Rock and Roll is not a competitive sport, but in terms of sales, Rock and Roll video games are. And the winner so far, is Guitar Hero World Tour. According to the video game research compiled by the NPD Group, the full band version of Activision's Guitar Hero franchise outsold Harmonix's Rock Band 2 by two to one! Across all platforms and versions, Guitar Hero World Tour sold 3.4 million copies domestically in 2008, compared to Rock Band 2's 1.7 million sales.
As you might expect, the value of the "Guitar Hero" name means a lot in terms of sales, but another factor in the rockin' victory is likely the games' release schedules. Guitar Hero dropped simultaneously on all platforms (PS3, 360, Wii, and PS2) in late October, where Harmonix staggered Rock Band 2's release. The 360 version came out in September, the PS3 version in October, and the Wii and PS2 versions hit shelves in December.
Both games were solidly received by both critics and gamers and in many ways, they're the same thing. I think it comes down to song selection. Not to generalize too much on Monday morning, but I think Rock Band's song selection leans more heavily toward pop music, whereas Guitar Hero is a little harder-edged.
What do you think? What do you see as the differences between the two titles? Do you have a favorite, or do you think all music games are starting to be a little played-out?