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Activision's latest rhythm rocker abandons traditional Halloween release window to get a one-week jump on The Beatles: Rock Band.

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Activision's latest rhythm rocker abandons traditional Halloween release window to get a one-week jump on The Beatles: Rock Band.

The Guitar Hero franchise has traditionally seen flagship installments launch right around Halloween in the US, with Guitar Hero III and World Tour coming in about a week before and Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero II about a week after. However, such will not be the case with Guitar Hero 5. Activision Blizzard has revealed through the game's official Web site that the latest four-piece rhythm game will take to the main stage on September 1, exactly one week before archrival The Beatles: Rock Band strums its opening tune on September 9.

Along with revealing a release date, the Guitar Hero Web site also offered the first details on Activision's 5 Tickets, 5 Concerts sweepstakes. As its name implies, the sweepstakes offers gamers the chance to win five tickets to five different concerts. Players are tasked with sleuthing out the answers to a number of band-centric clues that can be found through various Web sites, blogs, and TV shows.

Guitar Hero 5 will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and PlayStation 2. The game will include 85 new master recordings, with songs thus far announced including The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," The White Stripes' "Blue Orchid," Tom Petty's "Runnin' Down a Dream," Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," and Kings of Leon's "Sex on Fire."

As with World Tour, Guitar Hero 5 lets gamers accompany playable tunes on the guitar, bass, drums, or microphone. The publisher is also lifting the restriction on the one-instrument, one-player rules that have defined the series. Instead, rhythm rockers will be able to use any combination of instruments for any given song, with Activision giving the example of two guitars and two sets of drums rocking out together.

Activision has also said that all Guitar Hero World Tour downloadable content will be compatible with Guitar Hero 5. The publisher also said that all-new features introduced with Guitar Hero 5 will be retroactively applied to tunes from the older game.


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