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DJ Hero Planned For Later This Year 54

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick spilled the news that the DJ Hero game currently being developed by FreeStyleGames will be released sometime this year. He described it as a "turntable that you actually can play competitively and spin discs and mix songs." In an interview at the World Economic Forum, Kotick also explained why the games industry is in a good position to survive the recent economic troubles, saying that the amount of time people are playing games is on the rise, in part due to their low cost-to-time ratio.
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DJ Hero Planned For Later This Year

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  • Already done (Score:2, Informative)

    by protektor ( 63514 )

    Japan already has a DJ hero type game. Both in the arcades and on the PS2. How about something original rather than just always copying Japanese game companies.

    • Yes, most of us here are Americans. What is our national past time? Anything that can be done on the couch. This vast game would incorporate GTA and American Idol all inone Heroic Experience. AHM, I left off the obvious.

    • Re:Already done (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Amphetam1ne ( 1042020 ) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @07:06AM (#26676085)

      Do these Japanese games companies have plans on releasing their DJ game in other teritories anytime soon? on somthing newer than a PS2? With local hardware manufacturing so that the cost isn't through the roof? Will it be using licensed music tracks that westerners will actually know?

      I'd say that the answer to most, if not all, of those questions is a big fat NO. As such it may as well not exist outside of Japan because it's not doing anything for anyone outside of Japan.

      • Beatmania US was released three years back with a quality packaged controller for $65--you can pick it up for $15-20 now if you're lucky enough to find a store with one still in stock. It only had a handful of US licenses and it was PS2-exclusive but they did bring it over to the States and a lot of people had a lot of fun with it despite (or sometimes because of) the insane difficulty curve. Still, the grandparent is woefully uninformed--this isn't a Beatmania ripoff in any way but the DJ motif. Beatmania
    • by Renraku ( 518261 )

      Japan already had a guitar hero type game, called GuitarFreaks. Also, DrumMania is a drum simulator. BeatMania is a DJ simulator. Finally, KeyboardMania is a musical keyboard simulator.

      Since our versions have been inferior to their versions, why not just license their versions and port them over? Oh wait. We don't want the good ones. The American version of beatmania for the PS2 was horrible compared to the Japanese ones. To the point that it drove me to import ones from Japan. For example, the Japa

    • by Nasajin ( 967925 )
      I used to have this game for PC/Mac as a kid. They called it iTunes.
    • by Tokerat ( 150341 )
      Gee, I don't see that game anywhere here...
  • Still waiting for that game where you sit at a desk with bottles of Monster Energy and try to retype fast scrolling IRC text for glory points.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @06:20AM (#26675963)

    I play a little guitar. I'm certainly no Hendrix or Santana, but I can play. It didn't take years and years of hard, painful practice either (well, hence why I'm neither Hendrix nor Santana, both of them did actually do just that, besides having exceptional talent, IMO), I just played and, over time, I got better. It's fun to sit down and strum a few bars that don't belong anywhere, just as a little background task while pondering a problem.

    Now, I happen to have a friend who is a Guitar Hero master (or whatever it is called when you play some hard songs on top difficulty). He did invest quite a bit of time to master this game. Yet what did he learn? To play a game. Not to play an instrument. I'm fairly sure, the same time he spent on practicing the game would have made him a quite decent guitar player.

    Now, I can understand why people play games instead of doing the "real thing" in other areas. It's not easy to become a NFL quarterback, so playing a football game is the easy way to have this experience. The difference is years and years of hard work. Racing a car is an expensive hobby compared to playing racing games. Playing an extreme sports game is way less dangerous and painful than actually doing the sports. Managing a computer simulation is less work than running for an office, and if you happen to fuck up, there's always the save game to save you. And I won't even get into the obvious difference between playing a FPS game and real war.

    But playing instruments? It's hardly dangerous, unless you fear the strings cutting into your precious fingers, it's not expensive, you can get cheap instruments (and, bluntly, you won't hear the difference at the beginning) for less than 100 bucks, used if necessary, and it doesn't take years of work to start doing what you want to do. Pick it up and play.

    So what is it that makes people interested in simulating what they can have for real, with little (if any) more effort?

