It all started in 2005 when Harmonix and RedOctane released Guitar Hero, and the world went nuts for the game with the plastic guitar. Harmonix rode that music game tidal wave into EA's arms and the pair dreamt up Rock Band.
The sun is shining, the sky is blue, what better than to crack open a can of beer, forget about the football, and kick back in a lazy chair in the garden with this week's line-up of downloadable games. It's not a vintage collection this week, though, with a few dead-certs turning out to be rather limp, and interesting curiosities turning out to be little more than that.
But if you've got a PC or Mac, then one game you absolutely must not miss out on is the excellent Puzzle Dimension, developed by the brilliantly named Doctor Entertainment. Formed by a small team of veterans culled from the likes of IO, Starbreeze and DICE, these Scandinavians have come up with one of the most brain-bending 3D puzzle games you've ever seen. Save yourself the pain and misery of the World Cup and pick sunflowers while training your brain in the art of spatial visualisation instead.
Mad Catz has revealed the reason Guitar Hero began solely on PS2.
Echo & the Bunnymen lead singer Ian McCulloch has dismissed music games as "crap" - and wished instant death on everyone who plays them.
Rocker Jack White, who recently signed a deal for his songs to appear in the new Guitar Hero game, has complained about kids playing Guitar Hero games.
Prince has said he turned down a deal to put his songs in Guitar Hero. (That's the artist formerly known as the funny symbol thing Prince, not the one who talks to plants or the one who likes to dress up as Nazis or the one who's a massive racist.)
Investment analyst Ben Schachter of UBS has been poring over the sales figures of Guitar Hero and Rock Band in the US, and has found that the Activision Blizzard series outsold the EA games by over a million copies in November.
The picture isn't quite as clear-cut as it seems, though. Schachter - as quoted by GameSpot - found that Guitar Hero sales are in decline compared to last year, while Rock Band's are increasing sharply. Overall, the huge US market for music games created by the original Guitar Hero seems to be in decline.
Over 1.7 million Guitar Hero games of all versions and formats were sold in the US in November, of which 978,000 were copies of the latest version, Guitar Hero World Tour. This compares with 628,452 copies of Rock Band and Rock Band 2.
Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger has taken a pop at Guitar Hero, saying players would be better off learning a real instrument.
Activision boss Bobby Kotick has declared Guitar Hero is winning the battle of the band-based games.
Legendary dead guitarist Jimi Hendrix is set to get his very own Guitar Hero game.
Activision Blizzard has decided to use the popularity of Guitar Hero to create a "credible alternative" to iTunes.
Guitar-playing American pop star John Mayer has had a go at Guitar Hero, arguing nothing can compare to playing a real musical instrument.
A new Guitar Hero game based entirely around Beatles songs could be on the way - at least if Sony/ATV Music has anything to do with it.
Gibson Guitar has filed a lawsuit against Activision, claiming the Guitar Hero games infringe one of the company's patents.
According to Reuters, Gibson has a 1999 patent for technology used to simulate a musical performance. It sent a letter explaining this to Activision in January.
"Based on our preliminary analysis, the Guitar Hero software (including any expansion packs) and the guitar controller provided by Activision being used as a musical instrument (packaged with the software or sold standalone) are covered by the ... patent," the letter read.
UPDATE:The venue for the Guitar Hero record attempt has now changed and will not be HMV Oxford Street as previously reported. More news soon...
The battle of the gaming bands is upon us. While Guitar Hero is pounding groupies backstage, biting the the bat's head off the rhythm-action genre, a cocky young upstart has emerged, threatening to topple the veteran rocker from its perch of poodle-haired posturing.
Guitar Hero developer Harmonix has donated USD 2,000 to help keep a fansite afloat.
Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos says he believes Guitar Hero is in "capable hands" at Neversoft, and that "fans of the franchise will be happy with" the Tony Hawk developers attempts to follow in Harmonix' stead.
Guitar Hero has been in the headlines recently, but not just because of the PS2 sequel's success - or even because it's due out on Xbox 360 in the near future. No, these particular headlines focused on news that original developer Harmonix would no longer be working on the series, which would instead continue on at Tony Hawk developer Neversoft.
