Last Gadget Standing Nominees: Mad Catz Rock Band 3 Fender Mustang PRO-Guitar Controller, Rock Band 3 MIDI Pro Controller, and Cyborg R.A.T.9 Wireless ProGaming Mouse
Prices: $149.99, $399.99, and $149.99, respectively
When it comes to Rock Band 3, gaming accessory kingpin Mad Catz is having it both ways: It offers both a fancy fake guitar and an adapter that lets musicians play with real MIDI instruments.
The Fender Mustang PRO (seen above) is a replica of a legendary real guitar. It works with Rock Band on the PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 and includes 17 frets, a six-string strumming area, and a touch-sensitive string box for muting and cutting off notes. It’s also got MIDI output for use with sequencers and MIDI hardware. Meanwhile, Mad Catz’ MIDI Pro Controller lets music fans connect standard MIDI keyboard and drum sets to Rock Band via a USB connection. It sports a D-pad and gaming controller buttons, and lets you adjust velocity to reduce drum crosstalk during play; it can rest on a table or be worn on a belt during play.
On another note entirely, the Cyborg R.A.T.9 is a wireless mouse aimed at serious gamers. The macho-looking black mouse uses a 2.4-GHz wireless connection, and the company estimates its latency at less than a second. It comes with two hot-swappable battery packs and 42 grams of adjustable weights, letting gamers tweak the mouse’s heaviness; And there are five programmable buttons and a mode that lets you temporarily slow down the cursor for precise control.