X06: Guitar Hero II First Look

You'll soon be able to shred on the Xbox 360 with Guitar Hero II, and we have the details about the exclusive features of the game as well as the design of the new X-Plorer guitar.

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BARCELONA--One of the most surprising appearances made by a game at Microsoft's X06 event came from Activision in the form of Guitar Hero II, complete with an exclusive new controller designed for the Xbox 360. Activision had a couple of the guitars and copies of the game at the event to put on a show for us, and we didn't even have to elbow our way through crowds of sweaty music fans to get a spot right at the stage.

Many of the details of Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360 are still unannounced, but we were able to coax some informatin out of the Activision representatives at the event. The game will contain all the same content of the PlayStation 2 version that's shipping this November. In addition, there will be songs made available for download exclusively for the Xbox 360 version on Xbox Live Marketplace. There will also be a full set of achievements, but there are no details thus far about exactly what you'll need to do to earn those gamer points. Do you have what it takes to get 100 percent on Freebird on expert?

When asked about online co-op or versus play, the representative on hand could neither confirm nor deny the existence of multiplayer via Xbox Live. Given Microsoft's stance on online gaming, along with the number of Xbox 360 owners with Xbox Live accounts, it seems quite plausible that the game will feature some sort of online play. There's also no word yet on Xbox Live Vision camera support, but that too seems like a logical feature to add to the Xbox 360 version of the game.

The guitar controller at the show was prototype hardware, so the design and features have not been finalized. The unit had a white body with a gray neck, along with a whammy bar, a D pad, start and back buttons, and a guide button. The clicker is in the middle, and the five multicolored fret buttons are square rather than rounded on the bottom like the Gibson SG guitar controller for the PlayStation 2. The body of the guitar is modeled after the Gibson X-Plorer, with an elongated, pointed body shape. The guitar is about the same size as the SG and features a shoulder strap for comfortable play while standing. The representative playing the game mentioned that because of the narrow midsection of the body on the X-Plorer, there was less room to reach between the top of the guitar and the strum button. This is slightly different from the SG controller where you typically have to rest your entire hand on the face of the wide body of the guitar. Of course, you can still tip the guitar upward to activate star power. The prototype version on display was wired, but the representative we spoke to couldn't confirm whether or not there would be a wireless version available.

The game itself looks exactly like Guitar Hero 2, albeit in high definition. It looked bright and colorful running on the LCD displays at the show, although this certainly isn't a game you play for its visual appeal. The game retains the same sense of style, with the exaggerated rock-and-roll stereotypes performing crazy antics onstage, like lighting their guitars on fire. It doesn't seem like much of a stretch to assume that there will be some sort of downloadable avatars or guitars on Xbox Live Marketplace as well.

The pricing for Guitar Hero II has yet to be announced, and Activision is also keeping mum on the pricing of the Xbox Live Marketplace content. We also asked about available bundles, but the representative couldn't confirm whether or not there would be special bundles or guitars, such as the double SG bundle or the cherry red SG available for the PlayStation 2. The game is scheduled to ship sometime early in 2007, giving Xbox 360 owners a good reason to spend those holiday gift cards. We'll bring you more details about the game and the X-Plorer controller as they become available.

Discussion

73 comments
Haeden_Boy6
Haeden_Boy6

Wow, i am soo happy this is coming out for 360. I had a PS2 before i bought my 360 and i sold my PS2, and i was going to buy the PS2 back just to get Guitar Heros, so i am soo happy. Thank you Microsoft, once again beating Sony. And in responce to everyone talking about the similarites and differences between real guitar and guitar hero; they are two completly different things, however, if you are good at one or the other, those skills can cross over to the other.

GOWaddict55
GOWaddict55

IT NEEDS ONLINE CO-OP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

headbound
headbound

i hope the song downloads are free but you know they wont be...

Manuel5000
Manuel5000

I may not know if this is like playing a real guitar but who cares, its fun.

