Guitar Hero "leaping forward" in Q4, On Tour DS bundle confirmed

Activision execs tell analysts it's two weeks away from revealing a "significant innovation" for its billion-dollar rhythm franchise; Nintendo bundling handheld with first portable edition.

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Earlier today, Activision reported nearly $3 billion in earnings for its 2008 fiscal year. The company called out Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as being the number one game in terms of revenue in the US and Europe during the 12 months before March 31, 2008. It also promised more profits from the franchise, thanks in part to the forthcoming June 29 release of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith for the Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3.

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During a conference call with analysts afterward, Activision publishing president Mike Griffith also talked up Guitar Hero: On Tour, the first iteration of the game for the DS. "[It's] a breakthrough peripheral-based game for the Nintendo DS that brings the Guitar Hero experience to the 41 million DS users in North America and Europe so they can play Guitar Hero anywhere, anytime," said Griffith.

Then, he revealed the game--previously announced only as a $49.99 stand-alone edition (pictured), will also be available bundled with the DS hardware itself. All three versions of the game will launch on June 22. "Nintendo has been impressed with [On Tour's] innovation," he said.

Speaking of innovation, Griffith also used the conference call to drop a massive tease about what's in store for the Guitar Hero franchise. "For the holiday, we'll provide a significant leap forward in innovation for Guitar Hero worldwide on all platforms including the PS3, PS2, Xbox 360, Wii, and again on the DS," he said cryptically. "We'll provide more information detailing this specific innovation in a couple weeks."

Later, an analyst asked Griffith directly if Activision was considering adding other instruments to the Guitar Hero franchise soon, or if the publisher was "still in wait-and-see evaluation mode." The executive demurred, saying, "We've put a lot of additional development resources, a lot of additional music licenses resources, a lot of additional hardware supplier resources against the title to fuel growth over next year. We're excited by the increased musical content and innovation we're bringing. We do expect a leap forward in innovation with our holiday launch, and we're about two weeks away from providing very specific details on that."

Still, Activision's vagueness is odd, given the fact its CEO, Bobby Kotick, recently stated publicly that the publisher was planning to bring both instruments and vocals to the Guitar Hero franchise.

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Vaan99X

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I read some of the song names in Nintendo Power the other day and they didn't seem too bad. That's not really the point though, it's just the fact of being able to play Guitar Hero where ever you want that makes me want to buy it. I just hope they do a good job on it and add in co-op quick play like in GH2, where you and a friend play together choosing from rhythm, lead, and bass guitar. If they don't do that then I don't think it'll be as fun as it could have been.

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Dan-Erik

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I really have a hard time convincing myself that the big leap forward will be more instruments. Sure thing, more instruments are coming, but that wouldn't surprise anyone. The PR department intercoursed up badly if that's the great innovation.

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shockster4life

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yea i wouldn't mind a turntable

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Zarroc96

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Guitar Hero 4 @ Christmas!

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Super_Amanda

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"necronaux Guitar hero for DS... 6 strings vs. 4 buttons, be interesting to see how the songs translate into game-play." As if 5 buttons comes close to simulating 6 strings and at least 20 frets. Whats the damn difference?

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schmiede

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[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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necronaux

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Guitar hero for DS... 6 strings vs. 4 buttons, be interesting to see how the songs translate into game-play. I've read that you can use the mic to 'blow-out' pyro tech that gets out of hand, and you can use the stylus to 'sign' autographs. This release could be huge (take that Sony PSP). Whoa. Game's not even out for DS and they're planning on releasing a 2nd version by x-mas?

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jcloverboy

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Custom Songs what I was goona say ;) Upload a song and the game determines the notes to be played...do that and you win. But if you do that no one needs a 5th, 6th, 7th GH so it ain't gonna happen.

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Imperator209

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I'm really hoping that the innovation is the ability to make custom songs

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JaMeS4418

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I bet the "innovation" will be an improvisation mode or extra instruments to compete with rock band

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Omega_Zero69

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if i see that this game is cool and has cool songs then i will get a ds and buy this game

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IgNIght

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If they can get Led Zeppelin, I don't care if they make a rip-off of rock band. Zomg, guitar hero with singing. Just get some good music and it will sell.

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doodj1

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i want a keytar periferal

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matty_sen

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i demand guitar hero: bloc party!!

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polsci1503

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You can innovate in whatever interesting ways you can come up with, but please, no boss battles in GH 4.

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ScionofEntropy

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It's good to see more coming to Guitar Hero, but I hope they manage to do it in a unique way that doesn't feel like a direct rip of Rock Band while still being somewhat similar to it. It is a little funny to see Activision and Harmonix say that there isn't much competition between them, though, when there really is a strong rivalry going.

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S2333

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Its either going to be an effects pedal or something completely random. I reckon a DJ or Keyboard going along with a guitar would be awesome. More plastic to leave around the house!

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supersmashseal

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Imagine: Guitar battles with dave mustaine, kirk hammet, and dimebag darrell drum battles with neil peart, john bonham, and nicko mcbrain vocal battles with david draiman, steve perry, and freddy mercury and bass battles with...well, do bassists really matter? i guess maybe gene simmons, i dont no sounds great but i be able to afford it

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str8_messy

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but i dont think they will copy rock band. what about the dj and keyboard license they had. but the drums they prolly will have.

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str8_messy

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ya i just like plain old guitar neways. i mean honestly i played rockband and i hate when my friends sing cuz they suck then i start laughing lol and the drums are annoying too. just straight banging. dont get me wrong rock band is pretty fun with friends but i just like playing the guitar on there neways.

