Monday, April 2, 2007

Harmonix reveals Rock Band for 360, PS3

Today Harmonix, along with their corporate masters at EA and MTV, announced the successor to the Guitar Hero franchise: Rock Band! With Guitar Hero now under the control of Activision and Neversoft, Harmonix needed to create a new IP for their musical gaming endeavors.

The game can be thought of as an almagamation of Guitar Hero II (with its Guitar and Bass play), Drum Mania and Karaoke Revolution. It is unclear however how the peripherals will be packaged. Some reports claim that the game will be bundled with all four but a Gamespot report indicates details are still being worked out.

Seeing as Guitar Hero II for 360 is retailing for $90 with just one wired guitar, Rock Band, which will appear on 360 and PS3, could potentially be one expensive game.

I think this game has the potential to have a scene explode around it like no other game in recent memory but at the same time, it's exclusivity to the smaller user base of the next-gen systems as well as it's no doubt steep cost of entry could hamper its sales significantly.

I'm all about big goofy controllers that give a unique experience. I own Steel Battalion, two sets of Samba de Amigo maracas as well as two PS2 Guitar Hero controllers. This however gives me pause. Four different accessories for one game? It seems more like they are gearing the game towards people buying the accessory that they want to play in their virtual Rock Band and then getting together with friends to "perform".

They definitely have their work cut out for them in deciding the ideal way to present the game. A huge bundle could be too intimidating for most but selling the "instruments" individually could result in huge interest in the guitars but maybe not so much in the drum kit and microphone.

If anybody can pull it off though, it's Harmonix. I know I'm intrigued.

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