ShuuMutou
ShuuMutou

Guitar Hero for X360, didn't think this would happen. Not a fan of musical games, excluding Buzz of course but this may work anywho.

dan_3
dan_3

Halo man, guitar hero is a good strumming exercise, it certainly won't help with hits pull offs, shredding, chords, etc. but it does help strumming a lot, being an avid guitar player it was weird when I first started to play it, but after a few days it got good fun and fairly easy.

haloman1991
haloman1991

grey fox shut the hell up there are six strings on a real guitar and 5buttons on guitar hero o and on a real guitar theres over 15 frets soo shut up honestly because complicated strumming what ?!?!?!? its going up and down buddy ur such a retard

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

I disagree with those who say that playing guitar hero is nothing like playing a real guitar. It is true that easy and medium difficulties are much closer to being irrelevant rhythm games, hard and expert mode do a decent job of convincing you that you're playing a guitar. The left hand may only have 5 frets to choose from (and one "string"), but the right hand involves often-complicated strumming, and having experience playing a real guitar REALLY helps with that. Try "Tripping on a Hole in a Paper Heart" and tell me that it doesn't help to A) know the song and how it is supposed to sound and B) have experience with mute-strumming. I have played guitar for as long as i can remember, and in the early days of guitar games (Konami's arcade game Guitar Freaks) i was completely against the idea of fusing guitars and videogames, but Red Octane proved me wrong. Guitar Hero is here to stay.

Evanrocknuma
Evanrocknuma

That is true my uncle is a really good guitar player and when I showed him this game for the first time he had trouble with it for the first song or two. He did get good really fast though because he says it is like a guitar in one way and that is being able to ajust your fingering very quickly.

Rumpke
Rumpke

Could you imagine some of the songs they could use this time around? Think of Dragonforce "Through The Fire and The Flames" on expert, it would be near impossible, yet the game is so addicting you wont want to give up.

Huevo_Feo
Huevo_Feo

I agree, guitar hero is nothing like playing a guitar, but its fun. Its like DDR for your fingers :-)

SwirvyIrvy
SwirvyIrvy

Hang on a real guitar is compeltely different to this! It's like saying instead of playing DDR go to a disco. It's ust a bit of fun get over it! This games going to be fun and its good as it gets all the lazy gamers of their backsides and standing up and shredding :D

sonic1285
sonic1285

For the guy this said this game inspires people to play, you are exactly right, I play piano, I played GH1 and now I'm saving for a Stratocaster (Jimi FTW) also if you're 13 don't brag about how you can play Green Day, you're making a fool of yourself

xtrememorph
xtrememorph

this gonna be fun, finally some instruntment (err ..) to play with.. woo hoo

Burninator84
Burninator84

I think that all you guys who are saying go play real guitar instead of getting this game are just stuck-up a-holes who think they are better than everyone else. I'm a musician myself, and I'm going to school for music (Music Business to be precise) and I think that Guitar Hero is a great game, and I will be standing in line the day Guitar Hero II comes out, because it's FUN.

germanluke
germanluke

that sounds so kool... ive not properly played it on ps2, but i had a whiz on it in GAME and really liked it.... so ill have to get it for the 360... ROCK OOOOON!!

Lord_Gordman
Lord_Gordman

The game for ps2 I just got my 360 So I cant wait

andyt66
andyt66

I have a PS2 and a 360 but Guitar Hero 2 is going to have to be an essential for the 360...im a real acheivement junkie and im cross with sony since they have done us out of PS3 until next year... All in all its another string to the xbox bow

Minpindo
Minpindo

to anyone who thinks this will prevent people from playing real guitar, i think the truth is exactly the opposite. for a much lower price than beginning real guitar, people can get amazing rythm lessons from this. by the time one gets close to completing all songs on expert, they will want a guitar and in my opinion have a 1up on anyone who started with no music background at all.

