Activision to bring "Guitar Hero" to Nintendo DS

SAN FRANCISCO Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:00pm EDT

Gamers test the game ''Guitar Hero III'' during the DigitalLife consumer electronics show in New York September 27, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Gamers test the game ''Guitar Hero III'' during the DigitalLife consumer electronics show in New York September 27, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Activision (ATVI.O) said on Thursday it will release a version of its "Guitar Hero" video game for Nintendo's 7974.OS DS, bringing its blockbuster musical series to the most popular handheld gaming device.

"Guitar Hero: On Tour" will include a plug-in accessory and mock guitar-pick to let players tap out notes on the device's screen in time with songs from bands like Nirvana, No Doubt and OK Go, the company said.

Activision said the game will come out this summer, but it did not disclose the price. A typical DS game costs $30, but the inclusion of a hardware accessory may push the price of "On Tour" over that.

"Guitar Hero" games for home consoles like Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) Xbox 360 have cost $80-$100, more than the $50-$60 that is standard, due to Activision's practice of bundling a guitar-shaped controller with the software.

The "Guitar Hero" franchise has racked up more than $1 billion in sales since the first game came out in 2005. Developing new variations of the franchise is a key priority for Activision as it vies with rival Electronic Arts Inc ERTS.O for dominance in the game publishing industry.

Nintendo's DS has been the best-selling piece of new gaming hardware for the last couple years. By the end of 2007, some 17.7 million units had been sold in North America alone.

Activision did not say if it was developing a version of "Guitar Hero" for Sony Corp's (6758.T) PlayStation Portable device, which had sold 10.5 million units in North America by the end of 2007.

(Reporting by Scott Hillis, editing by Richard Chang)

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