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Activision: Guitar Hero III still a contender

In the face of Rock Band, Activision seemingly has an uphill battle on its hands with Guitar Hero III. As one of our blogging buddies on Joystiq put it, "if you have Rock Band and a guitar, you already have Guitar Hero." Naturally, the addition of more instruments would seem to expand this value even further. According to Activision Senior VP of Marketing, Will Kassoy, however, Guitar Hero III is not down and it's certainly not out. First of all, Kassoy notes that Harmonix (developers of Rock Band and previous GH games) are experienced in software, not hardware. In other words, the Rock Band peripherals may not stand up to the standards set by Red Octane. A little more on point, Kassoy notes that the two games are likely to have a very large price disparity, with Guitar Hero III on the winning end of the spectrum. This makes much more sense, although it's somewhat mooted by the fact that Rock Band will support Guitar Hero II controllers. Still, there is no denying that the cost of entry for GHIII is lower than aiming for the full experience of Rock Band, and that may work in Activision's favor.

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1. They sure are trying to underplay the fact that you can buy Rock Band with just a guitar.

Bam, you've got a better team making your game and you spent the same amount of money. Suck it.

Posted at 5:34PM on Jul 17th 2007 by Tim

2. I can see GH3 doing better, just because I can't think of a lot of people willing to sing other than in the shower. The drums though sound fun. But if I was to play the guitar, then I'd rather just save the money and get GH3.

Posted at 5:39PM on Jul 17th 2007 by Bishop

3. Personally, I predict most people who will buy Rock Band / GHIII, will buy the other game out of curiosity.

It's like FPS games. I bought CoD2, and later picked up CoD3 to see how it compared.

Though I understand not everyone has the ability to throw around cash. That being the cause, GHIII, simply from word of mouth (Ignoring how true it is) will be thought of as "cheaper". People like cheap. Just look at the Wii.

Just my $0.02.

Posted at 6:03PM on Jul 17th 2007 by Kritz

4. I think Rock Band is going to be more interesting and innovative than guitar hero 3. All they have added is that battle mode which looks interesting but chances are you'll never finish a song because someone will fail out with all those power-ups going around. I already have 2 guitar hero controllers so all I really need is the drum set (I don't want the mic). The drum gameply looks like it's going to be a lot of fun and it will actually help your music ability. Harmonix keeps on saying that if you can play the drums on expert, than you can play the drums in real life. Also, since MTV is working with Harmonix, tey are going to be able to get a lot more big names (they already got Metallica, a band that they had tried to get for Guitar Hero I & II and failed) and not to mention new content every week including full albums. What more could you ask for.

Posted at 6:17PM on Jul 17th 2007 by Daniel

5. That's a pretty weak argument... nitpicking over pricing and spreading some nonsensical FUD over hardware quality.

If that's the best argument Activision can offer in defense of GH3, they're in more trouble than they know. It says to me they can't compete on features and gameplay so they're resorting to mud-slinging.

And by the way, Activision is in no position to comment on hardware quality after the 360 Xplorer. In my circle, the Xplorer has a nearly 50% failure rate, mostly because of cheap components and/or shoddy assembly.



Posted at 6:24PM on Jul 17th 2007 by Hey Apples

6. just to be sure....GHIII is still compatible with GHII guitars right?

Posted at 6:25PM on Jul 17th 2007 by mark

7. Personally it's all going to come down to the songs available for the game. As of right now GHII announceds songs are looking a whole lot better then any of the Rock Band clips we've seen floating around the tubes in the few months. As made famous by Metallica may be enough to swing me so who knows.

Posted at 6:27PM on Jul 17th 2007 by puffin

8. Well, I'd probably like to get Guitar Hero II and Rock Band with just the guitar. That way, I can get something from the Guitar Hero side on my 360, but also get the greater bands (The Who, David Bowie, Blue Oyster Cult, etc.) Of course, if either of the games has AC/DC and the other doesn't, I'll definitely get the one with AC/DC.

Posted at 6:36PM on Jul 17th 2007 by Trogdor

9. Haha, really? GHIII must be a crap product if the spin control is starting now...

I don't remember Konami whining like this when the DDR clones started.

Posted at 6:38PM on Jul 17th 2007 by AoE

10. If they think there so good why haven't they told us the songs yet!?!

Posted at 6:40PM on Jul 17th 2007 by Cal

11. You know, I never considered GHIII to be out of contention. Yes, Rock Band is good, but they have an uphill battle against the huge amount of momentum that Guitar Hero has built up over the years.

Posted at 6:47PM on Jul 17th 2007 by FiredCylinder

12. People seem to forget something: ROCK BAND WILL NOT HAVE THE SONGS IN GUITAR HERO 3. Rock Band won't have Rock You Like A Hurricane, or School's Out, or Paint it Black, or Knights of Cydonia, or The Metal. Honestly, if you don't mind spending the extra money, there isn't much of a reason not to have both. Especially since both games' guitars will more than likely be compatible with each other.

