Thursday, 5 March 2015

Time To Get The Band Back Together: Rock Band 4 Incoming!

A few months back Rock Band (and Guitar Hero 1+2) sent out surveys asking what the fans would want in a new rock band game. Things like format, backward compatibility for instruments and DLC was asked of the fans. Last week news broke of Activision readying an new "realistic" Guitar Hero developed by an unheard of studio. Seems they was unwilling to let GH to steal their thunder, today Harmonix announced Rock Band 4.

Coming this year and to Xbox One and PS4 (sadly no Wii U), Seems that survey did it's job and Harmonix has announced that nearly all your songs library will transfer to the new game for FREE, provided you're playing in the same system family (360/X1 PS3/PS4), the exceptions being songs from Rock Band 3 game disc and the Beatles tracks as their contracts are different to those of the previous games and DLC tracks but they are negotiating with the licence holders about bringing them over too.

Now on to the "grey" news, at the moment your old instruments aren't compatible with the news systems but again they are in talks with Microsoft and Sony to release an stand alone adapter. They are focusing on the "core" Rock Band experience and so Keyboards won't be back, however the PRO mode's fate is unmentioned (pro mode required special Guitars and played "like" the real thing) BUT 3 person vocals are staying.

Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos had this to say about the franchise return.
“When we stopped developing Rock Band 3 [2010], clearly the market needed a break, But since then we’ve been paying close attention to what our community has been saying about it. There’s been this steadily growing crescendo of fans saying, ‘Hey Harmonix, what the hell? It’s time! Why haven’t you announced a new Rock Band? We’re ready for it!’"

Keen to avoid the same crash that brought down to genre on the last generation of GH/RB we won't be seeing yearly sequels (clearly a swipe at their rival).
“Going forward, our goal is to view [Rock Band 4] as more of a live service where we can gradually and incrementally append new functionality to the core experience rather than having $60 annual title updates, you shouldn't expect a Rock Band 5 in 2016.”

Abe's Take
It's good that Rock Band is returning with most of the old content coming along for the ride. It's a shame that the old equipment wont becoming along for the ride and both Microsoft and Sony ruled out arcade stick adapters in the past as "these would open the door to other accessories unintended for the new system" basically any adapter would let us use our old controllers. I appreciate Harmonix's goal of treating Rock Band 4 as a service and updating it instead of releasing sequels (there is hope keyboards will return) the key of cause will be if Activision follow suit and dont kill the market again

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