Harmonix fine-tuning music creator

Rock Band purveyor says details will emerge soon about "full-on project" that lets players build their own songs a la Guitar Hero World Tour.

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From an innovation standpoint, MTV Games' Rock Band leapfrogged Activision Blizzard's Guitar Hero franchise last year, thanks to the inclusion of a drum kit and a microphone for vocals. Activision Blizzard hopes to return the favor with Guitar Hero World Tour, which sees Rock Band's new peripherals and raises them a Studio mode, the song-creation suite of tools that lets players lay down their own instrumental tracks and share them online.

So how is Harmonix taking the prospect of being one-upped by World Tour's Studio mode? First, they're assuming an unimpressed posture. "We've talked about doing a music creator," mused Harmonix public relations' John Drake in an interview with MTV's Multiplayer gaming blog. "We've actually done them before in other games that we've done, like in Amplitude and Frequency... We've done the whole MIDI-creation thing."

However, that isn't to say Harmonix doesn't have plans for a music-creation feature--or a full-fledged game--in the future. "We think we can do something really ambitious and really great that's going to speak across all the users of the game, not just hardcore users," continued Drake. "So Harmonix is going to do something great with it [music creation] down the road, we didn't want to rush it out and do it half-a****. This is definitely a full-on project for us. You'll hear more about it soon."

The music-creator-less Rock Band 2 is expected to arrive for the Xbox 360 in mid-September, with the PlayStation 3, Wii, and PlayStation 2 editions arriving later in the year. Guitar Hero World Tour is expected to go on the road--song creator and all--this fall for the Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii, and PC.

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