Guitar Hero 5

Key events

Activision closes Guitar Hero dev

RIP Budcat Creations.

Following news earlier today that Blur dev Bizarre Creations was facing down an uncertain future, Activision has axed another one of its acquisitions ľ Budcat Creations.

A Guitar Hero game every year "a given"

"We lost our souls," admits dev.

Guitar Hero developer Neversoft has accepted that publisher Activision will release a Hero game every year despite admitting the studio lost its soul competing with rival Rock Band.

Kotick regrets not courting Harmonix

Won't play games in case he's hooked.

Activision boss Bobby Kotick told the DICE Summit yesterday that he regrets not paying more attention to Harmonix during the RedOctane acquisition that brought Guitar Hero under the publisher's control.

Cobain would find GH5 funny, says Love

But she's not done with "sleazy" Activision.

Widower Courtney Love's changed her tune; she now reckons her late husband Kurt Cobain would have been okay with his digital likeness singing other people's pop songs in Guitar Hero 5.

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 23

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 23

Dragon Age, Beatles, Guitar Hero 5, FIFA 10, PES 2010.

In what's likely to be the last Face-Off of 2009, Digital Foundry does a little housekeeping, sifting through the teetering piles of code dotted around the office, picking out the most intriguing games we've yet to cover, and combining those with the definitive word on one of the year's biggest releases - BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins.

As is the norm, the feature is crammed with the media that matters. One of our TrueHD workstations is pretty much full to the brim with lossless digital dumps of the HDMI ports of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, giving us access to the very best 24-bit RGB comparison shots and untouchable video assets, presented to you in pristine h264 video, manually encoded on a per-game basis for ultimate quality.

Onto the all-important line-up, then. Just the five releases covered this time, but all of them with an interesting story to tell, plus some bonus PC action included too.

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Trine, Bomberman head PSN refresher

Lots of special offers, too.

The long-awaited arrival of platformer Trine headlines the Thursday PSN update this week, followed admirably by Bomberman Ultra and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Commander's Challenge.

Activison predicts console-free future

Plans to "take the fun out of making games".

Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick has predicted a console-less future for his games, revealed a company culture of "scepticism, pessimism, and fear", and shown mouth rendering technology he thinks will transform the medium.

UK charts: Guitar Hero 5 beats Beatles

Plus: McRae sees off Batman.

Guitar Hero 5 has become the first in the leading music series to debut at the top of the UK all-formats chart, outselling colossal rival The Beatles: Rock Band to do so.

EG rocks with Pixie Lott at GH5 launch

EG rocks with Pixie Lott at GH5 launch

Europe-wide record attempt underway.

Fresh from headlining the Cavern Club on Tuesday night, the Eurogamer Super Group was back on stage this morning with Essex songstress Pixie Lott, to kick off a Guinness World Record attempt marking the launch of Guitar Hero 5.

The event, overseen by an official Guinness adjudicator, began at 11am in HMV's flagship store at 150 Oxford Street, London, with France, Italy, Spain, Holland and Sweden running sessions simultaneously to find the territory which can produce the greatest number of players over the next 24 hours using the game's 'jump in, jump out' Party Play mode.

Clearly Lott had been made aware of Eurogamer's god-given talent at making fools of ourselves, so she bottled it on the singing, electing instead to wield the plastic axe while EG wailed its way through Blur's "Song 2", half-blinded by incessantly flashing paparazzi lights - none of which, amazingly, was aimed at us.

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Guitar Hero 5

Guitar Hero 5

Rocking all over again.

My favourite moment in Guitar Hero: World Tour - just ahead of the evening I finally conquered Joe Satriani with unholy backwards-run fretboard skills that I have never been able to summon again - was when Jimi Hendrix suddenly appeared on stage and tapped my painstakingly created avatar on the shoulder after an exemplary performance of The Wind Cries Mary. Naturally, she freaked out, jumped up and down a bit and ran backwards off the stage.

Five years ago, I could not have imagined a digital Jimi Hendrix appearing in a rhythm-action videogame. For me, the endorsement of real-life artists (even ones who aren't dead, like Paul, Ringo, Slash and Matt Bellamy) cements Guitar Hero and Rock Band as a legitimate way of enjoying music in the eyes of the wider world, as well as in my own.

Guitar Hero 5's celebrity appearances aren't quite as thrilling - Kurt Cobain, Bellamy and Johnny Cash are fine and all, but they're not Hendrix - but in every other respect the game takes significant steps forward. It would be easy at this point for Neversoft to release glorified song packs ad infinitum, but instead the developer is continuing to show respect to Guitar Hero followers by broadening and polishing the series without overcomplicating or changing it.

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Activision: Love "signed" Cobain deal

GH5 spat entices Nirvana statement.

