One of the big features in Ubisoft's Rocksmith 2014
is Session Mode. In essence, it turns your gaming console or computer into a virtual jam band that listens to and adapts to how you play. It's pretty amazing, and we'll be posting a more detailed preview as soon as we can. In the meantime, here's a little sneak peek: Session Mode can work with electric stringed instruments other than a guitar, even if it wasn't intentionally designed to.
Jokingly, I asked executive producer Nao Higo (pictured right) if I'd be able to plug in my electric ukulele. Imagine my surprise when he told me it would work. The interface on the screen would still reflect the frets and strings of a guitar (which are very different from a ukulele's), but Higo said the virtual band would still listen to my notes and play along appropriately. Creative director Paul Cross (pictured left) added that a member of the dev team has even managed to successfully test Session Mode with an electric violin.
Of course, you can't play the main game with instruments other than a guitar or bass – there go my hopes of becoming an electric sitar virtuoso – but the fact that other instruments work at all is remarkable. Now I just have to find out if I can outfit my virtual jam band with a trumpet
and I'll be in business.