Recent Activision acquisition FreeStyleGames is hard at work on DJ Hero, a music rhythm game that will let gamers scratch to the beat of popular mash-ups with a laptop turntable peripheral, informed sources tell us today.
The game, which has been in development for nearly two years, is expected to hit shelves next summer and will likely include the ability to use Guitar Hero guitars for versus mode face-offs.
The controller, key to the game's success, has been through nearly a half-dozen iterations.
In the latest form, the device looks a lot like a simplified DJ Deck. There is a platter for scratching which will act like the strum toggle on a Guitar Hero guitar. Above the platter are three buttons for sampling. The controller also includes a cross fader and a sound effects dial which will act like the whammy bar in Guitar Hero.
Instead of flowing the musical notes down a guitar neck, DJ Hero will flow the music down and around a virtual record in a half arc. Either left top to middle bottom if you are left handed, or right top to middle bottom if you are right handed.
To play you will have to either hold a sample button and scratch, just hold a button or just scratch as the neon icons flow around the virtual vinyl.
Currently the wireless controller has grooves molded into the bottom so it will sit comfortably in a player's lap, though the team is also looking into legs for the deck so gamers can play while standing up.
The game in its current form features all mash-ups, think Beyonce Vs Jimi Hendrix, 50 cent Vs Beastie Boys. If they can nail the interface and get licensing for the music this could be a mammoth hit. Then again I love mash-ups.
*That's not a picture of the controller.