GH: World Tour shreds new guitar, songs

Activision and Neversoft confirm rumors of "touch strip" guitar neck for Guitar Hero holiday edition; Billy Idol, Foo Fighters, Sublime, Linkin Park, Van Halen, and The Eagles on board.

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Guitar Hero World Tour (2008)
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This week began with a torrent of rumors purported to have come from market-research firm Intellisponse. Although all parties involved in the leak were quick to brush off the info as far-from-finalized ideas, solid confirmation of the particulars continues to flow in through more valid channels. Today, Activision officially popped the lid on Guitar Hero: World Tour details, and as rumored, the franchise's titular instrument is in for a makeover.

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During a press briefing this week, Activision and developer Neversoft took the stage with the third proper sequel to Guitar Hero, and gave in-depth looks at many of the previously teased new features. Though the three-pad, two-cymbal drum kit has been known for some time, the game makers showed off World Tour's new guitar, which will feature a multipurpose "touch strip" that, among other uses, accommodates DragonForce-style finger-tapping solos and adds a distortion effect separate from the standard whammy bar.

As speculated following Gibson's rash of lawsuits earlier this year, those about to rock in World Tour will do so on a generic-model guitar that is slightly larger than the previous Guitar Hero axes. Activision also noted that previous Guitar Hero controllers will be compatible with World Tour.

As previously announced, all tunes in World Tour will be master tracks, and the game's creators also teased the first few tunes from its substantive roster. During the media briefing, Neversoft performed Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell," The Foo Fighters' "Everlong," and Sublime's "Santeria," and said that Linkin Park, Van Halen, and The Eagles would also lend tracks to the game. As per the Intellisponse leak, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Smashing Pumpkins, Korn, System of a Down, Ozzy Osbourne, Interpol, and Muse are also rumored to be part of that setlist, which will include roughly 85 songs in total.

Guitar Hero: World Tour is expected to hit its opening chord on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and Wii this fall. Pricing information has yet to be announced, but retailers and rumors peg the bundle at between $179 and $189.

For a more in-depth look at World Tour--including new info on rocker customization and song creation--check out GameSpot's still-simmering preview.

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