guitfreak.jpg Everyone has been going (quite rightly) bananas over Harmonix and RedOctane's Guitar Hero. But we thought it was interesting that import store NCSX's latest update includes news on a super-deluxe Japanese ASC ('arcade-style controller') for the original guitar-strumming game title, Konami's Guitar Freaks, available for PlayStation and PlayStation 2 in Japan.

As the full listing explains: "Last night, Konami gave the green light for the production of the ASC Guitar for use with Guitar Freaks games. Although the final specs of the guitar are not available for perusal yet, the company's website specifies that it will be modeled closely after the guitar used in the coin-op GF machines. If previous Konami ASCs are any indication, the guitar will be another example of excellent craftsmanship and quality."

It continues: "Pricing is set at Y21,000 which is roughly US$200 but based on information from our vendor in Japan, the shipping cost per unit from Japan to the US will be approximately US$80." Youch, $289 for one controller? Still, the Beatmania ASC controller is $399 in some places, so maybe it's a bargain?