Follow-up to the Follow-upI think James Prendergast makes some excellent points here:
With regards to your post on the Fender pro-guitar for rock band.... I never understood why they just didn't have a pitch-detector akin to a chromatic tuner. This would allow any instrument to be plugged in (as long as you told it whether you were playing a bass or a normal guitar etc.) and would even allow for violins, trumpets and other instruments (though special adapters that looked like mufflers would have to be developed for brass).
The other thing that they should have done with the song authoring tools was partner with a social networking site like myspace or facebook and integrate the backend of their system into an app on iPhone and other handheld devices. Just imagine being able to write a song in pro mode, have you and your friends locally or separately record the parts and have the RB networking system put it all together and stick it on your "band page" (from the game's band name) on its very own myspace page - or push that band's content to "fans" on facebook.
I know how bright the people at Harmonix are, so I have to assume that there are technical obstacles to the "pitch-detector" approach.
Well, one problem would be that I'm not sure how many people keep their guitars in proper tune.
But I do believe that should be the ultimate goal, once the technical obstacles are solved--playing the game with our own guitars.
Who knows? Maybe the relative failure of the Squier pushes Harmonix into spending more time trying to solve the technical issues invovled with using our own guitars.
I think the second point James makes is also extremely interesting, and I think it's fair to say at this point that EVERY game that wants to be a "lifestyle" game needs to have some kind of content available for mobile apps and social networking sites.
It's a simple equation: the more time people spend talking about your game, the less time they have to play other games. And the easier it is for people to share content on social networking sites, the more potential customers will be exposed to facets of the game, and some of those potential customers will become actual customers.