Product Launch: Guitar Hero III and Rock Band

We recently wrote about the record breaking success of the video game industry in 2007 and its very promising outlook for 2008. Two of the main reasons for that bright outlook are the recently released Guitar Hero III, by Activision, and EA's Rock Band.

We recently wrote about the record breaking success of the video game industry in 2007 and its very promising outlook for 2008. Two of the main reasons for that bright outlook are the recently released Guitar Hero III, by Activision, and EA's Rock Band.

The release of the games didn't only benefit the video game industry and the game's producers, they also had a positive effect on the retail sector, which needed a shot in the arm as the holiday shopping season got underway on Black Friday.

Guitar Hero III, launched in late October, is the third edition of the highly successful Guitar Hero franchise. Like its predecessors this version includes a guitar-shaped controller on which gamers play along to famous rock and roll hits. Reviews of the game have been mixed. Over at GamePro.com one reviewer likened playing the game to watching the second stage performers at a music festival. “You'll have fun, but you can't help but think that there's more entertainment to be had elsewhere,” writes Dave Rudden. On the flip side, Worthplaying.com gave the game an 8.9 out of 10. But this is one of those games where the reviews really don't matter because as expected it's doing very well generating first week sales of over $115 million.

Rock Band, which comes with a microphone, guitar, bass and drums, launched last week to both good sales and good reviews. MTV, one of the publishers of the game says it is flying off the shelves and during the Thanksgiving weekend it reportedly sold hundreds of thousands of copies. Blogcritics.org says the game is a far better experience than Guitar Hero III, and videogamemania.com boldly proclaimed that the only thing “missing is the heroin addiction.”

Both games seem to be off to a rockin' start, and that's good news for both retailers and the video game industry.

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