A virtual battle of the bands

Thu Oct 9, 2008 6:26am EDT
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By John Gaudiosi

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters Life!) - Wannabe rock stars will have a greater choice of instruments and songs to choose from as videogames like "Guitar Hero World Tour" and "Rock Band 2" introduce new features.

After selling 23 million units globally in less than three years and generating $1.6 billion at retail, Activision Blizzard's "Guitar Hero" franchise is expanding on October 26.

In addition to playing bass and guitar, "Guitar Hero World Tour" will feature a drum set and microphone for a four-player band experience on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii and PlayStation 2.

"Singing in 'Guitar Hero World Tour' gives people the chance to try out their voice, even if they're too scared to go on a real stage," Haley Williams, lead singer of Paramore, said at a recent press conference.

Williams, who provided motion-capture for her in-game avatar, appears along with other musicians like Ozzy Osbourne, Jimmi Hendrix, Sting and Ted Nugent.

Brian Bright, project director at "Guitar Hero World Tour" developer Neversoft, said a new feature called Music Studio enables gamers to compose, record, edit and share their own music online through GHTunes.

"We're going to reach a market that has never experimented with music software before," said Bright.

"It's going to be cool to hear all of the music that people create with the Music Studio in this game," added Williams.   Continued...

<p>Ozzy Osborne in "Guitar Hero World Tour". REUTERS/Handout</p>