Posted at 6:53PM on Jul 17th 2007 by Banana Kid

13. Wow, there are some pretty uneducated comments above, let me break it down for you all:

@2: You can play with the same guitars, and not play any other parts of the game. So basically, you can buy the software alone and play with your existing GH2 controller. So the price tag will be THE SAME.

@7: Not 'as made famous by Metallica'. it's 'As Performed by Metallica'. i.e.: They're not using covers, it's the original master tracks.

@11: You do have a point, but that 'uphill battle' is simply for the point of view of people who do not know about Rock Band. The game is developed by the same guys who made Guitar Hero great, so they're the one we know will give us quality, so GH3 should in fact be the contender.

For most people it won't matter since they just don't know about the switching in developers and all that junk, but if Rock Band put out a good advertising campaign, it might turn it around.

Posted at 6:58PM on Jul 17th 2007 by Mathieu Bonin

14. A lot of people either don't know or don't care that Neversoft had to build Guitar Hero III from scratch.

Now I don't know if anyone is a fan of Neversoft, but the last good game they made was Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2.

The way I see it, GHIII has the uphill battle. That's just my perspective though.

Posted at 7:06PM on Jul 17th 2007 by Tim

15. I will buy both of them

I'm an avid guitar hero fan (introduced the rhythm genre to me) and...i just want more songs.

I've got a feeling that because guitar hero 3 was coded frm scratch...its instantly going to feel..."Different" to a guitar hero 1/2 veteran. I just know its going to be slightly "off" and many fans wont like that about it. I mean its just an inevitability of creating a whole game from scratch based on its predecessor.

Oh and GH3 is adding all this boss mode/powerup bullcrap that doesn't need to be there AT ALL. Gimmicks ftl.

I will get GH3 for the new songs though and to try it out ofc.

What i am REALLY looking forward to is playing drums in rock band. I dabbled in drums a small amount in my younger years and while i was never very good, i still wanted to play.

Now rock band's drum setup wont teach you how to do roll's or any other techniques like that, but its definitely close enough to the level of co-ordination needed to play actual drums...which is fantastic. I can seriously forsee people actually gaining the ability to play a solid drumline...just by playing rock band.

I seriously cant wait to rock out on the rock band drumset. Having the added bonus of two of my mates playing guitar with me is just freekin gravy (screw that mic though, singstar ftl).

As a complete perfectionist as well (every song in GH history 5 starred), i'm sure i wont stop perfecting my drum technique until i've achieved the same on drums. I seriously just cant wait for that drum setup.

Come to think of it...Screw GH3, gief rock band xD

Posted at 7:51PM on Jul 17th 2007 by Niyx

16. I will most likley get both:(

With Rock band I want the guitar and the mic. I like to sing, and the concept of the other 5 buttons on the guitar for greater skill levels is something I have been requesting from Harmonix since GH1.

There will be songs on gh3 I want as well.
Like I said, I'll get it, however, the fact that its being developed by a different team and the pricing for the DL content is still basically on Activision.For that they are on the top of my shit list.

As far as these claims go from Activision in this topic, they sound like voices of concern.
Activision is the fat bald guy trying to convince Arnold he is having a vivid dream, and Arnold can see him sweating.

Posted at 8:00PM on Jul 17th 2007 by ccc

17. I think that the name "Guitar Hero" is enough to help it be successful. People have heard of it and many have played it. I am more interested in Rock Band and that is the only one I will be getting. I think Rock Band has a chance to be extremely popular if they get the name out.

Posted at 8:31PM on Jul 17th 2007 by jharr

18. I have reserves at Gamestop for both games. I'm getting the wireless guitars for both and the drums and mic for Rock Band.

I love Guitar Hero 1 & 2 and will take as much rocking videogames as I can get.

Posted at 8:49PM on Jul 17th 2007 by Hoffer

19. "In other words, the Rock Band peripherals may not stand up to the standards set by Red Octane."

What that fisher price toy they call a guitar. Cmon Activision! GHIII is out for me this time around. I like Rock Bands Software and Hardware better.

Posted at 9:43PM on Jul 17th 2007 by Sircolby45

20. Hi X3F crew. I'm invadin' yo turf!

Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360 already proved that there are tons of people willing to shell out $90 bucks for a music title. Now come back around and offer them a guitar, a drumset and an insane track listing for about $130 and watch no one flinch.

This is how I see it going.

PS2: GH3 sells more than RB on 360 and PS3 combined due to install base.
Wii: GH3 does well, but not as well as folks expect. It's a 3rd party title, after all.
X360: GH3 over RB at launch, but over the holiday RB crushes it.
PS3: RB over GH3 by a wide margin. This is PS3 owners first chance to own the series and a guitar (remember, PS2 guitars are incompatible) and when they're faced with the initial cost of both games, Rock Band is simply a much more appealing package.

Over time, however, Rock Band is practically guaranteed to topple Guitar Hero for reasons that will become clearer as we get closer to launch. OoOoOoh~ ;)

Posted at 9:47PM on Jul 17th 2007 by Jared

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