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Rock Band - Make Room for the Peripherals

Guitar Hero Kid As we had guessed a few times before, MTV, Harmonix and EA are working together to suck the Guitar Hero well dry. The news today is that these three companies will be working together to produce Rock Band, a GH-like game that will include new peripherals that will let you drum, sing, and of course strum your way to rockstar fame. Looks like it’s time to make some more room in your home for gaming peripherals - given that the Guitar Hero guitar is nearly real-guitar sized, we can only imagine how big the Rock Band drum set is going to be… or perhaps they’ll build some nifty motion-sensing drumsticks?

With online play, killer peripherals, and a pretty hot looking list of record labels signing on, this game could be huge… both in the metaphorical AND physical sense. Hopefully the controller(s) won’t make the game as expensive as a new console, though. Rock Band is currently announced for the PS3 and Xbox 360 although developers have hinted that a Wii version is also in the works.

Click the jump for the full press release…

Click to continue reading Rock Band - Make Room for the Peripherals

Read More | USA Today


EA Partners With MTV, Harmonix

HarmonixEA announced at the GDC that they would be publishing a new title from the MTV/Harmonix partnership. While Harmonix has been booted off of the Guitar Hero franchise with Activision’s acquisition of Red Octane, the next title from one of the big names in the music game genre is drawing a lot of attention. Unfortunately, aside from the detail that EA is publishing this next mystery game and that the parties involved believe that this is their most ambitious title to date. It may be hard to follow up the fantastic success of the the Guitar Hero games, but Harmonix may be the developer to do this.

Read More | Mercury News

Guitar Hero 360 to Suck Your Wallet Dry

Xbox 360 Guitar Hero IIWe 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

Rockstar, Activision jump on Wii Bandwagon w/ ManHunt, Guitar Hero

DescriptionEven 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…

Read More | Activision Investor Relations via The Tanooki

RedOctane Talks Guitar Hero Changes

Posted by Christopher Sasaki Categories: Activision, Music,

Guitar Hero 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

Guitar Hero Moves To Neversoft

Posted by Christopher Sasaki Categories: Activision, Music,

Guitar HeroGameDaily 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

Nyko To Release USB-to-PS2 port adapter for Playstation 3

Posted by Michael Cardiff Categories: Accessories, PlayStation 3, Rumors,

DescriptionOne 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

Guitar Hero 2 for Xbox 360 to Launch in March, W/ Microtransactions

DescriptionActivision 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

Rumors from Guitar Hero Survey Suggest Drummer Hero, Vocal Hero

Kids Love Guitar Hero!

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

Everyone Wants a Piece of the Guitar Hero Pie

Kids love Guitar Hero
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