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      1. Flashing lights. 2. The music played is probably better than yours. 3. Multiplayer / Social Aspects where you don't have to see the other persons face. Anyone who plays these games is ugly, they don't actually want to go meet other uglies.
    • by DPyro ( 1384357 ) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @06:37AM (#26676005)
      Because Guitar Hero is lots of fun and playing guitar is lots of work? It takes a lot of time to get good at playing an instrument; not only do you have to master the technical playing of the guitar but you also have to gain a rudimentary knowledge of music theory and musicianship. Or you could just rock out to your favorite bands' songs with your friends. Not everyone who plays Guitar Hero wants to become a guitar master.
      • you also have to gain a rudimentary knowledge of music theory

        that's why the world has tablature, almost the same as what guitar hero uses to indicate the proper "note". there is no real excuse for playing guitar hero instead of guitar, bass, or drums, especially if you try telling that to a musician.

        • by amorsen ( 7485 )

          A real guitar won't tell you that your rhythm is wrong.

          • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            That's what those things on the sides of your head are for.

            • by amorsen ( 7485 )

              That's what those things on the sides of your head are for.

              I'm sure, but the fact is that some of us suck at keeping a steady rhythm. Not everyone is born with the ability to do that, but it is apparently possible to learn.

            • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )

              They always say it's correct, no matter what I do. The people around me don't agree.

          • Neither will a game with no real timing/accuracy and no keysounded music (the thing that, IMO, makes the Japanese music rhythm games superior).
      • Playing a real instrument and writing your own music is a lot more fun and much more rewarding than mashing buttons with Guitar Hero.

        Yes, I play guitar, bass, and piano, and am classically trained, so I'm a little bit biased.

        • I play guitar, piano, sing, and compose and record music. And while I will agree that writing your own may be more rewarding, goddamn but I find Guitar Hero and its kin to be a hell of a lot of fun anyway!

        • by mathx314 ( 1365325 ) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @11:11PM (#26681691)
          And I'm a classically-trained piano and clarinet player who very much loves to play Guitar Hero. Five-starring a song is just as rewarding as mastering a very hard piece, and takes much less time.

          Not trollin', just sayin'.
          • I see your point; I suppose the best way to say it is that these games do nothing at all for me. I'd much rather just do the real deal. :)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31, 2009 @06:48AM (#26676049)

      Because its fun. End of story.

      I play guitar, bass guitar, piano, cello, bass (the standup version) and a few other instruments, i've been playing for over 20 years now. I can also beat Dragon Force (GH3) on Hard (Did expert once, im proud of that fact). Why did I spend time and energy into the game? Because I enjoy it. My friends have no musical talent (they couldnt hold a tune if it was on sheet music duct taped to their back), and we can play together, and have fun. We can sit down in an afternoon, drink some beers, order pizza and have fun. They have no inclination to pick up and play a real instrument, but they can have fun for a night playing with the plastic ones.

      Just because you picked up an instrument and learned to play, doesn't mean everyone has that ability/drive to do so.

      Playing Guitar Hero is to "Learn a real instrument" as Buying a Mac is to "Buy each individual piece from different vendors on the Internet, put them together, and install Gentoo" to most people. Its not out of most peoples ability to learn, the truth is, they just dont have time/care enough. Anyone can pick up guitar hero and have fun for an hour or so.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by dan12970 ( 1437619 )
        on the other hand, playing Guitar Hero has inspired me to pick up a real guitar to learn...i have to think that it has had this effect on others as well...
      • i read that as "buying a big mac" and was wondering why that was a terrible analogy. But then i re-read it and you made sense.

    • by AAWood ( 918613 ) <aawood@gm a i> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @07:12AM (#26676093)

      Put simply, because the return on investment is higher, quicker.

      A gamer can pick up a new Guitar Hero/Rock Band/etc game having not played any before, pick up the basics, and be playing songs within the hour. Within an hour of picking up a real guitar, the same gamer *might* be able to pick out a chord or two, following along to some guide they found online or, if they're lucky or have money to burn, with someone teaching them. Mastering Guitar Hero can take months, at which point you're "playing along" with dozens of your favourite bands and feeling a sense of some accomplishment. Mastering a guitar can take years (well, *really* mastering a guitar can take decades), and at the end of it it's still you and your guitar, nothing more. Maybe one guitar player in dozens will wind up actually out there in a band worth a damn, and maybe one in ten thousand will wind up hitting the big time. The number who wind up playing with all their favourites... too small a number to quantify.

