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GamerMetrics: Guitar Hero 3 To Outplay Rock Band This Holiday?

Data from IGN's GamerMetrics service has found that Activision's Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is the marginal favorite over Harmonix's Rock Band in terms of 'mindshare' this holiday season, with audiences most keenly focused on the Xbox
According to IGN's GamerMetrics, music and rhythm games have generated a total 70 million page views thus far in 2007, compared with 20 million page views in 2006 -- a 250 percent increase. It's safe to say that Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Rock Band are the two upcoming titles at the forefront of this surging popularity for rhythm titles -- so which one will take top billing this holiday season? Hoping to answer this question, GamerMetrics has monitored the popularity of both titles across IGN. GamerMetrics found that up until E3 in July of this year, Guitar Hero III had led among user awareness and purchase intent. However, in the last three months, Rock Band has begun to close the gap. All of the areas GamerMetrics examined point to Guitar Hero III as the clear favorite. In particular, the Xbox 360 SKU is the most desirable, ranking 10th among all anticipated video games, capturing 1.43 percent of total mindshare -- though the Xbox 360 SKU of Rock Band is very close behind, ranked 11th and capturing 1.38 percent of mindshare, a promising result for the 360, showing favoritism for the console among fans of the leading music games. The Wii SKU of Guitar Hero III is next, ranked 12th among all anticipated titles and capturing 1.35 percent of total mindshare. From there, it's a big jump down to the PS3's Guitar Hero III SKU, ranked 25th and capturing 1.25 percent of mindshare. The PS3 SKU of Rock Band comes in more modestly, ranked 33rd overall and with a mindshare percentage of 1.10. Interestingly, a rumor of a Wii Rock Band SKU registers on the charts, even though such a title has never been confirmed, coming in at a ranking of 145th with .25 percent of mindshare. IGN GamerMetrics analyst Nick Williams found that Guitar Hero III still maintains a lead in three key areas: pricing, brand recognition, and the fact that it'll be the first one to market. Its high price point and numerous accessories also represent a possible risk for Rock Band during the holiday rush -- while the success of past Guitar Hero titles suggests that gamers are somewhat flexible in regard to such issues, Rock Band pushes the envelope a bit further, and it remains to be seen where the threshold lies. Overall, Williams concluded his comments on the battle by explaining: "Whatever the case may be, the future looks bright for the music/rhythm genre. All signs indicate that Guitar Hero III is the heavy favorite heading into the holidays, but Rock Band represents an exciting and logical next step for the genre. By improving upon the interactive and collaborative elements of Guitar Hero, MTV Games and Harmonix are not only looking to change the way people play games, but redefine the way they consume their favorite music." [NOTE: For the purposes of compiling GamerMetrics' 'mindshare' number, two factors are combined: awareness data, based on the traffic patterns of the millions of monthly visitors to IGN.com (Avg. Daily Gamers), and purchase intent data - based on the activity of over 600,000 IGN.com registered users who regularly update their Wishlists.]

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