X06: Guitar Hero II rockin' 360s

RedOctane's guitar-driven game takes next-gen stage on Xbox 360; downloadable content confirmed for Xbox Live.

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The X-Plorer controller.
The X-Plorer controller.

As music has made the generational leap from cassettes to CDs, so too will music games. RedOctane today announced that the sequel to its popular Guitar Hero game is going next gen on Microsoft's Xbox 360.

RedOctane and Activision, which paid almost $100 million to acquire RedOctane, conveniently timed the announcement with X06, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Vista powwow that's currently taking place in Barcelona, Spain. The game, along with RedOctane's new X-Plorer controller, will be shown off at the event.

The companies did not release any more details on the X-Plorer (shaped like and presumably named after the Gibson X-Plorer guitar), but the controller was built specifically for the Xbox 360. RedOctane did not state whether the X-Plorer was wireless or not. It is also unclear whether or not this is the Xbox 360's version of the wireless PlayStation 2 Guitar Hero controller that was listed on GameStop earlier this week.

Bringing Guitar Hero II to a new platform means some new features. As expected, Xbox Live Marketplace will serve as a cyber jukebox for Guitar Hero II.

"With its large integrated hard drive, Xbox 360 provides an incredible platform for facilitating downloadable content," said Dusty Welch, RedOctane's head of publishing. "We believe there is no better title to feature microtransactions than a music game like Guitar Hero II, where the content is the basis of your experience. The relationship with the Xbox Live Marketplace creates endless possibilities for exclusive content."

RedOctane has not announced a release date for the Xbox 360 version of the game, but Activision CEO Robert Kotick recently said that the franchise would hit new platforms next year. The PlayStation 2 version hits stores in early November.

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