Putting an end to the rumors and teases, Harmonix has officially announced that Rock Band 4 is releasing later this year for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Answering many of the questions surrounding Rock Band 4, Harmonix says it will “support over 2000 tracks released since the 2007 launch of the original Rock Band, accounting for more than 500 of rock music’s most legendary artists.”
Product Manager Daniel Sussman explained:
Since the beginning, we’ve called Rock Band a music platform. Players responded by downloading hundreds of their favorite tracks, and building a massive library of playable music. It’s important for us to respect those purchases and enable our fans to bring that content over to the Rock Band platform on new generation consoles.
For anyone who downloaded songs from the store or exported songs from a disc on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, you’ll be able to download those same songs on the new platforms for free, though you have to stay within the same console family (PS3 songs only work on PS4; Xbox 360 songs only work on Xbox One). Hundreds of songs will be available at launch, while both back catalog and new songs will be added regularly after launch.
As for the game itself, Harmonix CEO Steve Janiak said:
With Rock Band 4, we’re doubling down on the energy and excitement of playing music live with your friends. Focusing on the core experience that our fans have told us they love allows us to evolve established gameplay in meaningful ways that we can’t wait to share with everyone later this year.
By focusing on the core experience, Harmonix is only planning to support guitar, bass, drums, and vocals, meaning there won’t be any Pro Guitar or keyboard support in Rock Band 4. Pro mode for drums will still be supported though.
In terms of hardware, Harmonix couldn’t confirm whether old instruments would work on PS4 or Xbox One, but they are trying:
We’re already working closely with Mad Catz, Sony, and Microsoft on solutions for letting you use legacy hardware on new consoles. This is a challenge on both the software side and hardware side, but something we’d love to happen. We’ll have more information on this in the coming months.
You will be able to buy new hardware, as Harmonix has partnered with Mad Catz to create some new instruments, which have an improved tilt sensor and more. Further details about the instruments are on Mad Catz’s blog.
As of right now, Harmonix isn’t talking about the “evolutionary” features, the price, or on-disc songs for Rock Band 4 yet.
More details about Rock Band 4 are set to be revealed this May.
To celebrate the announcement of Rock Band 4, Rock Band 3 and Rock Band Blitz owners can download ‘I Still Believe’ by Fran Turner for free right now on PS3 and Xbox 360.
Are you ready to play Rock Band 4 later this year?