A few weeks ago, we reported that there was some interest and buzz about a new Rock Band game coming to next-gen consoles. It turns out that that’s indeed happening, as Harmonix, creators of the franchise, have announced that Rock Band 4 will be coming later this year to Playstation 4 and XBox One, the first upgrade in five years. Harmonix Project Manager Eric Pope confirmed the news in a post earlier today:
Since we released Rock Band 3 in 2010, Harmonix has branched out, developing projects in a number of new areas including motion control, PC and even VR. With every new project, the studio has challenged the perception of what a “music game” can be, and learned a lot in the process. With those lessons under our belt, we felt like we were prepared to dive back into our beloved Rock Band series, and actually push the genre forward. We’ve landed on a design that doubles down on the core Rock Band experience fans love, while innovating on gameplay in some super exciting ways that we’ll have more to say about a little later this year.
The good news for those that have enjoyed the franchise in the past is that Harmonix is making sure that the downloaded content from PS3 and XBox 360 will work on the next-gen consoles. In the video above, someone says there are 2168 songs they’re working on. A product manager believes that 95% of the songs from the existing library of downloads will make it over. But what about the instruments – will you have to shell out for new ones if you’ve already got existing plastic instruments from the last generation? Most likely not. The Polygon article says Harmonix is “working aggressively” to make sure you won’t have to upgrade. Apparently, it’s easy with Sony, and a little more complicated with Microsoft. Sadly, there won’t be a keyboard for Rock Band 4, just guitar, bass, drums and vocals.
Further in the article, the Harmonix team states that they’re not going to flood the market like they did at the beginning of the decade. One of the main reasons they lost so much money was overestimating how many people would want the peripherals, like the controllers. Managing supply and demand will be a big part of the success of Rock Band 4. Seeing the boost that the franchise gave to music, much of it metal, leaves us encouraged for the next incarnation. It’ll be cool to see what songs make it on to the game when it’s released later this year.