Guitar Hero going multiplatform

Activision CEO tells investors to expect RedOctane's hit headbanging series "on every significant new format" starting next year.

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When Activision purchased RedOctane earlier this year, it made no secret that it wanted to extend the company's popular Guitar Hero brand, and talked about the series' potential on new platforms. Last month, the company confirmed that it would in fact be bringing out new Guitar Hero games beyond this fall's Guitar Hero 2 on the PlayStation 2, but concrete confirmation that the series would go multiplatform was limited to the realm of rumor.

That changed today as Activision CEO Robert Kotick dropped the news in a speech at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia XV Conference, confirming that the series would be arriving on new platforms next year.

"[Guitar Hero] was a great IP that was really in need of global distribution and the operating efficiencies that we could bring to what was a relatively small company," Kotick said. "The long-term opportunities here include all sorts of product extensions--music downloads that are very high-margin opportunities--and we'll start with the launch of Guitar Hero 2 for the PlayStation 2 this fall. And you can expect next calendar year launches of Guitar Hero on every significant new format."

While Kotick didn't spell it out, the breadth and depth of the publisher's support for the Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 certainly suggests that all three of those platforms count as "significant new formats" for the publisher.

To date, the only service with demonstrated music-download functionality is Xbox Live, which is currently featuring pop-ditty warbler Jessica Simpson as its "Artist of the Month." However, at its Electronic Entertainment Expo press conference earlier this year, Sony let it be known that it would be selling songs for the PlayStation 3 edition of its popular karaoke game Singstar on the PlayStation Network Platform.

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