With all consumer units of the limited edition Firebird X reportedly having been sold, Gibson is already looking to the future. The company has announced the forthcoming introduction of hundreds of thousands of guitars at various price points based on the new technology showcased in the somewhat controversial new model. To help this process along, the entire Firebird X system and its Pure-Analog Engine are to be opened up for third party application development.
It's fair to say that Gibson's latest attempt at pushing the technology envelope of the electric guitar was met by a fair amount of nay-saying, although most of it seemed to center around the aesthetics rather than the technology on offer. But in spite of all that, Gibson's CEO Henry Juszkiewicz told Harmony Central at NAMM recently that the 1,800-model limited run had sold out at the consumer level.
Now, the company has announced the next step in its drive to take guitar tech to the next level. Stating that only a fraction of the power of its Pure Analog Engine is currently being utilized, Gibson is opening up the platform to allow companies and developers to add hardware and applications that will work with any guitar using the Gibson standard, including the Firebird X.
Running along the lines of Apple's app store, Gibson will set up an authorized store where vendors can sell their verified compliant applications. Developers should benefit from improved revenue streams and consumers from a wealth of product enhancements.
Gibson intends to roll out the new platform on hundreds of thousands of guitars, which will benefit from firmware upgrades via the company's Tone Editor software as well as easy app install.