Beamz laser instrument gets upgraded to please hardcore laser rockers and gamers alike

The demonstration of four-player Rock Band Mobile at Samsung's CES 2011 press conference was pretty slick, but to the folks at Beamz, that kind of music gaming is still so amateur compared to its laser switch-activated jam sessions. That's because they've redesigned their original product to be more living room-friendly thanks to a black paint job and a slimmer profile. They've also tried to appeal more to the gaming set by expanding the Beamz song library beyond the original 80 developed by independent artists to include "top hit jams" - aka cover versions of top 40 tracks -- and 35 licensed "video songs" from Disney and EMI. So if you'd like to laser thump the bass to Blondie's Heart of Glass music video, you can. Additionally, the Beamz software has been upgraded to support up to three laser instruments on the same track and recording for a real band experience -- though it still only runs on PCs. For $200, we don't expect these to fly off shelves, but for those who've mastered the whammy bar, it's at least another way to get your faux music-making fix.