Guitar Hero World Tour

Key events

Ted Nugent's Stranglehold is a nine-minute beast of a song, a deeply sinister trip to the dark side with a guy who just doesn't know when to quit. The very first line - "Here I come again now, baby / Like a dog in heat" - sets a certain cards-on-table tone. But in addition to its signature juggernaut riff, shred in tooth and claw, Stranglehold also features a long, sparse mid-section powered by a rubber-band bassline. It's during this spooky longueur that the Nuge - or you, if you're playing Guitar Hero World Tour - wrings out odd guitar wails and bursts of distorted squall. It's one of those solos that goes on so long that you almost forget it's part of an actual song, until Ted pops up again, singing hoarsely: "Some people think they gonna die someday / I got news, ya never gotta go." It's an unsettling gospel of everlasting life, preached by a dude who, when he's not generating intensities in ten cities, enjoys shooting flaming arrows. It's also totally brilliant.

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.

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.

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.

PSN update: demos, DLC, more demos

PSN update: demos, DLC, more demos

inFamous! Marvel vs. Capcom! Red Gorillas!

There are demos aplenty on the PS3 Store this weekend, including tasters for inFamous, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 and Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

There's plenty more content for existing PS3 games as well. The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena gets a map pack as does F.E.A.R. 2. There are some monster-themed costumes and level-making tools for LittleBigPlanet, plus some special Live recordings by Alice Cooper for Rock Band. Alice, remember, is a man. It's so confusing.

Also, note the excellent puzzler Fading Shadows for download on PSP. This costs 12 quid but is well worth the money. Pop over to our Fading Shadows review to find out more.

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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.)

Wolverine, Killzone head PSN update

Wolverine, Killzone head PSN update

Healthy pile of content to sift through.

Scratchy Marvel superhero Wolverine is the growl of the town this week; the film launched on Wednesday and the game arrives tomorrow. There's a demo here to try out, and our review is poised, ready to strike. Hint: brutal but banal.

The other eye-catcher is the Steel & Titanium map pack for Killzone 2, adding an extra pair of multiplayer maps. The Cops and Robbers mode - does what it says on the tin - for Burnout Paradise might be worth a look, too. Expensive, though.

The rest is fairly run-of-the-mill. Incidentally, the Brain Challenge Bundle is a brain-teaser game plus add-on packs.

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PSN update: bundles of DLC on offer

PSN update: bundles of DLC on offer

Plus: Red Faction, UFC demos.

There's lots to buy on the PlayStation Store this week, plus free samples of Red Faction Guerrilla UFC 2009 Undisputed to try.

Episode two of Penny Arcade Adventures finally shows up but, being non-essential, will need careful consideration before purchase. I've heard that one before. The excellent Exit turns digital-download for PSP, which also receives a Chessmaster game and a couple of PSone oldies.

Saints Row 2 leads the additional content charge with Ultor Exposed (we've just published our review), but there's DLC offered for Godfather II, HAWX, Midnight Club: LA, SmackDown 2009 and Mahjong Tales as well. Plus, LittleBigPlanet gets another dose of the planned April content.

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GHWT standalone drum kits coming

US in a fortnight, Europe "at a later date".

Guitar Hero developer Neversoft has announced that the World Tour drum kit is to get a standalone release.

Guitar Hero outsells Rock Band 2-to-1

Guitar Hero outsells Rock Band 2-to-1

Activision's effort more popular in US.

New figures from US data trackers NPD have revealed Guitar Hero World Tour is winning the battle of the band games.

As reported by Gamespot, 3.4 million copies of the game were sold in North America last year. The figure for Rock Band 2 stood at 1.7 million.

That's despite the fact Harmonix's effort had a head-start, sort of - the Xbox 360 version hit US shops on 14th September, followed by the PS3 game on 19th October. The Wii and PS2 versions didn't arrive until December 18th, though. Guitar Hero World Tour went on sale for all consoles on 26th October.

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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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LBP costumes lead PSN update

LBP costumes lead PSN update

Festive cupboards filled with goods.

Sony has restocked the PlayStation Store cupboards to include a free Santa outfit for LittleBigPlanet. Ho ho ho.

