Friday, April 18, 2008

Rock Band Finally Gets Albums, I Yawn

Before Rock Band even launched The Who's Who's Next, and Nirvana's Nevermind,were the first full albums announced for it. Who's Next was originally supposed to be available the day the game launched. Nirvana and Who fans are going to have to wait a tad (read: months) longer however, as today's announcement of what will actually comprise Rock Band's first downloadable albums contains no mention of them.

Judas Priest's Screaming for Vengeance will have the distinction of being the first album, all 10 tracks of which will be available this coming Tuesday, April 22nd for 1200 Microsoft Points or $14.99.

It will be followed in May by The Cars eponymous first album and in June by Pixies Doolittle.

So, why the long wait for downloadable albums to be realized? Harmonix' Alex Rigopulos explains:

...a big reason that it's taken us so long to get them to market is that the actual technical delivery of the assets required for any one song - they're actually pretty complicated. You're often dealing with masters for the older stuff that were recorded on analog. Often it takes a long time to even locate those masters. The right takes and the right edits have to be found, and in some cases old gear that's not in use anymore has to be resuscitated to transfer the stuff to digital. And so for any one song, the actual process of finding the right tape, resuscitating it and transferring it to the right digital format that we need and all that is an undertaking...

If you're just going for a handful of tracks by a particular artist and they're slow to locate one of them, well you just pick a different track and go on. Well, when you're looking for a dozen tracks in a particular album, you cant really release the album until you've tracked every one of those assets.

Makes sense. I wonder how long it will be before a new album is released in Rock Band at the same time it is released in stores. Harmonix has said in the past that that is their vision for the game.

Kotaku has a nice Q&A up with Rigopulos that has some more info on how albums will be priced and such.

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for the Pumpkins Siamese Dream; none of those first three announced albums do anything for me. Come on Harmonix, the 15th Anniversary of Siamese Dream is July 27th. Make it happen.

[via Kotaku]

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