It’s been rumoured for some time, but plastic instruments will be cluttering your living rooms and bedrooms again in the not to distant future.
Rock Band 4 has been officially announced by series developer Harmonix. It’s coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later in 2015.
It will support old peripherals, though Mad Catz is creating new ones as well.
Better yet, it will allow players to import all their content from previous games on PS3 and Xbox 360 into this long-awaited series resurgence. The previous Rock Band game, Rock Band 3, launched five years ago in 2010.
We caught up with the game’s project manager Daniel Sussman at GDC for further details on why Harmonix thinks now is the time to rejuvenate Rock Band and what’s changing in this latest iteration.
“After taking some time off, it was really interesting to kind of come back and play the games that we bled and sweat over for years and years and years. Two things emerged very quickly: One was ‘holy motherf***, these games are FUN!’ Sussman exclaimed.
“At the same time we were able to be quite critical of the work that we had done and saw lots of room for improvement. And that was really important to us as well because we are all creative people and it was important for us to be able to sink our teeth into to something that was deserving of the 4 at the end of the title. We didn’t just want to rehash Rock Band 3 for new consoles. We felt it was really important for us to evolve the gameplay in a way that would be interesting.”
Rockband 4 Q&A:
And here’s a handy FAQ for you!
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!