Throw away your old 'Guitar Hero' instruments (if you haven't already)

It’s time to let go of those old plastic guitar peripherals.

ActivisionThis guy wants you to throw away your old guitar

Or maybe you already threw them out? You probably should have; it’s been four years since game publisher Activision officially put its “Guitar Hero” franchise on ice, and a similar time period since “Rock Band” was sunset.

On Tuesday, Activision retrieved “Guitar Hero” from the freezer and unveiled “Guitar Hero Live,” a new game in the series for all manner of game platform.

When the game arrives this fall, it will arrive with a new plastic guitar peripheral. That guitar controller doesn’t work with previous games in the franchise, but Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg told attendees at a New York City announcement event that the guitar will be “future proof” with any “Guitar Hero” games going forward.

Of course, that doesn’t help you if you’ve been holding onto an ageing “Guitar Hero” peripheral.

The new controller looks and feels near identical to previous guitar-style game controllers in the “Guitar Hero” franchise. A series of buttons stand in for the real-world act of pushing guitar strings against a fretboard. A flippable toggle stands in for the act of strumming. There’s even a little metal whammy bar. It is 90% the same as every other “Guitar Hero” controller that’s existed previous to “Guitar Hero Live”.

Here, take a look:

ActivisionCan you tell which is new and which is old?

The difference is button placement — the new controller has two rows of three buttons, compared to the original five button horizontal setup. While this difference has gameplay implications, the bigger impact is it makes all previous guitar controllers unusable in “Guitar Hero Live.”

Though it’s been years since the last “Guitar Hero” game, and technology of course gets better over time, the main issue this causes is a price concern: “Guitar Hero Live” will cost $US100 on all platforms (including mobile and tablet). To say nothing of the pricing of mobile/tablet games, the average disc-based game release for game consoles costs $US60.

So, if you’re ready to make that $US40 plunge, now’s the time to throw away those old instruments. They won’t be coming back.

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