The Detroit Tigers (baseball, apparently) have admitted that one of their pitchers (ball-chucker) Joel Zumaya was sidelined recently not because of the aches and pains of the sport, but because he was playing too much Guitar Hero.
MTV Networks has strengthened it position in the gaming market by acquiring Guitar Hero developer Harmonix for USD $175 million (137 million euro).
Members of the Guitar Hero team have used its MySpace page to tease some sort of new Guitar Hero-related project known as G.H.O.U.L.
Guitar Hero fans may be interested to know that a third-party controller for the game is now available over at Lik-Sang.
Calling all Guitar Heroes - Gibson (the guitar manufacturer, not the one in the hat) is offering you the chance to show off your skills at this year's Download Festival.
Good news for fans of rockin' PS2 title Guitar Hero - creative director Josh Randall will be visiting the UK this weekend to tell us all about how it came into being and show off the sequel.
Activision has acquired RedOctane, the publisher best known for bringing recently released and completely brilliant (as Kristan and Tom would agree) Guitar Hero to PS2.
With Guitar Hero now out over here, RedOctane has announced the launch of the official website, where you can not only order the game directly but also order the controller separately - something the publisher hasn't previously offered.
It seems to be the law that if you review Guitar Hero, you have to begin by talking about your own connection to the world of music. This is unfortunate.
See, my "rock history" begins, aged 10, with me standing in an auditorium with my Mum and my sister. On the stage in front of us, a walking mole. Singing "I Am The One And Only".
Yes, I have seen Chesney Hawkes live in concert. This pretty much set the tone.
We've been busy getting in the mood for Guitar Hero all week, talking to the developer and giving you the chance to win a drum head signed by Metallica's Lars Ulrich and an actual, proper Gibson SG Special guitar.
"It's usually difficult to discern creative primacy in a situation like this," says Luke Jacobs, QA lead on Guitar Hero, Harmonix's guitar-powered rhythm-response PS2 game. "However in this case it's easy, it was me."
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, RedOctane CEO Kelly Sumner has admitted that the eagerly awaited Guitar Hero is likely to be in short supply when it launches in Europe next month due to manufacturing constraints on the innovative guitar controller.
Those of you tired of us banging on so much about Guitar Hero a month before you can even buy it in the UK (April 7th remember!) will be pleased to hear that we ought to be banging on about it for at least another couple of years, as Kelly Sumner, CEO of publisher RedOctane, has told MCV we'll see a further "five or six" titles by the middle of 2007.
Axe wielders get ready to rock, because Red Octane has today confirmed that Guitar Hero will be released in the UK and "selected European territories" on April 7th.
One thing you might not know about my PE days (that's Pre-Eurogamer, as opposed to physical education, just to stave off any potential lawsuits/general confusion) was my pretensions to be a guitar hero. Ok, fair enough, Macbreth never made the cover of NME, but our manager (aka my dad) did once get savaged by John Peel's hounds and told to 'piss off' when he turned up at the late DJ-legend's Suffolk farmhouse one cold day in 1992. Frankly, his valiant efforts to get our EP played were good enough for me. I was always a bass man myself, but that was only because all my mates had been playing lead or rhythm since they were about ten. I wasn't bitter or anything. Ok, maybe just a little miffed that I was arguably in the least sexy position in our indiepop band of champions, but it was still great to chunga-chunga through the set and pogo around during end of our set stomper 'Take Me Up'.
So, imagine my surprise/delight when I opened up a huge package on Christmas Day and found that Tom had bought me a copy of Guitar Hero. A present of ultimate justice that not only enabled me to relive past axe-wielding glories, but amuse/wow onlookers for the entire festive season as I threw shapes, wobbled the whammy bar and indulged in fret-busting, finger-killing action in an attempt to become the ultimate videogaming rock god. Albeit 14 years too late.
Coming complete with a scaled down replica guitar peripheral (surely the best add-on videogaming has ever witnessed) Guitar Hero is essentially another rhythm-action game that tasks you with matching the five fret buttons with the coloured shapes scrolling rapidly down the fret on the lower portion of the screen (while the band do their thing on the upper half). Much like Harmonix's previous lauded efforts Amplitude and Frequency, your role is to embellish the backing track - only this time it's all about adding the guitar licks, as opposed to building virtually the entire song like before.