Guitar Hero: Rocks the 80s

Key events

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.

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.

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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Be a Guitar Hero record breaker

Guinness needs your help.

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...

GC: Quiz RedOctane's Kai Huang

You call the tune.

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: Rocks The '80s

Guitar Hero: Rocks The '80s

Run to the hills.

As you've probably established by now, we - like most other right-minded gamers - are rather fond of Guitar Hero. Time and time again, we'll go back to the old favourites from the first two games, particularly with the addition of co-op play and the bewildering sense of accomplishment that accompanies every successful phrase still awes us to this day. Even most of the best games out there aren't getting played for nearly two years solidly after release, testament, if it was needed, to the outstanding quality of Harmonix's titles. And although this time-travelling song pack might be enjoyable in as much as it's still Guitar Hero, you can't shake the feeling that something just isn't right here.

Menu screens and so forth come straight from GH2 for the most part, this time with a slightly more garish palette in a bid to convince you that it comes from a time when Timmy Mallett was still a household name. New character models offer slightly more hope as to the quality of this release but with fewer stars than we're used to and some lacklustre efforts (Axel barely changes while the Grim Ripper gets 3D glasses and a Flava Flav inspired clock medallion), even this early on it's clear that we're not off to a flying start. Arenas and instruments go untouched save for the odd colour change or slight alteration but there's little here to convince you that this is a proper new game.

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Guitar Hero 80s final track-list

Judas Priest and friends go gold.

Development on Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s is finished and should be out here in the summer. It's out in the US on 24th July, so our wait shouldn't be massive.

More '80s Guitar Hero tracks

Hair metal dominates.

Activision has let slip the names of a brace more tracks for this summer's PS2 exclusive, Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the '80s.

Guitar Hero: Rocks the 80s

Coming to PS2 in summer.

Going all retro this afternoon is Activision, who's whacked on the sweat-bands and announced that Guitar Hero: Rocks the 80s will be heading exclusively to PS2 this summer.