Ubisoft Jams with Nintendo DS

Mar 17, 2007

The South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) isn't necessarily known for the product-announcement frenzy that occurs at CES, so it was a pleasant surprise to see a cool new toy on the trade show floor Thursday evening.

Ubisoft has made Jam Sessions for the Nintendo DS portable player. Basically, it's a tool, toy, and game for anyone who plays the guitar or wishes they did.

Chord possibilities and progressions are displayed on the top touch-screen, and a single line, meant to represent a string, is displayed on the bottom touch-screen. You can strum the line with your finger or a pick, plug the output into an amp or input on your computer, and just like that, you have a lifelike guitar sound. The tempo, tone, and distortion level are up to you (there is also an acoustic mode), and there are effects options, such as reverb and chorus.

How does it sound? I was impressed. As a musician, I would never confuse it with a real guitar, but if someone played it exceptionally well, I might fail a blindfold test.

Jam Sessions isn't really meant to replace the guitar, of course; it is a tool for musicians who can't take their guitars with them everywhere. You can create multiple progressions, and switch between them with a left-side button on the DS in order to create a verse-chorus pattern. Any songwriter will tell you the most annoying thing in the world is having a catchy tune in your head but no way to actually record it or remember how it sounded once you finally get a guitar in your hands. With Jam Sessions, there will be no more lost classics!

Of course, it's also a toy, and if you're all thumbs when you pick up your buddy's Strat but can handle a game joystick like a pro, your rock and roll dreams may have just been answered. Jam Sessions hits stores in June for approximately $30.

Copyright 2007 by Ziff Davis Media, Distributed by United Press International

Explore further: Hidden cameras, invisibility cloaks in Israeli spy expo

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Hidden cameras, invisibility cloaks in Israeli spy expo

12 hours ago

Hidden cameras, invisibility cloaks and mini-drones were among the gadgets on display Tuesday at an exhibition of Israeli surveillance technology, offering a rare peek into the secretive world of Israeli ...

In the UK, bPay offers fob, band or sticker options

Jun 29, 2015

Method of payment: "Cash or credit?" The two options sound so yesterday. In the UK, technology support in banking offers a new type of menu—band on the wrist, fob or sticker. The three new devices from ...

Apple Watch lands in competitive S. Korea market

Jun 26, 2015

Apple's first smartwatch landed in South Korea, one of the world's most competitive markets Friday, drawing a good response from fans, but analysts cast doubt on its long-term success there, citing a tough ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.