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GatCloudX

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50 bucks for a ds game poop

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Fridge-Raider

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I dont mind the idea of bringing more instruments to guitar hero. but if they do they should just get rid of guitar hero and have the same idea for a different game (that they should make with the same idea) and have the guitar the same as guitar hero.

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Pinkyimp

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come on this isint drum,mic,guitar,bass hero, its GUITAR hero!, just leave it at that we dont need another overpriced stupid band simulator in our houses one guitar and 40-60 songs, thats IT! oh and cant wait for GH on tour wooooo

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ColdfireTrilogy

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If they bring instruments and vocals to GH then .... its not GH ... its like Music Hero and its like .... LAME

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resident_rozza

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Why add vocals and drums to a game called "Guitar Hero" ?surely the whole point of that game is that you play guitar? Well, whatever Activision think will boost sales, i guess :S

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trw534

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cool guitar hero 's awsome

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SethandJeremy

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Its awesome that they will bring out two guitar heroes on the ds.

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AsianGammer94

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The game is little pricy wouldn't you agree?

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MatthewNintendo

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Lets just drop to who ripped off who thing here. Harmonix didn't exactly invent the vocal aspect of the game, so everyone uses everyone's ideas, get over it. Both games are good and bad in different ways. GH3 is more of a challenge for guitar sections but rock band is a better party game. But Rock Band is far too expensive in the UK whilst GH3 was more affordable.

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MonkishGamer

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What's the big deal if anybody ripped anybody off? The game's been published, and it sold, none of you can change that. We don't accuse Insomniac for "ripping off" Nintendo for platformers.

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hazuki

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People are saying rock band is a rip off of guitar hero? Wrong. All of these series are rip offs of guitar freaks. At least rock band did combine everything into one, meaning it took many rip offs, and put them into one. Somewhat innovative. Guitar hero just simply ripped guitar freaks off.

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Sethran

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@acidrain1976 How can it be a ripoff if the people who made Rock Band (Harmonix) are also the people who made Guitar Heroes 1 and 2?

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MonkishGamer

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I honestly don't care about vocals or other instruments coming to GUITAR hero, if you wanna do that, stick with Rock Band, I like it just the way it is. Stick with the guitar, and Activision will be just fine.

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acidrain1976

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@XCESS_MOJO: Yeah, but Rock Band is a ripoff of Guitar Hero to begin with...

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XCESS_MOJO

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song list anyone? if they bring drums and vocals to the guitar hero franchise, i will never play it again because it will be a ripoff of rock band

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ctg867

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What I hope, is that Guitar Hero IV takes the band experience that Rock Band had, except it keeps what differed GH3 from RB last year, and continues to further itself in ways that will improve the series. Awesome guitar charts? Check. Stupid but funny story/cut scenes? Check. The most challenging music game there is? Check. Boss battles and some things that made it more like a game? Check.

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brickmanfalcon

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it would be innovation if they had...yes...Cowbell Hero! or Synth Hero! Or Head Band Hero! wait...that wasn't an instrument...

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Natdaddy

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Give me the song list, and we'll talk.

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D_Streetz

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ut oh... here come the haters :-\

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Get_Shorty

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Well no matter what it is it's going to break my F'n pockets. :- S

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pigman239

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i know what the big innovation is!! drums and vocals!! it's like some sort of game featuring a...rock..band...so to speak.

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TehPickle

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It irks me that you're all talking about how "Rock Band beat them to it" and "anyone interested in other peripherals will have Rock Band already" ... I'd like to point out that Rock Band is still as yet unreleased in the UK and other territories (and will be the most ridiculously overpriced game ever) !!! As far as North America is concerned, yes perhaps Guitar Hero is a little late to the party with new instruments, but a large majoirty of the rest of the world, we're STILL waiting, and with the price it's going to be sold at, we may just wait for Drum villain to make its move anyway.

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Decibyte

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Travis281, Steve was aware they split, he just said that they were able to get rock band out before the other hero games that were already called for before the split. He wasn't saying that they beat them to it in anyway other than getting a game with drums/vocals out before the other company. Read the entire post rather than three words if you're going to comment.

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Travis281

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steve04, Rock Band didn't beat them to it. Rock Band is made by the same people who made the first Guitar Hero games. Guitar Hero was just left to be fiddled with my another company.

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VirtualTofu

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I wanna rock! ROCK!!!!!

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play_old_games

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More instruments wouldn't be an innovation. More instruments would be an imitation.

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zeldafan1234

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what will be innovating would be the option to play any song in your music collection and to some how make it work and play right would be awesome

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steve04

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I dont think guitar hero is copying rock band. beofre they split, guitar hero had trade marked drum hero and dj hero. but since they split, rock band beat em to it. and guitar hero was heading in that direction anyways, so theres nothing to do but keep going. they know it will look like they copied, but theres no alternative. they got no choice now. but im glad. rock band is more fun, but guitar hero has always had awesome track lists. so i will hell of pick the rock band hero or whatever over the regular rock band.

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klugenbeel

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4quarters, But dude, what Rush's in Rio concert, or how about some Pink Floyd light shows, don't forget the other good guys out there too! ;-) Otherwise, i have to fully agree with the other stages you mentioned, those were some insane looking shows!!!! I love Guitar Hero and i love Rock Band, but man, Guitar Hero wins my heart over Rock Band anyday, their taste in music just seems far better and better intuned with my taste in music! :-)