Wireless HeroOne time, I saw a TV commercial for Guitar Hero II. In that commercial, two young men are shown playing different controllers side-by-side. One hero holds the Cherry version of the SG controller, which has been available through various means since the original Guitar Hero game came out, and is now commonly bundled with Guitar Hero II. The other player is shown holding a strangely-shaped white and black guitar that I’d never heard of before, and never heard of again until I saw it at my local Target store.

It’s the official wireless PS2 Guitar Hero controller from the same company that makes the standard controller. The MSRP is $59.99, but I found it for $49.99, which is $10 more than an un-bundled corded controller.

Hero Controllers
Notice on which side the fret keys are curved.

The guitar turns on and off with a small switch on the back. It’s powered by three AAA batteries (included), and functions well enough for the average player. Communication with the PS2 goes through a base unit about twice the size of a memory card, that plugs into a controller slot. Both the controller and the base have a discreet red LED that communicates link status. Multiple units may be used simultaneously, as long as the second one isn’t turned on until the first has established a link. If a controller is left on for over two minutes without activity, it will enter a sleep mode.

I find that for my taste, the fret buttons sink a little too deeply into the neck, and they may therefore be prone to sticking during frenzied play. I’ve noticed a number of mid-run production changes in the corded controllers I’ve handled at friends’ houses and store demos, and this wireless controller falls within that quality spectrum somewhere closer to the earliest released specimens.

Now, if I may dispense with the connosseur baloney: this is my new #1 GH controller. I think it’s a fine item, and if it’s convenient for you, I reccommend it. Besides, the whole wireless controller thing is very fashionable these days.