Activision has countered lawsuit threats made by Kurt Cobain's widow Courtney Love over Guitar Hero 5 by holding up a piece of paper with her signature on it.

Love to "sue the s***" out of Activision

Furious at Cobain's GH5 resurrection.

Kurt Cobain's widow Courtney Love is furious at Activision about her dead husband's appearance in Guitar Hero 5, and is threatening to "sue the s***" out of the publisher.

GH5 DLC won't work in GH World Tour

But will in future games, apparently.

Downloadable content for Guitar Hero 5 will not be compatible with Guitar Hero: World Tour, according to an Activision spokesperson.

Wii GH5 to stream from large SD cards

Feature enables 32GB of DLC space.

Developer Vicarious Visions has said Guitar Hero 5 will be the first Wii game to stream content from high-capacity SD memory cards, which can be as large as 32GB.

GH5 is "a massive leap" for Wii games

Vicarious Visions has "re-architected" it.

Vicarious Visions reckons its Wii version of Guitar Hero 5 represents "a massive leap" for music games on the console, and has been thoroughly re-built since the launch of GHWT last year.

GH5 tracks, game details emerge

GH5 tracks, game details emerge

Rare songs and revamped mechanics.

Activision is trimming the fat from Guitar Hero 5, snipping multiple instrument career modes in favour of one giant lobby.

Here instruments and players can be swapped on the fly, and individual difficulty can be bossed by one person - avoiding menu faffing.

Furthermore Activision will unlock all songs from the outset, and instead use new characters, outfits, instruments and venues as progression incentives.

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Guitar Hero 5 controller updated

Guitar Hero 5 controller updated

Strum bar and slider changes detailed.

Neversoft has revealed how the regular guitar controller has evolved for the launch of Guitar Hero 5 this September.

The new guitar is the same shape and looks superficially similar, apart from a red and white colour scheme, but there are underlying changes to the slider bar's touch pad and the strum bar, according to the developer's Brian Bright.

The touch pad is now digital, Bright told IGN, "reducing the chance for error and latency", and also features "slight reliefs" so you can feel your finger positions better, and brighter colour-coding for visual confirmation. In-game, the "purple rope" between slider notes has also gone.

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Neversoft hints at turntable control for GH

But it won't make this year's version.

With guitar support already confirmed for DJ Hero, the newest addition to Activision's gaming setlist could now return the favour, with Guitar Hero developer Neversoft revealing its desire to build the turntable controller into the GH experience.

E3: Guitar Hero 5

Five is the magic number?

Another year, another sequel, but no matter how smoothly the hit factory churns them out, it's not hard to suspect there could be a problem with Guitar Hero 5. Not with the track listing, of course: Activision's signed as judicious a line-up as it ever has, with a mix of family favourites and chic esoterica. And not with the note-tracking either - by now, Neversoft's nearly every bit as sharp as Harmonix at transferring squealing arpeggios and thumping power chords into tight neon chunks of scrolling light.

Full Guitar Hero 5 band list confirmed

Full Guitar Hero 5 band list confirmed

Kiss! Bush! Attack! Attack!

Activision has announced the 84 bands to appear in Guitar Hero 5 this September.

The more surprising entries include Public Enemy, Blur, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, T. Rex, Iggy Pop, Gorillaz and Arctic Monkeys. There's no Metallica, but Iron Maiden are present. We love you, Iron Maiden!

Guitar Hero 5 promises the biggest and best master-track line-up of the series, plus jump-in multiplayer and various revamps across the board. We'll offer a much more in-depth analysis from E3 this week.

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Activision confirms Guitar Hero 5 date

Activision confirms Guitar Hero 5 date

It's out a week before Beatles: Rock Band.

Activision has confirmed the September release date for Guitar Hero 5 that we told you about back in March. Gosh.

The 1st September date is stamped on the freshly-launched Guitar Hero 5 website alongside a sweepstake to win some real-life concert tickets if you can guess the full-game song line-up.

So far we know that the bands will include The Rolling Stones, The White Stripes, Kings of Leon, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Santana, Vampire Weekend, Beastie Boys, Coldplay, Duran Duran, Gorillaz, Jimmy Eat World, Muse and The Raconteurs.

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First details of Guitar Hero 5 emerge

First details of Guitar Hero 5 emerge

Play with any combo of instruments you like.

Activision has said Guitar Hero 5 will let players use any combination of instruments, be it three guitars and a microphone, two guitars and two drums or four microphones.

The new instalment will be out in the autumn on PS2, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360, although whether that will be with fresh instruments is still "TBC", a spokesperson for the publisher told us this afternoon.

Guitar Hero 5 aims to be a bit more accessible to remove the faffing when friends are over for a quick play. To that end, developer Neversoft has added Party Play, where people can drop in and out of songs freely.

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