Guitar Hero competitor Rock Band already allows gamers to import on-disc tracks from the first game to the sequel, and now Activision is finally ready to add a similar forward compatibility feature to Guitar Hero 5 (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii).
Not all of the disc-based songs from World Tour and Smash Hits will work in Guitar Hero 5, but some of them have been cleared along with 152 downloadable World Tour tracks. All of the importable songs will also be upgraded to make use of the new features in Guitar hero 5. There will be a small importation fee, but Activision has so far not yet announced how much it'll cost.
Tim Riley, head of music licensing at Activision, told IGN:
It's something we've wanted to do for a while now. They are separate licenses, so we need to go back and re-license previous content. So, songs from World Tour, songs from the download space, songs from Smash Hits that will technically work in Guitar Hero 5 and Band Hero had to be renegotiated...We didn't want to do it for a couple songs. We wanted to do it for a couple hundred songs. So we have a lot cleared and we're in the process of clearing a lot more.
This doesn't mean that track importation is a sure thing for future titles, though. Riley says that that's the general idea but there's no easy answer right now. Oh, and about the pic above: Johnny Cash will be a playable character in Guitar Hero 5.