Harmonix has just triggered the plastic instrument rebirth by confirming that Rock Band 4 will indeed be going next-gen. It is set to be released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox 360 sometime this year (2015).
Harmonix has not revealed much about the new features that are coming with Rock Band 4 but one thing’s for sure: all DLC songs from previous Rock Band Games will work on Rock Band 4. This includes the exported song sets from Rock Band and Rock Band 2. “If you bought a Rock Band song,” says the game’s project manager Daniel Sussman, “it should be yours in Rock Band 4. Everything that you have already exported will come over.”
Once again, Harmonix is collaborating with peripheral maker Mad Catz in making the new instrument sets for Rock Band 4. This does not mean that they are abandoning the old plastic instruments: Harmonix and Mad Catz are coordinating with Sony and Microsoft to allow the old instruments to work on the next gen consoles.
Harmonix also fleshed out this little Q&A on their forums:
|Q: When is RB4 coming out?!
A: Rock Band will be out this year. Stay tuned for more specifics in the coming months.
Q: What consoles is RB4 coming out for?
A: Rock Band 4 will be released for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Q: Why not Wii / Wii U / PC?
A: Due to shifting production priorities and capabilities of the studio, we don’t currently have plans to release RB4 on the Wii / Wii U / PC simultaneously with Xbox One and PS4. While we genuinely appreciate the support of Wii Rock band users over the years, and the increased interest from PC gamers, the truth is that we had to prioritize opportunities on other platforms with historically larger RB audiences.
Q: Will my old DLC work on the next gen console of the same type, i.e. PS3 -> PS4?
A: Yes! 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.
Q: Will my old DLC work if I bought a different next gen console, i.e. Xbox 360 -> PS4?
A: Cross platform DLC compatibility is not entirely within our control, as DLC ownership is managed by the 1st parties.
Q: Will my old hardware work?
A: 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.
Q: Will you be making new hardware?
A: Yes we will! You can preorder a new PAX East exclusive guitar if you come by the Harmonix booth! We’re working with Mad Catz, who has a lot of history with RB gear, and we’re excited to get more instruments back into the world.
Q: Will there be any new instruments, i.e. a tuba, accordion, mouth harp, etc?
A: We’re concentrating on the core band that people are most familiar with (guitar, bass, drums, and mic) rather than expanding on the types of playable instruments in RB4.
Q: What will the new Rock Band cost?
A: Sorry, but we’re not talking about pricing at this time.
Q: What instruments will be playable? Wiill RB4 have Pro guitar and keys?
A: Rock Band 4 will focus on the core experience and the roots of the franchise – guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. There will be no Pro Guitar or key support in Rock Band 4. We will continue to support “Pro” mode for Drums.
Q: What are the new features?
A: We’re not quite ready to reveal the evolutionary features of Rock Band 4, but we’re excited to show you in the coming months how we’re expanding the core gameplay you love.
Q: Will you be bringing back [Random Feature X]?
A: We’re not quite ready to reveal the feature set of Rock Band 4 yet, but keep posted for more info!
Q: Will you have songs by [Random Band X]?
A: We’re not talking about the disc soundtrack just yet, but you can bet it’ll be awesome. Over 2000 songs spanning over 500 artists already exist in Rock Band catalog and we’re committed to expanding that and supporting the game post-launch with DLC, and we’re always looking for new bands and sounds, so keep the suggestions coming! Let us know what you want at RockBand.com/request
Q: When will you have more news about RB4?
A: Soon! Keep posted to our social channels and the Harmonix forums for updates.
Q: When can I preorder RB4?
A: You can sign up for preorder notifications right now at RockBand.com/preorder!
Your move, Activision.
All images courtesy of Harmonix.