The same game also hails the arrival of four Street Fighter-themed costumes, featuring togs worn by Ryu, Chun-Li, Guile and Zangief. These are GBP 1.59 a pop, or all four for GBP 4.79.

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords - Revenge of the Plague Lord is up for grabs at GBP 15.99. And full games NBA Live '09 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour '09 can be downloaded for GBP 29.99 and GBP 31.99, respectively.

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More songs for Guitar Hero World Tour

Nirvana! Negrita! Sportfreunde Stiller!

Activision has bolstered the Xbox 360 Guitar Hero World Tour music library with songs by Nirvana and some European bands we've never heard of. But we're not very cool.

Bonkers Logitech GHWT guitar priced

A steal at just 150 quid.

Logitech has decided to charge GBP 149.99 for a guitar peripheral that only works with the Guitar Hero series of games. It's not real, doesn't do the washing up, and probably won't attract women.

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 16

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 16

Mirror's Edge, Brothers in Arms, Fracture, Guitar Hero, Baja, FIFA, Quantum of Solace.

The latest bloody skirmish begins here. Seven more cross-platform releases are appraised for your feverish attentions across the next few pages, backed - as usual - by the best range of comparison assets on the internet. That'll be full 720p and 1080p HDMI 24-bit RGB screengrabs, and h.264-powered 1:1 precision videos.

Before we begin proper, let's kick off with a bit of good news. 2K has just updated BioShock with a brand new patch for the disappointing PlayStation 3 conversion of the game. The numerous promised bug-fixes have all materialised, but better than that, the vastly annoying blur effect has been substantially reduced. What blur there is now appears to be down to the reduced sub-720p resolution and, alas, this combined with the wildly variable frame-rate remain. More details on the befores and afters at the author's blog.

Getting back to the present, there's an intriguing selection of seven games in the line-up, including one of my personal favourite games of the year: DICE's innovative Mirror's Edge.

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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.

GHWT Xbox Live event next weekend

Sparkly prizes up for grabs.

Activision plans to run an entire weekend of organised Guitar Hero World Tour events on Xbox Live starting next Thursday, 27th November with an Xbox All Nighter running from dusk until dawn.

PSN update stuffed with new content

PSN update stuffed with new content

Games, LBP costumes, songs, Hasselhoff.

Sony has crammed plenty of content onto the PlayStation Store this week.

The most of expensive bits are full downloadable versions of PSP games FIFA 09 (GBP 29.99) and puzzler The Cube (GBP 15.99), which we had no idea were turning up.

However, the most interesting - for us at least - are the new costumes for LittleBigPlanet. Yes, we do like dressing up. There's a free Sack-eating-plant outfit, and four more costumes at GBP 0.79 each: Lily Pad, Hugo (a gorilla), Great Blue and Frost-e. These are bundled together in an Animal Costumes pack for GBP 2.39.

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Alone and MGS4 demos on PSN

Plus GHWT tracks and PSone games.

Alone in the Dark and Metal Gear Solid 4 demos top the list of additions to the PlayStation Store this week because of the way we've formatted our list.

Why Activision dumped Sierra's games

They weren't "exploitable enough".

Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick has explained that various Sierra (Vivendi) games were dumped for not exhibiting "potential to be exploited every year across every platform".

Guitar Hero World Tour finally dated

Staggered release in November.

Guitar Hero World Tour will be released over three weeks next month in Europe, starting with guitar-and-game bundles for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and PS2 on 7th November.

Guitar Hero drum issues "isolated"

Activision to release "drum tuning kit".

Activision has described sensitivity issues affecting Guitar Hero World Tour drum-sets in the US as "an isolated manufacturing issue" and said it would "immediately address any hardware issues" via its US support channels.

Activision has announced that The Raconteurs and Jimi Hendrix will make up two of the first infusions of downloadable content for Guitar Hero World Tour next month.

Guitar Hero: Metallica confirmed

Guitar Hero: Metallica confirmed

Trailer says it's due next year.

The next single-band version of Guitar Hero has been confirmed as Guitar Hero: Metallica, and given a 2009 release date.

