PowerGig Introduces Virtual Drums Without the Drums

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[Photo: Power Gig]
The biggest claim to fame so far rhythm game Power Gig: Rise of the SixString is that its guitar controller is an actual six-string guitar, rather than the button-and-paddle affair we've seen in similar games to date. But with the introduction of the AirStrike drums, it seems to have taken a turn away from the realistic, albeit in an attempt to make playing them more natural.

The idea behind the AirStrike drums is that you play air drums over a set of infrared sensors that correspond to the pattern onscreen and, like Rock Band's physical drums, correspond loosely to actual components of a drumset. According to the Power Gig site, however, this setup lets you play more like you would on real drums, and that it lets you hear only the game sounds without any of the tapping on the plasticky pads.

As a drummer myself, I'm not sure how I feel about this. Now, I certainly do play my share of air drums, but playing on a surface is much more satisfying (if admittedly louder). It's much easier to tell when you're actually playing correctly when you have the tactile and audio feedback, and air drumming also strikes me as needlessly tiring on the wrists.

The company's site claims it can differentiate between the left and right sticks, as well, although this also begs the question of whether you can use your own sticks, which is something I've always enjoyed being able to do with Rock Band.

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