument to the system via a USB lead and begin to learn the authentic guitar parts to a slew of well-known songs. Ubisoft says that the game offers "the fastest way to learn guitar" and, while that claim is impossible to test, what's clear is that with the right mix of talent, dexterity and dedication, Rocksmith 2014 will make a musician of you. Skills learned here will translate onto the stage or recording studio.

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VideoCan Rocksmith 2014 turn you into a fully-fledged guitarist?

Ian checks out Ubisoft's latest in this first impressions video.

I could well be alone in this, but I sorely miss the Guitar Hero fad. It seems like an eternity ago when the height of entertainment was strapping on a plastic guitar and windmilling drunkenly around the living room, until flatmates would walk in and point out what a prick I looked. Happy days.