Confirmation comes via a short teaser trailer that's an unlockable Easter egg in the latest release in the series, Guitar Hero World Tour.

The teaser first appeared on YouTube last week, and Gamespot has now confirmed its authenticity and uploaded it for you to view.

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Problems with Guitar Hero drums?

Sensitive subject.

If you've read this morning's Guitar Hero World Tour review, then you already know how much we like the new RedOctane drums - but with the game now on sale across the pond, a few early adopters are reporting problems.

Guitar Hero World Tour

Guitar Hero World Tour

Fret management.

Master recordings may be the norm these days, but there's still a sense that Guitar Hero World Tour is an "As made famous by..." The Rock Band series is now two games and many dozens of downloadable songs deep, and developer Harmonix, having abandoned the Guitar Hero series it designed and launched to work on Rock Band with MTV, was the first to present this formula - two Guitar Hero-style inputs, drums and vocals - to the public.

But when Harmonix went off to work with MTV, it left more than the interface behind. RedOctane, now part of Activision, has always made the best Guitar Hero peripherals, and after widely publicised problems with the first run of Rock Band instruments, RedOctane and Guitar Hero World Tour's developer Neversoft hope that the game's alternative range will provide sufficient ammunition to reassert Guitar Hero's lead in the battle of the band game brands.

To begin with, the new wireless guitar peripheral introduces a slider bar halfway down the neck, which performs a similar function to the Rock Band guitar's solo buttons, allowing players to tap without strumming for certain note sequences. It's touch-sensitive though, so tapping is unnecessary. As the name suggests, you just slide, and once it clicks it's the most intuitive and satisfying attempt to expand on the Guitar Hero tradition yet. Those with older guitars can tap the fret buttons without strumming for the same effect, which is only mildly less engaging.

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Logitech unveils ridiculous GHWT guitar

Logitech unveils ridiculous GHWT guitar

Authentic materials, 250 dollars please.

Peripheral perfectionist Logitech has unveiled a ridiculously lavish guitar for Guitar Hero World Tour.

This Premiere Edition peripheral features a wooden neck, rosewood fingerboard, metal frets, metal tuning pegs, a one-piece contoured shape and crimson body.

More importantly, for us at least, are quiet buttons - using some noise-reducing rubber keyboard technology - and a touch-sensitive neck slider.

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New Oasis album for Guitar Hero

Out next year, track pack next month.

Not to be outdone the promise of Nirvana DLC for Rock Band, Activision has announced some Oasis DLC for Guitar Hero World Tour.

GHWT launch DLC exclusives clarified

GHWT launch DLC exclusives clarified

Actually it's only REM.

Yesterday we reported that Guitar Hero World Tour's Xbox 360 buyers would find themselves with exclusive buying rights for a range of downloadable music from 30th October, but Activision has now clarified that account.

Speaking to MTV Multiplayer, the publisher said that only the REM Track Pack, featuring songs from the band's new album, Accelerate, will be exclusive to the Microsoft format for the first two weeks.

The other songs, by Boston, Foreigner, Rick Springfield and Blind Melon, will be available on PlayStation Network at the same time.

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GHWT launch DLC exclusive to X360

GHWT launch DLC exclusive to X360

For two weeks, anyway.

Activision has announced plans to release a bunch of premium downloadable content for the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero World Tour during its first week of release. (UPDATE: Activision has clarified the original release, which was slightly ambiguous. Only the REM content mentioned below will be 360-exclusive. Original story continues below in tragic error.)

Songs from REM, Boston, Foreigner, Rick Springfield and Blind Melon, along with a pair of original Guitar Duel tunes, will all be exclusive to 360 for two weeks from 30th October, and then sold on PlayStation Store as well.

Activision has still yet to confirm the Guitar Hero World Tour release date for Europe, but our money's on 7th November.

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Full Guitar Hero: World Tour set-list

All 86 launch tracks set in stone.

Activision has finally concreted the list of 86 songs to be available on the Guitar Hero: World Tour disc that launches in October. So hopefully they'll stop sending us 15 press releases a week. We hate Sting.

