Guitar Hero Adding Drums, Microphone

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Activision announced today that they are adding drums, a bass guitar and a microphone to the "Guitar Hero" video game. In a move predicted by columnist Todd Hargosh, this may help put the already popular game on a better footing to help it compete with chief rival Rock Band, which already has those instruments.

The new instruments will be part of the upcoming "Guitar Hero World Tour" game and will include the ability for two groups bands of four people each to compete against one another online. It will also do something that neither Guitar Hero or Rock Band has yet attempted, and that is letting players compose and play their own music.

Of course the game will come with plenty of well-known music, according to Activision. The game will feature songs from Van Halen, The Eagles, Linkin Park and Sublime, with every song being an original master track. There will be no cover versions allowed in World Tour.

The new title is slated for a fall release.

The "Guitar Hero" series has earned more than a billion dollars for Activision and has helped drive a 72 percent rise in the company's stock over the past 12 months. That compares to virtually flat performance in the shares of Activision's top rival Electronic Arts Inc (ERTS.O), which distributes "Rock Band" for MTV. Shares in Activision were up 19 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $32.82 in late morning trading on Nasdaq.

Activision did not say how much the new game and all the instruments will cost, but did confirm that there will be versions for the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3 and PlayStation 2.

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