E3 2008: GTA Chinatown Wars, more Guitar Hero rage on DS

[UPDATE] Take-Two and Rockstar's prized Grand Theft Auto franchise heads to Nintendo's portable this December; new GH: On Tour Decades also teased.

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In April, Take-Two and Rockstar Games shattered game-industry retail sales charts with the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. In just one week, the top-rated, epic-scale action adventure sold in excess of 6 million units, generating more than $500 million in revenues in the process.

So what happens when the best-selling franchise comes to one of the best-selling platforms of all time? That's what Nintendo and Take-Two would like to know. During the hardware maker's E3 Media & Business Summit press conference today, Nintendo's Cammie Dunaway announced that Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars will arrive on the Nintendo DS this December.

Dunaway was sparse on the details. However, the exec did note that the game will feature a custom game engine and feature an experience similar to the franchise's traditional Liberty City setting.

While this is Grand Theft Auto's first outing on the Nintendo DS, the franchise is far from a stranger to the handheld market. In 2005, Rockstar released Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories for Sony's PlayStation Portable. That release was followed in 2006 with Vice City Stories, also for Sony's PSP. Prior to those releases, the GTA series appeared on the Game Boy Advance with Grand Theft Auto Advance in 2004.

[UPDATE] GTA Chinatown Wars wasn't the only high-profile DS game to surface during Nintendo's press conference. Activision, who said yesterday that Guitar Hero: On Tour had shot to the top of the publisher's best-seller list in North America, announced that they would be following up that success with a new installment in the series for Nintendo's handheld.

Titled Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades, the game will make use of the four-button peripheral introduced with the original On Tour that plugs into the DS's Game Boy Advance slot. Nintendo and Activision were cagey on new songs or features, but the publisher did note that Decades will feature song-sharing support, where players with different versions of the game can play together.

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