I normally wouldn't post something like this on Giz, but it's Monday, my mind is still in Sunday mode and I have this press release from Sennheiser sitting in my inbox, waiting to to be filed.
The big news here is that Sennheiser's premium microphones are available in EA's Rock Band 2 game (you know, the sequel to the peripheral-based game that still not available in Australia, although it will be very soon). Considering Both Rock Band and Guitar Hero before it used official guitar makes and models (plus amps and other musician's kit), this isn't so surprising.
What does make this interesting is that it's well-worked into the game. Considering Google is making (or planning on making) a big splash into in-game advertising, there's some concern that ads in games are going to detract from the gaming experience. Considering how demanding gamers are, this can only be a bad thing.
In any case, if (and when) you ever do get Rock Band 2, remember that Sennheiser mics are some pretty high-quality gear, even when they're just virtual copies of the original.
Sennheiser and Neumann Mics Featured in the Groundbreaking Rock Band 2 Video Game
Wedemark, Germany, September 2008 — Leading microphone manufacturer Sennheiser has teamed up with Harmonix Music Systems, the leading developer of music-based games, and MTV Games to feature Sennheiser virtual microphones, Sennheiser-sponsored virtual events, and Sennheiser virtual accesso¬ries in Rock Band 2, which was released on September 14, 2008 in the U.S. The agreement gives Sennheiser an exciting new avenue of exposure to a young generation of aspiring musicians and amps up Rock Band 2 with in-game models of the most highly-respected live vocal microphones in the music industry.
"We're thrilled to partner with Harmonix Music Systems," said Kristy Jo Winkler, Sennheiser relations manager for the Americas and Canada. "The kids will now get the opportunity to sing into the world's leading brand of microphones in Rock Band 2! This unique opportunity is another great example of Sennheiser's ongoing commitment to innovation."
After earning virtual money on tour in Rock Band 2, vocalists can go to the game's "Rock Shop" and buy Sennheiser e 935, Sennheiser MD 431 II, Sennheiser MD 441, or Neumann KMS 105 live vocal mics. Of course, these are the same mics used in the real world by such mega stars as The Foo Fighters, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jonas Brothers and Avril Lavigne. Players can also access descriptions of the microphones, allowing them to select the characteristics that best fit their band. For example, do they need a Sennheiser e 935 like Avril Lavigne is using on her current tour to cut through screaming guitars, or do they want to emulate Dave Grohl growling into the MD 431 II? When players use a Sennheiser microphone, the logo remains prominent on-screen.
In addition to featuring microphones in Rock Band 2, Sennheiser also "spon-sors" a challenge event in-game and "awards" t-shirts to players with serious skills — t-shirts that the Rock Band stars can wear indefinitely! A link to Sennheiser's website is prominently placed on the video game's hugely popular website, rockband.com, and Sennheiser is credited in the game.
Released on September 14, 2008, Rock Band 2 raises the bar in music gaming innovation with the ability to export most of the songs from the original Rock Band disc[ ] , Online World Tour, daily Battle-Of-The Band Tournaments, Auto-Calibration to eliminate TV lag, wireless drums, velocity sensitive drum heads, support for up to three cymbals (sold separately), advanced voice detection technology, No Fail Mode, and a real Drum Trainer. Rock Band 2's massive list of innovations also includes the ability to export your in-game band avatar to the internet or order custom merchandise including apparel and figures.
Rock Band 2 features the largest music catalogue of any music-based videogame to date including over 100 songs [ ]on the Rock Band 2 sound-track with an unrivaled blend of classic and new artists including AC/DC, Guns 'N Roses, Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam, Motorhead and more! With the addition of complete and immediate backwards compatibility for songs purchased from Rock Band's ever-expanding online music store and the ability to export most songs from the original Rock Band disc, the Rock Band music library will feature more than 500 songs by year's end.