Gaming & Technology

'Hero' worship

The success of the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises hasn't been lost on the competition.

The music genre in the video-game industry is primed to explode, according to a recent Lehman Bros. report, citing development of games by several other publishers.

In 2007, the genre accounted for 14 percent of revenue across all video-game consoles, analyst Eric O. Handler writes. Handler expects that to rise to 23.2 percent this year.

Behind the rise could be a number of new offerings by companies including THQ, Disney and Nintendo.

By summer, THQ expects to release Battle of the Bands, in which players use the Wii-mote to play along with songs and attack 11 different bands that also are playing.

Disney also plans to soon launch Ultimate Band, a game with ­features similar to those of its Hannah ­Montana game, for the Nintendo 
Wii and DS.

The games will face competition from Nintendo, too, which is planning to launch Wii Music this year in Japan and later in the United States. Little is known about the game, except that players will be able to conduct orchestras and play drums and perhaps other instruments. The type of playable music is not publicly known; demos of the game have included the theme from the original Legend of Zelda series.

There also are new iterations ­expected for established dancing games, as well as singing games like Sony's SingStar.

The introduction of the Wii Fit peripheral pad used for exercising also could lend itself to dancing, Handler writes.