redfop
redfop

sweet I was thinking about buying a PS2 just for these games but now... sweet

megamanx2870
megamanx2870

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Red_RAmar
Red_RAmar

LOL "realistic realism" WTF R U talkin' about Tay_Man?! I'm stoked about this game. This and the Ratchet games were the only thing I liked on PS2. + the guitar is cooler this time.

dedekmraz
dedekmraz

lol, i was just joking, sorry if i insulted you so much (don't know if this is the right word...-_-)... The_Tay-Man well...the best bands were playing most of best music about 20 years before computers came out....so you don't really NEED this game to be good... what i'm afraid of is that quite some ppl will play this game instead playing a guitar, and that is quite pity...

cloud0830
cloud0830

Awesome i was going to go out and buy a ps2 just to play guitar hero but now i can just play it on my xbox 360 overall it will be an amazing game

The_Tay-Man
The_Tay-Man

dedekmraz If you have your wish there will be MORE S*** bands that we have to but up at the locals concerts. Besides what your saying is like saying Stop playing Bull**** GTA and go out and kill someone. Games are about fun not realistic realism.

Bargy14
Bargy14

guitar hero is awsome, it seems like real life its sweeeeeeeeeeet thank you for bringing that into my life

kman219
kman219

dedekmraz do you even like rock? You disgust me Guitar Hero is the best rythm game EVER and oh how I hope that Guitar Hero comes out for the Wii!

ut40755
ut40755

i have to say, musicians look at this game like its for lazy nerds that dont want a real guitar, but i started to play bass and this game helps with timing and rythm soooooo much, and its fun just to play. i cant wait for this game. hopefully we will see some more metal :D

Shreves3716
Shreves3716

Hurry the hell out already... Can't wait to get this game when it comes out!!!

mthe1337one
mthe1337one

squirlnuts2005 i understand that MS is really trying to concentrate on next-gen now, but at least i would like to have seen the xbox go out with a bang like how the ps2 is doing now. it's not so much as my being mad......but i am disappointed.......

Master_Grinch
Master_Grinch

dedekmraz oh come on guys, go and play a real guitar, make a band, and don't play this bull****!!!!! I have a epiphone. Im in a band. And I play this "bull****" GH was one of the greatest rythum games ever created. GH2 will be 30 times better.

The_Weekend
The_Weekend

I can't wait for a DRUM hero to appear ... althought I know Drummania is out in the market already :)

dedekmraz
dedekmraz

oh come on guys, go and play a real guitar, make a band, and don't play this bull****!!!!!

Sidrat2004
Sidrat2004

The representative didn't seem to know much about final details did they??

TintedChimes
TintedChimes

YYYYYYYEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! I think I wet myself....and pooed.

sectorzero
sectorzero

Oh man, this game sounds awesome. Can't wait!

rocknrollmofo
rocknrollmofo

Damn, if that controller was a flying V, I would get an Xbox 360 in a second.

JOSEMHESTAND
JOSEMHESTAND

WELL THAT'S GREAT NEWS I WAS THINKING ABOUT GETTING A PS2 JUST TO PLAY GUITAR HERO, BUT NOW I AM NOT.HAHAHAHAHA!!!

CyberNeoLink_2
CyberNeoLink_2

incredibly awesome! too bad i have the first one on PS2 and a guitar so now i have to buy the 80 dollars GH 2 AND Another guitar so me and my bro can co op battle. this 1'll be better than PS2. LIVE DOWNLOADABLE SONGS!!!!1 B.Y.O.B!!!

Gamer6534
Gamer6534

Guitar Hero and Xbox Live is like a match made in heaven, kudos to microsoft for picking it up and for releasing it next year so I can get it on the PS2 and the 360.

timmage899
timmage899

@ fkholmes "meh"??? This is Guitar Hero!!!! And why even comment if all you have to say is "meh"?

sweetg23
sweetg23

judeep- also, the game is completely mapped out for the controls of the songs. you would pretty much only be able to play the music. there wouldnt be any guitra playing involved, because the computer wouldnt know what notes you're supposed to be hitting. but, it would be cool though.