Will Guitar Hero and Rock Band Overpower iTunes?

Earlier in the week on my own podcast I reported that Motley Crue’s New Single has been bought more by Rock Band users than iTunes 5 to 1. With over 15 million song Downloads on Guitar Hero, and Rock Band not too far behind with 10 million songs, it’s easy to see the potential here. But will it ever replace iTunes?

Guitar Hero is getting ready to put out their fourth revision of the software, called “World Tour”. It will truely rival Rock Band, for the game will also feature Vocals and Drums. The advantage is that not only will you be able to play popular songs from bands like the Eagles and Van Halen, but you will also be able to get songs by local artists as well as the ability to put together your own song tracks. The system is expected to release in October for $189.99 (for guitar, mic and drums), a “Guitar only” version and (if you don’t want the controllers) the game for $59.99

Rock Band, in the meantime, has not been slouching. It hasn’t been out as long as Guitar Hero, but it’s sales have been even more impressive since it decided to split up the package. I guess not everyone wants the drums…

Rock Band is also planning for a release of “Rock Band 2: Electric Boogaloo” this holiday season (I improvised on the “Electric Boogaloo” part – it’s the cheezy 80’s movie themes in me). From what I have seen, it too will have an option to put together songs and also will have instrument improvements. After all, how else are you going to buy the $200 version?

By the way – don’t expect the controllers to be cross-compatible or even backwards compatible for that matter. You’ll have to buy 2 of everything. The new Guitar Hero guitar will have more buttons on it, and the Guitar Hero drums will sport 3 pads, Bass drum pedal and 2 cymbals. Rock band only has 4 pads and Bass drum pedal.

Together, these two will feature downloads from PS3 and XBox360 sites at most likely hefty prices. I was suprised to hear that the Motley Crue Single was only 99 cents. In looking at the over 100 song libary, you could get music for either .99 or 1.99 and Track Packs for 6 dollars.

Other games and venues are also cashing in on this crossover opportunity. Grand Theft Auto IV has an option for you to buy the music you hear on Amazon. There are other “Guitar player” type games including a free game called “Frets on Fire” and Konami has gotten into the game with “Rock Revolution”, due out in October.

Ultimately, this is definitely showing the impact gaming has. Right now Motley Crue’s single is topping the Gamers’ charts. It’s also sending a message to iTunes, but I wouldn’t expect it to stay that way for long once the CD hits the mainstream media in June.It was a good marketing ploy on Crue’s part. They got a lot of press for a CD that hasn’t come out yet and will most likely be referenced for this feat in years to come.