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Activision snaps up RedOctane

Guitar Hero to go next-gen?

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.

They haven't revealed how much cash has changed hands, but we do know that RedOctane will continue to operate out of its offices in Sunnyvale, California, with the management team and "key employees" staying on.

Guitar Hero, for those who don't know, comes complete with a guitar-shaped controller and lets you rock out to more than 30 music tracks. The sequel, which is due to go on show at E3 this week, will feature an even bigger and quite possibly better selection of songs, plus some other stuff they'll only hint at so far.

The question is, are we likely to see a Guitar Hero game on next-gen consoles any time soon? Around, say, November, perhaps? Well, quite possibly, judging by comments from Activision bigwig Ron Doornink. He reckons there are "many potential extensions and new platform exploitations" to be had, adding: "We think the online capabilities of the next-generation platforms offer new and well differentiated opportunities to create additional revenues from downloadable music, which today represents one of the most popular downloadable content categories."

In other words, we might just see an online service which lets you buy and download Guitar Hero tracks as and when you please - much like the 'SingStore' that players of SingStar PS3 will be able to access, as Phil Harrison informed us at Sony's pre-E3 press conference.