Lost in the excitement over today's release of The Beatles: Rock Band was news that the virtual Fab Four's main competitor Guitar Hero 5 — that other rock video game that lets you guide Kurt Cobain through Bon Jovi songs — would send out free copies of Acitivision's upcoming Guitar Hero: Van Halen to those who purchased GH5. The deal requires only proof of GH5 purchase before October 1st, when the freebie ends and the waiting begins until Guitar Hero: Van Halen's proper release on December 22nd. The free GH:VH applies for purchases of both the standalone and instrument bundles of GH5. Get all the details at the GH site.
Considering that The Beatles: Rock Band is probably the most anticipated video game ever — or at least since Doom 2 — this is a smart move on Activision's part, as it'll sway fans of Van Halen to stick with the Guitar Hero franchise. Thanks to the recession, it's less likely that gamers will throw down hundreds of bucks for both games, so including a free Van Halen game on top of Guitar Hero 5's stacked track list is a good way of leveling the playing field, albeit slightly.
For more on Guitar Hero: Van Halen, which features Diamond Dave and Wolfgang but no Mike Anthony or Sammy Hager, check out Rolling Stone's coverage of the game here.
• "Guitar Hero: Van Halen" Due December 22nd: Full Track List
• "Guitar Hero: Van Halen" Nixes Michael Anthony, Sammy Hagar
• Kurt Cobain's "Guitar Hero 5" Nightmare: Live Through This