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Guitar Hero

By Michele Narup

During the past years video games have become a primary source of entertainment. People can play their favorite sports, race cars, shoot aliens, and do a variety of other exciting things whenever they so choose. Video games reached a new height recently with games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band. These titles have sold astonishing amounts and have introduced a new demographic to the wonderful world of gaming. The impact these games have had on the industry is by no means a temporary thing. The popularity for games such as Guitar Hero has paved the way for sequels and brand new rhythm-based titles.

Guitar Hero

Guitar Hero was first released in 2005 by Harmonix, but since then the franchise has been sold to Neversoft, makers of the Tony Hawk games and GUN. The move did not hurt the series’ earnings; as of the Guitar Hero III release in 2007 the series has reached earnings over $1 billion. The franchise has sold nearly 1.5 million copies to date, and the madness does not stop there. More Guitar Hero titles are in the works. Neversoft has announced they are currently working on Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, featuring all Aerosmith songs.

After Guitar Hero was sold to Neversoft, Harmonix started work on a new project. Rock Band was released in 2007, within weeks of Guitar Hero III. The game came out for PS2, PS3, and Xbox 360. Now players could choose to play guitar, bass, drums, or vocals. A nice step up from the limited selections of the Guitar Hero games. The company is also making new songs available for download weekly on the PS3 and Xbox 360 online stores.

As successful as the virtual instrument franchise has become, one gaming platform has been left in the cold. Nintendo has not seen very much of the traffic towards these games. The only current game of this type on the platform is Guitar Hero III. However, there does not seem to be any plans to make downloadable content for the Wii version.

Not to fear, Nintendo users, a new game is currently being developed just for you. Disney is working on Ultimate Band. The game is going to be similar to Rock Band and should be released during the 2008 holiday season for the DS and Wii. . Players will be able to play drums, guitar, or bass, but you won’t need to use extra equipment. There will also be the addition of a "front man" whose purpose will be to "pump up" the crowd, rather than focus on singing. Disney is working with some of the "biggest names in rock, alternative, pop, emo and indie rock music," to make the game as best as possible according to gamepro.com.