Guitar Hero III Shocker... Coming to PC & Mac

The future rocker is coming to two new platforms. We talk to the game's producer to find out what will change.

by Micheal Mullen on Tuesday, September 11, 2007

On Tuesday morning, Aspyr Media and Activision announced that Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock will be released this fall for both PC and Mac.

Aspyr, best known for bringing games like Call of Duty 2 and The Sims 2 to the Mac along with the original Stubbs the Zombie, is handing the development for both games. Both versions will feature multiplayer battle mode, finger numbing boss battles and unlockable content. Packed with over 70 tunes, players will also access an expanded online multiplayer mode across either platform for the ultimate in competition.

"Working with such a wildly successful franchise and helping to strengthen an already powerful brand has us feeling like rock stars ourselves, only without the fame, money or musical talent," said Ted Staloch, Executive Vice President, Publishing for Aspyr. "But even without Slash's chops, we still have what it takes to bring the best music game on the planet to PC and Mac gamers. Aspyr's expertise in developing and publishing for these platforms means that we will deliver a game that wails just as hard as it does on consoles but feels natural on this audience's chosen platform."

"Providing the option for our fans to play Guitar Hero at their desk or on a laptop on the go is incredibly exciting, and we're thrilled to now offer the ability to rock out literally anywhere and everywhere," said Dusty Welch, head of publishing at RedOctane. "PC and Mac gamers can now shred as hard as their console counterparts do, and it's a great opportunity to help promote musicianship and expand the growing number of Guitar Hero fans worldwide."

Being excited about the news and having a few more questions about the upcoming game, we had a chance to ask Jay Gordon, Producer for Aspyr on Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for more information.

GameDaily BIZ: Since PCs tend to have smaller, yet sharper screens, has Aspyr had to make any graphical changes to accommodate the change in screen size?

Jay Gordon: We have added graphical options to accommodate various video cards and monitors, but otherwise remaining true to the console experience.

BIZ: The hardware is a major reason why players have gravitated to Guitar Hero, since it's easily to play and it just makes you look "cooler." Will the guitar be USB or wireless?

Gordon: The PC/Mac version of Guitar Hero III will ship with a Gibson model Guitar Hero guitar controller that will feature USB connectivity. More details on the exact model of Gibson Guitar we're shipping with will be available soon.

BIZ: When can we expect the game?

Gordon: Right now we are working toward a simultaneous ship with the console version. However, all of us in this business know that dates can slip, so we'll let you know when we're able to announce a ship date. We're quite certain that you'll see Guitar Hero III for PC/Mac in stores before the holidays.

BIZ: With the project, was this Activision that came up with the idea or something that Asypr pitched?

Gordon: Aspyr and Activision have a long-standing relationship collaborating on high-profile console titles porting to PC and Mac, so the idea to port Guitar Hero III was a naturally occurring topic during periodic discussions. And while some gamers have a PS2, PS3, Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii -- Everyone has a PC or laptop in their life. It was thus paramount to provide access to one of the most popular games ever on the most abundant interface, and what's more, considering laptops, to make Guitar Hero III a game you can take anywhere, with or without your guitar peripheral.

BIZ: Since this is the first PC/Mac based version of the game, how will new song packs be distributed to players? iTunes?

How we're going to deliver downloadable content to PC/Mac users is a big topic of discussion going on behind the scenes here. We hope to have a very exciting announcement soon.

BIZ: Are there any options to allow players to record their own tunes or their own custom riffs?

Gordon: We've heard this type of question quite a bit but the truth is that right now our only focus is creating the best Guitar Hero III PC/Mac port possible. PC and Mac gamers are going to expect the same level of quality as the console gamers and we want to deliver in a big way and get the game on shelves before the holidays. As such, we're not putting any tools in the game that will allow for modifications or additions, and we certainly can't support gamers making modifications or additions to the game or songs.

BIZ: We heard that this was being talked about in Austin last week. What types of feedback have you received?

Gordon: We've been talking to many people behind the scenes including retail partners and distributor partners. We have received great feedback. I mean, it's Guitar Hero III. When you partner with a brand of this magnitude and a game of this caliber people are of course going to be very excited to be a part of it.

What really has people excited is the flexibility that this game will offer. We will be offering gamers the option to play with their keyboard and mouse or keyboard alone. With this option gamers can play Guitar Hero III "on the go" on their laptop (imagine plugging in your headphones and shredding on a long plane or car ride), or play multiplayer modes with a friend if there is only one guitar available. Keyboard support is also nice for much younger gamers whose small hands might not fit around a guitar controller neck just yet. To make it even more flexible, we're giving players the option to remap the keys however they see fit.

BIZ: Will Aspyr be doing publishing too or just development?

Gordon: Aspyr will be publishing Guitar Hero III for PC/Mac and our development group, Aspyr Studios, is working furiously to finish the game.

BIZ: Do you have a list of minimum specs yet?

Gordon: Not yet. We're still in the midst of compatibility testing, but we should have those available in the very near future. What we can say is that we're working very hard to make sure that Guitar Hero III for PC/Mac is as accessible as possible to the greatest number of PC and Mac owners.

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