Well, yesterday was interesting, wasn’t it? Now that the franchise that gave birth to this site has a next chapter forthcoming, I think we’re going to have to put a little more effort back in here. We may try to revive some older features (like Throwback Thursday), and possibly add some new fan-driven features on the site, in addition to the Rock Band 4 and other Harmonix rumors that we hear and share.
Earlier this week, we had a post about what features we would like to see if (ha) a Rock Band 4 was eventually released. The contributors also included a handful of songs that we would like to see included on a Rock Band 4 setlist. Well, let’s expand that last part a little bit, and lets have fun with it. On Fridays, we’ll try to have a guest within the Rock Band community send us a Spotify playlist they have cultivated of songs they would love to see on the now confirmed Rock Band 4.
Feel free to talk about his choices in the comments, or tell him how awesome his playlist is on Twitter! Also, be sure to check out his site, DLC Quickplay, and get your rusty Rock Band skills back in shape! Also, if there’s anyone you would like to recommend for submitting a playlist, let us know!
Well would you look at that. A new Rock Band game was announced today, and what better way to celebrate than with the first free piece of DLC since 2009’s Lights Resolve song! This week brings us a FREE song from English folk rocker Frank Turner! Included below is the review, as well as a playthrough video of the DLC from the super awesome DoofiestDoofz. Definitely check out and subscribe to his YouTube channel!
The track is available for free
First of all, what’s NOT in Rock Band 4? Pro-Guitar and Pro-Bass are gone. As is the Keys instrument entirely. Pro-Drums will still be supported, because “the base instrument is all that’s needed.” I thought you need the cymbal attachments, as well, but what do I know? Harmonies will also still be included. I won’t miss Pro-Guitar and Pro-Bass (that’s what Rocksmith is for), but I’ll shed a tear for the neglected Keys instrument. Also, only currently planned for the PS4 and Xbox One consoles. Sorry, Wii U owners. You could always sign this petition, I guess.
Is this just Rock Band for the new consoles? Yes and no. Rock Band 4 is not “Rock Band 3.5.” In the “Behind the Scenes” video released by Harmonix (see below), project manager Daniel Sussman mentioned diplomatically that MTV Games had more input that Harmonix desired, and that Harmonix worked on things they may not have really felt to be core and/or value-added Rock Band features. Now that Harmonix is independent again, they’re going to focus on exactly what they want to focus on.
So don’t expect a Rock Band 5 this console generation… what about specific band versions? Pearl Jam: Rock Band?! Don’t expect special band editions this time around.
So I CAN use my existing instruments? Is that for sure?! Not yet. Harmonix is working with Sony and Microsoft “aggressively” (their words) on getting the legacy peripherals from the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles to work on the PS4 and Xbox One consoles, respectively. (Sorry Wii U owners.) Because the PS3 used a USB dongle, they have a lower hurdle to jump in terms of a technical aspect. Sussman said “I’m confident that it will work on both sides.” Harmonix realizes this is a big deal for everyone, so they’re “working their asses off” to get it down (also their words).
Are there new instruments? Will there be new functionality?! Mad Catz will manufacture the new instruments for Rock Band 4, and will also publish the game with Harmonix. The instruments have been improved, as would be expected over the long hiatus. One such improvement noted was the tilt functionality will be improved. However, there will be no NEW functionality with the newly manufactured instruments (see color options offered below).
How can I get new instruments? Will my local retailer carry them this time? Not entirely sure on this yet. One of the fears I had with respect to a Rock Band revival would be retailers. When Rock Band (and Guitar Hero) were selling like hotcakes in the late 2000’s, retailers didn’t mind stocking big boxes on store shelves. Now that it has cooled off considerably, retailers may be gun shy to give valuable floor space to big bulky boxes with low profit margins. Polygon is reporting the following: Harmonix will be opening up pre-orders much earlier than most games, partly in an attempt to get a feel for the size of the market. They won’t have to ship as many instruments because so many already exist in the wild. The audience is likely still there, and it’s starved for a good rhythm game. Now the challenge is to fulfill that need without overshooting how much product should be created and shipped.
Is there Kinect integration? No.
OK, but what about my DLC purchases? Existing DLC will be compatible for the PS4 and Xbox One. Though no specifics yet, and there are bound to be exceptions for a handful of songs, they have said that “Content purchased from the store or exported from a disc will transfer over to the new generation of consoles at not addition cost as we make that content available.” The timing of this is still up in the air, so it may not be available at launch, but it will be available eventually. (FYI, the process for cross-generational DLC updating is called “legacy entitlement.”) Sussman estimated that over 95 percent of Rock Band’s library of songs will make it over into Rock Band 4.
