Original Review Content by Contributor: James Pikover
When it comes to music game instruments, there is very little selection in terms of hardware. It is essentially first party from Harmonix’s Rock Band 1 or 2, any version of the Guitar Hero guitars, and now the Guitar Hero World Tour drums and microphone. With the exception of a few things here and there, such as ION Audio’s Premium Drum Set and Pearl’s Omega Drum Pedal, there is no market for music gaming equipment.
For those of us who have spent too much time and money at game shops buying the latest software and hardware, you will recognize Madcatz as a name to stay away from except for very specific situations. In the past, they have been known as that 3rd party peripheral company who makes worse hardware than 1st parties, but with one or two features that made them sell well enough for some of us to buy. Features like a macro button or wireless connectivity (back when wireless wasn’t the standard).
After keeping quiet for a few years, Madcatz is making a comeback in a big way: making music equipment for the likes of Rock Band. They have introduced a very solid lineup of peripherals, and we had the chance to look at their three biggest ones: the Fender Precision Bass, standalone microphone and cymbal expansion kit. The results are surprising.