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'Guitar Hero Mobile' sneak peek: It rocks

Hands-On Mobile cranks up buzz for 'Guitar Hero Mobile,' coming first to Verizon phones in December 2007.

Conference-goers flocked around the Guitar Hero station at Motorola's mammoth tent on the CTIA Wireless conference floor, but it was Hands-On Mobile's modest booth where Guitar Hero Mobile is best experienced. There the game's product manager, JJ Leichleiter, walked me through the mobile version of the popular console game.

Let me dispel all doubt by assuring you that this is the real thing, deputized by Activision, Guitar Hero's console publisher. Loosely based on Guitar Hero 3, the 3D mobile version offers two characters (Axel Steel and Judy Nails), four guitars, and 15 songs. Subscription holders will receive three more songs every month.

Playing virtual guitar has gotten easier with a reduction from five keys on the console game's peripheral guitar to three on the phone. Users can choose whichever keypad row feels best.

This game has a lot going for it--easy fretting, satisfying animation, and killer sound quality. Guitar Hero Mobile uses PMD audio for the BREW platform, which preserves the melody, harmony, vocals, and cacophonous ding every time you miss. Stay tuned for a video demonstration on this space and on CNET TV.

Guitar Hero Mobile will be available for purchase for Verizon Wireless users in December 2007. After that, more networks on the BREW platform will join the fray, followed by J2ME phones.