Cool. What about if my DLC library is on a Xbox 360, and now I’m on a PS4? So you want to know if all the money you gave to Microsoft will let Sony replace your DLC library on a competitor’s product? What do you think? (Spoiler: No, sorry. Licensing is hard.)
What about RBN DLC? No official comment yet on RBN compatibility, although Sussman commented that “If you bought a Rock Band song, it should be yours in Rock Band 4.” UPDATE: Sussman notes that “RBN songs will be converted after all of the core catalog has been finished.”
Will Rock Band 3 export? There are currently no plans for a Rock Band 3 export, however that could change, depending on consumer demand, so you know what to do, everyone: yell at @RockBand until you get what you want! Basically, the diplomatic answer is that Harmonix is focusing first on the game and the mammoth DLC library, and that exporting Rock Band 3 is much lower on the list of priorities, but that doesn’t mean it 100% will not happen. UPDATE: There is a thread over on the Harmonix forums of community members would like a RB3 export be a higher priority item.
Will Rock Band 4 have Score Duel? Will it have No Fail Mode? Will it have a Career Mode? There have been no specifics released yet about gameplay, but Harmonix is very clear that Rock Band 4 will focus on the three types of players passionate about Rock Band: The “passionate minority” chasing high scores and precise playing, the party experience players who care less for the “game” aspect, and the players focused on narrative progression of a virtual rock star.
How much? And when can I get it? No specific details yet on price or release date (I’ve seen “summer” however, but I’m assuming it’ll be fall), but the plan is simultaneous release dates for both consoles. A few bundles have been announced:
- The Band-in-a-Box Bundle, which includes the Rock Band 4 game, a Wireless Fender Stratocaster Guitar Controller, a Wireless Drum Kit Controller and a Microphone.
- The Guitar Bundle, which includes the Rock Band 4 game and a Wireless Fender Stratocaster Guitar Controller.
- A special Wireless Stratocaster Guitar Controller, featuring custom artwork of “Gabe” from the Penny Arcade webcomic. This limited-edition collectible will only be available via on-site pre-orders at the Harmonix booth during PAX East.
What new features are included? Nothing announced yet, but one thing to note is that now that the current generation consoles are very heavily internet-connected, it will be leveraged as a more significant aspect of the game than in the past. Since Harmonix is pushing the idea that Rock Band 4 will establish Rock Band as a platform that lasts for years rather than a first step in another sequence of annual releases and “track packs,” expect not only song DLC, but also potential DLC impacting gameplay modes, venues, clothing, etc. (Hell, they said there’s always the potential to put Keys back in if the community demands it.)
Will we FINALLY have in-game guitar straps? Maybe in Rock Band 5, but not this time around.
What about Stage Kit? And MUSE? Oh, how I missed you Rock Band community. Never change.
If there’s anything that we missed, PLEASE let us know and we’ll add it!
Who ever would’ve guessed?
After much teasing, and multiple surveys, it’s finally official. Rock Band 4 is coming to the Xbox One, and Playstation 4 this year. Not much has been announced yet, but there are a couple of important details:
DLC Carrying Forward: Yes. While they don’t seem to be guaranteeing all of the DLC will transfer, the recently launched page indicates there will be 2,000+ songs available, and that any previously purchased DLC will be available to re-download on the same console family (PS3 will transfer to PS4, and 360 will transfer to Xbox One).
Hardware: There will be new hardware available from MadCatz for the Xbox One, and Playstation 4, including a special Penny Arcade themed guitar that attendees of PAX East this weekend will be able to pre-order. However, Harmonix, and MadCatz are working with Sony, and Microsoft in an attempt to ensure compatibility of old hardware as well.
Keys & Pro Guitar: There will be no support for Pro Guitar, or Keys in Rock Band 4. Pro Drums will continue to be supported.
That covers the main points so far. For more information, see the links below:
As per usual on Tuesdays, Sony posted their weekly content update for the Playstation Store on the Playstation Blog. This post lists everything new that has been added to the Store for the week for all systems. Nothing newsworthy for Harmonix fans was expected, as there had been no announcements.
However, ssomething caught the eye of myself, and a number of readers in the PS3 Add-Ons Section:
A song called “I Still Believe” is listed as being released for free for Rock Band 3. However, some digging on the Playstation Store via Playstation.com shows no actual song being released, with the last two known songs being the most recent additions.
As soon as we learn more, we’ll be sure to let you know.