We all know that microtransactions, small payments for incremental additions to games, are the way of the future. But you don’t have to brag about how much of our money you’re going to take! In a recent interview with IGN, Ted Lange, Associate Producer on Guitar Hero II, bragged that the game for the 360 will have “more online content than anyone has ever seen”.
While I’m excited about getting tons of new songs for the game, I often wonder how many of these songs could simply be squeezed onto the original disc if they tried. My guess is that the advent of microtransactions has made some programmers sloppy - there’s probably a fair amount of blank or wasted space on the GHII disc, but why bother putting more on the disc when you can just charge for it later!
Read More | IGN.com
Even with a strong launch and a significant amount of buzz, it’s still too early to say that Nintendo will necessarily become a favorite of third-party publishers. If today’s news is any indication, though, they’ve definitely made some headway. Yesterday, Rockstar Games (yes, THAT Rockstar Games of GTA fame) announced that they will be producing Manhunt 2 for the PSP, PS2, and Wii. While Manhunt definitely isn’t the best game Rockstar’s ever produced, this might mark the company’s first baby-steps towards producing more games for Nintendo’s consoles. Similarly, Activition recently announced strong support for the Wii, including a version of Guitar Hero that will likely be tailored to take advantage of Nintendo’s motion-sensitive Wiimote. From the company conference call:
The key difference in our strategy versus the prior cycle, is that in addition to full support on Sony and Microsoft platforms, we will aggressively target the Nintendo platforms consistent with our multi-platform strategy and Nintendo’s expected growth. In fiscal 2008, we will double our offerings on the DS and the Wii, including Spider-Man, Shrek, Transformers, and Guitar Hero.
With production costs for “truly” next-gen titles on the Xbox 360 and PS3 skyrocketing, it’ll be interesting to see if studios decide that they can make more money producing content for Nintendo’s fledgling console.
Read More | Take2 Games
Update: Fixed the headline, Killzone is definitely NOT heading Wii-ward. What was I smoking…
It was revealed earlier in the week that the Guitar Hero franchise was going to change developers from Harmonix to Neversoft. RedOctane talked with GameDaily Biz about the change. Basically this seems like a creative control and financial move; moving the development in-house allows RedOctane more control over the development process, and may allow the company to save some money by leveraging existing assets. Still, there are concerns that the move will mean the popular title may change for the worse. RedOctane’s response does little to really allay those concerns; time will tell to see how the franchise changes in the future.
Read More | GameDaily Biz
GameDaily BIZ has discovered that the developer of the next Guitar Hero entry will be Neversoft, and not Harmonix. With Harmonix being acquired by MTV, and Activision’s acquisition of the Guitar Hero franchise and publishers Red Octane, gamers might have suspected that changes were in the works. Now, confirmation comes from Neversoft’s website, which is now seeking positions for both the Tony Hawk and the Guitar Hero franchises. Neversoft generally has developed strong titles, but the development of a Guitar Hero sequel will be a fairly large departure for the company; gamers might have reason to worry about the future of the franchise.
Read More | GameDaily Biz
One of the big disappointments for fans of Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution and similar controller-specific games was that the Playstation 3 wouldn’t be featuring PS2 ports of any kind on it’s sleek black exterior. Fortunately, it looks like Nyko’s got you covered. Sometime in the near future, Nyko will be releasing a USB-to-PS2 controller port adapter that’ll have you shredding up “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” in no time. The good folks over at Kotaku were the first to break the news, and state that the controller adapter will work with the Guitar Hero guitar which presumably means that it should work with all other “non-traditional” PS2 controllers.
Now, Sony just needs to make sure that the backwards compatibility updates for the PS3 keep on coming…
Read More | Kotaku
Activision has finally announced a launch date for Guitar Hero 2 on the Xbox 360, and while it’s not too far away, the wait is going to seem interminable for most Xbox 360 owners. You’ll be able to get your hands on the Xbox 360 iteration of the game, along with the specially-designed “Xplorer” guitar, around easter 2007. In addition, Red Octane has plans for the Microsoft marketplace and its possibilities for downloadable content.
Dusty Welch, Head of Publishing, RedOctane, said of the game when it was first unveiled back at X06 last September: “With its large integrated hard drive, Xbox 360 provides an incredible platform for facilitating downloadable content. We believe there is no better title to feature micro-transactions than a music game like Guitar Hero II, where the content is the basis of your experience. The relationship with the Xbox Live Marketplace creates endless possibilities for exclusive content.”
Playstation fans may be able to gloat for a while at the fact that the Xbox won’t be seeing a wireless guitar just yet (the Xplorer included with the game will be wire-ful). Then again, Microsoft fans might be just as keen to point out the fact that you can’t even play Guitar Hero on the PS3, due to its lack of PS2 controller ports.
Read More | VideogamesBlogger.com
A reader over at Kotaku recently received an extra-long survey about new features or products that could be released in the Guitar Hero vein. Most interestingly, the survey seemed to suggest that RedOctane might be working on titles like “Drummer Hero”, “Keyboard Hero”, or “Vocals Hero”, as we had guessed earlier. This is obviously a very preliminary test of the public’s feelings on future Guitar Hero titles and spin-offs, but it’s nonetheless exciting to see that we may one day be able to replicate a complete band out of the Hero titles.
Read More | Kotaku.com
It’s been a crazy week for all things Guitar Hero related. While nothing seems able to stop the juggernaut that is Guitar Hero 2 from being released on time, some of the other news we’ve been seeing might be bad news for fans of the series. First off, MTV announced Monday that they’d be purchasing Harmonix, developer of the series, for $175 million dollars.
MTV had this to say about the acquisition:
The acquisition of Harmonix will deepen MTV’s connection to its audience via on-line, mobile and console music gaming, and expand the relationship with both labels and artists through the creation of games based on classic songs as well as future album releases.
If MTV’s responsible with this property, that could be good news. It sounds like we can expect Guitar Hero to be ported to a variety of systems. It also sounds like we’ll be “treated” to something like a micro-transaction-based system for downloading new content. Of course, there’s always more money to be made by charging $50.00 for hastily-made sequels, so we’ll have to wait and see how MTV treats their new baby.
In other news, you might not be able to play with that fancy wireless guitar in the future, at least if Red Octane has anything to say about it. On the 20th, Red Octane sued The Ant Commandos, the company that produces the wireless guitar controller “compatible with” (read: made for) Guitar Hero. Not one to take it lying down, TAC has countersued, saying that RedOctane is actually at fault and stole the design of the guitar controller during a tour of Topwave factory (Topwave is TAC’s parent company).
Harmonix must be having a field day with this - it’s got to be flattering to produce a game so popular that EVERYONE wants in on the action. Now please guys, can we all just get along so that we can start rocking out again? Please, think of the children…
Read More | Joystiq
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Read More | DigitalTrends