Ted Nugent joins Guitar Hero: World Tour

Gun-toting teetotal rocker is playable.

Ted Nugent, the rocker that likes to shoot animals but doesn't drink or do drugs, has become the latest rock star to join the ranks of Guitar Hero: World Tour.

Guitar Hero: World Tour

Rocking all over the lounge. Again.

Thanks to Guitar Hero: World Tour, we had to listen to Michael Jackson's Beat It blare out across the Leipzig business centre approximately 149 times per day for the entirety of Games Convention, interspersed occasionally with a brief rendition of Livin' On A Prayer. The former, at least, actually turns out to be quite decent typing music, so thanks for that, Activision!

Kramer, Motorhead, Pistols for GHWT

Re-recordings included on soundtrack.

Activision has announced that MC5's Wayne Kramer, Motorhead and The Sex Pistols have all re-recorded songs for Guitar Hero World Tour.

GH dev mocks Rock Band cymbals

Reveals plans for new drum controls.

It was never going to be pretty - and with Guitar Hero World Tour set to go head to head with Rock Band 2 this autumn, the rock 'n' roll royal rumble has begun in earnest.

GH dev "thinking about" keyboard game

But extra peripheral chatter was untrue.

Guitar Hero: World Tour developer Neversoft is "thinking about" a music game built around a keyboard, according to project director Brian Bright.

Play as your Miis in Guitar Hero

Plus Euro-specific songs in World Tour.

Activision has announced a special Mii Freestyle mode for the Wii version of Guitar Hero World Tour and unveiled a number of exclusive tracks for inclusion in the European versions of the upcoming Legends of Rock sequel.

360 instruments also cross-compatible

Guitar Hero and Rock Band learn to share.

Microsoft has said Xbox 360 instrument peripherals for Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Revolution will all be compatible across all three games.

Rock Band 2 instruments work in GH4

As do Konami drums, SingStar microphone.

Sony has been working with the makers of Guitar Hero World Tour, Rock Band, SingStar and Rock Revolution to ensure PS3 instrument peripherals will work across all of those titles.

"Beat It" confirmed for Guitar Hero 4

Show them who's funky.

Another heap of songs have been confirmed for Guitar Hero World Tour, including "Beat It" by Michael Jackson.

Word comes by way of Stuff magazine (read by Joystiq) which previewed a recent build of the game.

All but three of the 14 tracks mentioned had previously appeared in leaked document said to contain the entire set list for Guitar Hero World Tour.

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Beatles-themed game on the way?

Multimillion-dollar deal being discussed.

According to a Financial Times report, representatives for the Beatles are talking to both Activision and MTV, the owners of Guitar Hero and Rock Band respectively, about creating a "Beatles-themed game".

FeatureGuitar Hero World Tour

Chord progression.

It says something pretty significant when some of the most exciting and promising innovations in the music business are coming straight out of the videogames industry.

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.

Guitar Hero World Tour on stage at D6

Looks as much like Rock Band as you'd expect.

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick was on stage yesterday at the Wall Street Journal's D6: All Things Digital conference in California, and took the opportunity to introduce the next big thing for the Guitar Hero series - namely, of course, the addition of drums and vocals to the band.

Neversoft talks World Tour

"Drumming as it should be."

What are the chances? With EA ready to roll out the Rock Band European tour in two days, Activision - by stunning coincidence - chooses this week, this very day in fact, to tell the world all about its own seismic new entry into gaming's great battle of the bands. It's 1995 and Blur vs. Oasis all over again. (Country House is still rubbish, by the way [But it won - Ed]).

FeatureDef Leppard's Rick Allen

Talks Guitar Hero, heroin and GTA IV.

The one-armed drummer out of Def Leppard has just offered to make me a cup of tea. He's making himself one anyway, but still. I've interviewed some top celebrities in my time - Keith Chegwin, Phil 'The Power' Taylor, the man who did the engine sounds for MotoGP 2006. All stars in their own right, but none of them belongs to an internationally famous rock band that has sold 65 million records over the course of its 30-year career. Unlike Rick Allen. And unlike Rick Allen, none of them has ever offered to make me a cup of tea.