Guitar Hero going On Tour with DS?

Activision officially trademarks new title for mystery game--but is it the name of the mystery-shrouded portable edition of the billion-dollar franchise?

Source: The United States Patent and Trademark Office.

What we heard: Last February, leading third-party publisher Activision answered many Nintendo fans' prayers by revealing it was bringing the Guitar Hero franchise to the Wii and DS. Since then, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for the Wii has sold over 1.2 million copies in the US, adding over $110 million to the game's $490 million domestic take, roughly half of the franchise's billion-dollar worldwide haul.

But while the Wii owners are busy rocking out, DS players are wondering when they'll be able to take the popular rhythm game on the go. This month saw a possible answer to that question surface in the form of a January 19 filing with the USPTO. In it, Activision registered the title "Guitar Hero On Tour" for "computer game software and related instruction manual sold together as a unit." Given that the platform for said game is unspecified, speculation has sprouted that the game in question is the DS Guitar Hero--or a game comprised entirely of live recordings in front of concert hall audiences.

The official story: "You know we don't comment on rumors or speculation. :) Thanks for checking in though." -- An e-mail from a chipper-sounding Activision rep.

Bogus or not bogus?: Likely not bogus. The filing is with the USPTO, which makes it not only officially but also legally binding. Considering that "On Tour" implies mobility, it stands to reason that the new game the DS edition and not the latest in a series of console sequels--though an all-live-recording GH game is an appealing idea indeed.

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