Guitar Hero: Aerosmith

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 Budcat Creations.

Prince turned down Guitar Hero deal

Wants kids to learn to play the real thing.

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.)

Guitar Hero outsells Rock Band in US

Guitar Hero outsells Rock Band in US

But gap narrows as music games decline.

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.

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Nickelback singer slams Guitar Hero

Tells "kids" to pick up a real instrument.

Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger has taken a pop at Guitar Hero, saying players would be better off learning a real instrument.

Xbox 360 vs PS3 Face-Off: Round 14

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs PS3 Face-Off: Round 14

SoulCalibur IV, Mercs 2, Kung Fu Panda, Beijing, GH Aerosmith, FaceBreaker, Hulk, EA Sports roundup.

No introduction is necessary for our latest console comparison feature; you all know the deal by now. Top notch 24-bit RGB screenshots? Check. HD-derived streaming video with crystal clear h.264 quality? Check. Flame-retardant clothing capable of withstanding the Human Torch's nova-blast? Double-check.

Just a couple of notes before the rows and bitter recriminations commence. Beginning with this latest feature, we're now embedding larger videos. There are also extended versions with even higher resolution available as clickthroughs via Eurogamer TV. Make sure you hit the 'high quality' button to get the full benefits of h.264 encoding. If the cropped, slow motion videos are not good enough for you, full 720p 60FPS downloads optimised for playback on both 360 and PS3 are available on the author's blog.

For more in-depth, studied comparisons, don't forget the exhaustive screenshot galleries that accompany each game. Thanks to Eurogamer screenshot viewer 2.0, you can switch the view between both versions of each game at the touch of a button. All games get 720p shots, with 1080p galleries added where support is available in the PS3 code.

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UK charts: Smash Bros. is smash hit

Muscles way to No. 1. Full top 40 inside.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl has headbutted its way to the top of the UK all formats chart this week, thumping previous leader LEGO Indiana Jones down to three.

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith

Hero protagonists.

Guitar Hero's history may not be as long and storied as Aerosmith's, but the young music game's popularity and commercial success has propelled the series to comparable stardom: North American sales alone are worth over a billion dollars; the band who wrote the third game's end song, Dragonforce, enjoyed a 126 percent spike in CD sales the week after the game came out; and there's even a whole South Park episode about it. Spin-offs, then, were inevitable, and Guitar Hero: Aerosmith aims to be the benchmark.

Making a game about a band isn't a completely new idea, but making a good one would be, as Aerosmith themselves can attest - what with Midway's mid-'90s arcade shooter Revolution X lurking rubbishly on their collective CV. This is nothing like that, thankfully. Instead it's an opportunity to play along to Aerosmith's career while learning a bit more about it and glorying in loving details: unlocking Joe Perry's custom-made 1964 SG Special, for instance, or being able to play through the Run DMC-assisted and vanilla versions of the crowd-pleasing "Walk This Way".

To this end the core of the game is a 31-song Career mode (with ten more tracks unlocked in a shop) that takes you through a series of venues that meant something to the band. The first venue, Nipmuc Regional High School, was their first gig; The Orpheum is a theatre that holds special significance; and the Half-Time Show is based on Superbowl XXXV, when Aerosmith performed alongside 'N Sync and had to watch the stage - in the words of awestruck band-members - erected and torn down in the space of six minutes. The trivia's related through quick-fire sound-bites from video interviews, which are sewn together rather over-zealously to avoid breaking the pace of the game progression, and viewed between the six tiers of mostly five songs apiece that are unlocked in clumps.

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Rock star slags off Guitar Hero

Nothing like the real thing, says Mayer.

Guitar-playing American pop star John Mayer has had a go at Guitar Hero, arguing nothing can compare to playing a real musical instrument.

Aerosmith exclusive to Guitar Hero

Aerosmith exclusive to Guitar Hero

Rock Band DLC unlikely.

Activision has not only secured Aerosmith for its upcoming Guitar Hero game about the band, but has done a deal to stop Tyler, Perry and co. providing content to rival music game Rock Band.

"I can say that we do have the band exclusively, and their catalogue should be exclusive to us beyond the one or two tracks they had licensed out to Rock Band before we made our deal," Activision's music affairs veepee Tim Riley told Newsweek after the in-house Level Up blog harassed them for details.

The band's "Train Kept A-Rollin'" shipped with the full Rock Band game (not a master recording), but MTV has yet to release any downloadable Aerosmith stuff, and it sounds like it will stay that way.

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Gibson launches Guitar Hero lawsuit

Gibson launches Guitar Hero lawsuit

Claims patents have been infringed.

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.

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