Rocking CES 2009

Rocking CES 2009

Written by Dan Keener on 1/20/2009 for AV   MOB   iPod   DS   PC   PS3   PSP   Wii   360  
More On: CES 2009
One fun side project that came out of our trip was seeing how many times Sean picked up and played Guitar Hero or Rock Band while we were on the show floor. I had a front row seat as he simply couldn’t help himself and picked up and played every time he saw an opening at a booth. I had the opportunity to sit in the background and shoot pictures of Sean playing and catch some of the conversation going on around him.

The first Rock Band play came in the NYKO suite at the Hilton. Sean was able to test out the double pedal setup using two Metal Pedals and playing on a PlayStation 3. He jammed away on a couple of songs looking like a Drum God while sitting on his maroon and gold print ottoman (it matched the curtains). As can be seen in the picture, he as rocking out with the dual foot petals, although they seemed a bit cramped Pretty much everyone in the suite at the time was watching him rock out and at that exact moment a CES star was born.

Appropriately enough, this is where the Guitar Hero portion of our tour started, as Sean tested out the new AG RiffMaster Guitar controllers. When he started playing, it was myself and just a couple other guys watching him. After he thoroughly dominated a few songs, he started collecting a pretty large group of followers that stopped to watch him play. At one point, I asked him how the guitar was responding (while he was still playing, mind you) and he was giving me a breakdown of it. During this, a guy standing near him laughed and said to his business partners, “He’s having a conversation while playing. I think he’s pretty good.” After that, a group of kids that looked like they were still in high school strolled over and they were doing some talking amongst themselves about how well Sean was playing. Apparently, they decided to step up to the plate and play some pro face-off with Sean (who repeatedly asked the people watching of they wanted to play and test out the RiffMaster…they all declined) I honestly felt bad for the kid that stepped up to the plate, because Sean spanked him by over 40,000 points (200k to 160k) and then the kids buddies just let him have it. I’m pretty sure Sean’s head got a ¼ inch bigger right about that time.

At the Ion booth, Sean tackled Rock Band with the DrumRocker for both the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. He was cranking out the songs and holding is own on the PlayStation 3 version of the drum kit and then went for the double foot pedal action when he switched to the Xbox 360 version. Ion was kinda buried in the back of the Central Hall, so it wasn’t quite as crowded, but he still had about a dozen people stop and watch as he banged out Chop Suey and a couple other songs. After watching him play for a bit, his crowd of followers dispersed and we had to seek medical attention for the blister that developed on his hand, which actually looked like a small hole in his thumb after a few sessions on the drums.

NVIDIA 3-D demo booth
While cranking out tunes in his 3-D glasses at this demo booth from NVIDIA, Sean picked up his first groupies of the trip. A trio of very good looking ladies was off to the side and just watching Sean crank away on a song in Guitar Hero III. I heard several comments including “He is sooooo good” as Sean was taking to task some amateur Guitar Hero player. After these three moved on, Sean’s incredible fake guitar skills attracted another round of ladies, as two members of the UNLV Cheerleading squad stepped up to the plate and actually played co-op with him. They eventually stepped away after putting on a good show, but I heard more whispers from the crowd about how good he was playing, especially with his 3-D glasses on.

During some free time, we wandered into the Sony booth to take a look at the playable games on the PlayStation 3. While I was sitting down with a Sony rep going over the PlayStation Network titles, Sean managed to find his third Guitar Hero experience on the floor. After looking at an audio product and watching him play for a few minutes, I stepped away to head to the Press table to speak with some folks, and Sean strolled up about five minutes later. Apparently the Sony rep that was helping people in the area where the Guitar Hero was located finally booted him off the game. She asked him if he had missed a note and when Sean told her he missed only the first note of the song, she booted him off and told him they wanted to let other people play.

This was the final stop on our tour and where Sean faced his most beautiful competition. The UNLV cheerleaders were attractive women and weren’t too bad at Guitar Hero, but they couldn’t hold a stick to the blonde “booth babe” at Ace Bayou. We didn’t catch her name, but she has apparently been playing Guitar Hero on the Ace Bayou Vibe platform the entire show, as we saw her playing each of the previous two days as we walked by. She was decent at the game, playing on medium and holding her own, but Sean was up to the challenge and cranked out a couple songs in co-op on Expert while playing her. His ascension to Band Game god at CES was now complete after getting in some time with the CES Queen of the game.

As for myself, I simply declined to play any Rock Band or Guitar Hero titles, as I know my limitations. Generally stinking up the joint while playing in optimal conditions, there was no doubt that having upwards of a 100 people crowding around me while trying to play with a 30lb bag slung over my shoulder probably wasn’t going to do the slightest bit to improve guitar skills.

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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About Author

I spent the greater part of my informative years glued to the front of a Commodore 64 after we wore out our Intellivision. If you were in the Toledo area surfing C-64 bulletin boards in the mid 80's, we probably have already met. When not running the BBS, I spent countless hours wandering around the streets of Skara Brae, as my life was immersed in The Bard's Tale series on the C-64. After taking the early 90's off from gaming (college years) minus the occasional Bill Walsh College Football on Sega, I was re-introduced to PC games in the mid 1990's with a couple of little games called DOOM II and Diablo. I went all-in with the current generation of consoles, getting an Xbox 360 on launch weekend as well as adding a PS3 and Wii in subsequent years.  I now am into the next-gneration (latest?) of consoles with the WiiU and Xbox One.  Although I haven't taken the plunge on the PS4 yet, it has my interest peaked, especially as my kids continue to grow and their gaming tastes evolve.

While my byline is on many reviews, articles and countless news stories, I have a passion for and spent the last several years at GamingNexus focusing on audio & video and accessories as they relate to gaming. Having over 20 years of Home Theater consulting and sales under my belt, it is quite enjoyable to spend some of my time viewing gaming through the A/V perspective. While I haven't yet made it to one of the major gaming conventions (PAX or E3), I have represented GamingNexus at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in nine of the last ten years.

I have been a staff member at GamingNexus since 2006 and feel lucky to have the opportunity to put to use my B.A. in Journalism from The Ohio State University.


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