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CES 2009 Rocks Out

The 2009 Consumer Electronics Show could be remembered as the year of the even flatter TV, or even the year of the recession – but in fact 2009 might just down in history as the year that the show really rocked out.

While Las Vegas has no shortage of lookalikes, many of whom even sound sort of like the acts they’re imitating, it was hard not to catch a performance or two on the show floor this year. And not just from a handful of musical performers that graced the various press conferences.

The 2009 Consumer Electronics Show will be the year that the attendees got in on the action, thanks to the popularity of video game series such as Electronic Arts’ Rock Band and Activision’s Guitar Hero.

The latter game was even used as part of the “opening act” for the Friday keynote address from Activision’s Mike Griffith. Before the Activision CEO and president took the stage the development team from Neversoft, the studio working on Guitar Hero: World Tour Metallic – the latest title in the popular music game – “performed” a song from the thrash metal band.

As Griffith stressed during his keynote, games like this are popular because they let anyone live out their musical dreams. “This is the only way I could be a rock star.”

A walk through the show floor would reveals crowds gathered, not to watch scantily-clad booth babes or to see a demonstration of some new must-have gadget, but to see other show attendees strut their stuff with a plastic guitar – or more likely a digital drum kit.

Several booths featured the music games as ways to show new speaker systems or large panel displays, but other companies were showing off their even higher end mock instruments.

Among these was the newly released ION Audio Drum Rocker Rock Band 2 Drum Set for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, which feature velocity sensitive pads and a fully adjustable stand.

Additionally this controller, which can also be used with Guitar Hero: World Hero, is also usable as a standalone electronic drum kit when used with an Alesis DM5 module.

As even traditional instrument makers are looking at the gaming space, this truly was the CES that rocked out with the attendees doing the rocking.