      To put it another way one is a game, and the other is an art form, and the two are very very different. Why would I want to practice an art form when I just want to play a fun game? I have utmost respect for anyone who can learn an instrument, even tried it myself for a while, but it's not the same thing.

      • Well put Sir. At it's core, these are party games.

        Just like most of the rhythm games that preceded it (Beatmania I-XII, DDR I-XXVII, Samba De Amigo, and Dance Aerobics for the NES).

        If it takes more than an hour to pick up the basics, it just isn't a party game anymore.

        A gamer can pick up a new Guitar Hero/Rock Band/etc game having not played any before, pick up the basics, and be playing songs within the hour.

    • I have a friend who is a decent guitar player (or whatever it is called when people sit around a campfire listening to your music). He did invest quite a bit of time to be a decent player. Yet what did he learn? To play an instrument. Not to play a game. I'm fairly sure, the same time he spent on practicing playing guitar would have made him a Guitar Hero master. While it might be annoying to turn around a question like that I think it illustrates my point very well. Both are fun things to do, neither trai
    • by vrmlguy ( 120854 )

      I play a little guitar. I'm certainly no Hendrix or Santana, but I can play. It didn't take years and years of hard, painful practice either (well, hence why I'm neither Hendrix nor Santana, both of them did actually do just that, besides having exceptional talent, IMO), I just played and, over time, I got better.

      Exceptional talent may not be that important. "Many accounts of the development of expertise emphasise that it comes about through long periods of deliberate practice. In many domains of expertise estimates of 10 years experience or 10,000 hours deliberate practice are common. Typically recent research on expertise emphasises the nurture side of the nature versus nurture argument." -- []

      The NYT review of "Outliers" [] makes good reading on this subject, as well. Not everyone

    • I'm waiting for Guitar Hero Hero, where you pretend to be somoene who's pretending to play the gutar.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by the_tsi ( 19767 ) Works for SourceForge

      Guitar Hero, etc. are not guitar simulators. They are rock star simulators. People play guitar rhythm games for similar reasons to playing e.g. flight sims or military games -- immediate access to a role that would otherwise take years of training and luck to get, combined with the ability to use resources that even learning "The Real Thing" wouldn't get you to.

      You can take flying lessons on your own, but you're never going to get to fly an F16 and blow shit up. You can enlist in the Army and be trained

    • by Mex ( 191941 )

      Well, you just had to go ahead and be "that guy", didn't you.

      I happen to play guitar too, I also began playing because the game inspired me. After 2 years of solid practice, I wouldn't pretend I can play Hendrix or Santana. So by your own admission, I'd have to spend 10 years practicing AND have the talent to play the same songs.

      The one thing I hate about these games is how there's always one of you... The "WHY DONTCHA PLAY A REALZ INSTRUMANTS" guy.

      Let the people have their fun and don't make them feel guil

    • by Tokerat ( 150341 )
      Thousands for dollars for an instrument + equipment. vs. $50-$150 for a simulation game.
    • Erm, if your tone deaf, learning to play a musical instrument is astonishingly hard, trust me, you end up learning everything by wrote with no real aural feeling of what you are playing. Ditto with DJing, you can learn to beat match, but not being able to tell which key parts of your records are in makes things sound just wrong to normal people. Guitar Hero gets round this issue, also as others have said, it's fun.
    • This argument gets old. I was a trained musician (years, upon years, upon years of piano and trumpet lessons and playing). Yes, it is immensely enjoyable to play a real instrument. So is Guitar Hero. Playing a real instrument and playing Guitar Hero are not mutually exclusive. One is a hobby/pastime/your personal artistic outlet/way of life/whatever - the other is a fun game. Especially with a crowd of people. With GH, everyone can have a turn. With real guitar, most people stand around and watch one person
    • by hackel ( 10452 )

      What I'd like to see is a real guitar/MIDI interface for these types of games, so that people who actually do know how to play can do so, have it scored by the game, and even play with their friends who aren't musicians.

      (waits patiently for some slashdotter to show me that this already exists...)

    • As both someone who can play guitar (albeit not very well), and can Play Guitar Hero on hard/expert, I can tell you that the amount of time it takes to master Guitar Hero is a fraction of what it takes to master guitar.

  • >saying that the amount of time people are playing >games is on the rise, in part due to their low >cost-to-time ratio. Or the inreasingly high "time to job ratio"

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson