Rock Band 2 Announced - Xbox 360 owners get to rock first; PS3 version coming later

Nuvian

Master Sage
Feb 4, 2008
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Rock Band 2 Announced
Xbox 360 owners get to rock first; PS3 version coming later in the year.

by Hilary Goldstein
June 30, 2008 - To no one's surprise, Harmonix, MTV and EA are preparing an encore for Rock Band later this year. Rock Band 2 is now official -- and it's coming to Xbox 360 this September, with "other platforms" releasing later in the year.

Before you start deleting the dozens of tracks you've downloaded for the first Rock Band, know that RB2 features ground-breaking cross-title compatibility. There is no distinction between Rock Band 1 and Rock Band 2 DLC. Any DLC you've previously downloaded will instantly work with Rock Band 2 and all DLC will continue to work with the original game from here and into eternity. While Harmonix has yet to reveal the number of tracks included on the RB2 disc, with the inclusion of all the previously released DLC, the set list at launch may top 300 songs.

"As successful as the original Rock Band continues to be, we've now had the benefit of the last eight months to listen to our fans' requests and to build upon that foundation," said Alex Rigopulos, co-founder and CEO of Harmonix. "Rock Band 2 is a second-generation band game that will elevate the music game experience to the next level."

As with Activision's recently announced Guitar Hero World Tour, Rock Band 2 features all master recordings on disc. You can also expect major improvements to online functionality and a more "party friendly" set-up so it's easy to get guests rocking out faster.

While all RB1 peripherals will work with the sequel, upgraded versions will be available in a bundle pack. Harmonix isn't revealing what these upgrades are just yet.


It's almost time to go back on tour.​

Rock Band downloads will continue to arrive weekly for both Xbox 360 and PS3. Each track you purchase is essentially extending your library of Rock Band 2 tracks. And even though PS3 owners will have to wait longer to get Rock Band 2 on disc, they will still have access to new downloadable content with RB1. With Rock Band DLC having now surpassed 15 million paid downloads, there appears no end in sight for the most successful digitally distributed product on 360 and PS3.

So why release first on Xbox 360? "Microsoft has been a great partner throughout the launch of Rock Band in the last year and their continued support is instrumental in supporting the more advanced features and cross title compatibility we will have in Rock Band 2," a Harmonix representative told IGN. "Of course, our goal is to make Rock Band 2 accessible to all and we look forward to bringing Rock Band 2 to all relevant platforms later this year."

For more details on Rock Band 2, check out IGN's exclusive interview, which is packed with info.
Source

Rock Band 2: The Opening Act
We blow the lid off one of the biggest sequels of 2008.

by Hilary Goldstein
June 30, 2008 - Rock Band is ready for a comeback tour. Today, Harmonix announced Rock Band 2 was set to ship for Xbox 360 this September and PS3 later in the year. However, the official announcement of Rock Band 2 is sparse on details, so we went straight to Harmonix to learn more. We spoke with Lead Designer Dan Teasdale to get the full scoop on the mega-sequel. Teasdale gave us his thoughts on user-created content, improving accessibility, upgrading last year's model and more.

IGN: The most important question. Will Rock Band 1 DLC be playable in Rock Band 2?

Dan Teasdale: Yes. We've been developing Rock Band as a music platform from the start. All of the songs that you've purchased so far (and will be able to purchase in the future) are instantly playable and fully supported in Rock Band 2. We've even added some cool new features that let you play your DLC in different ways, which I think people will be very excited to get their hands on.


Time to get the band back together.​


IGN: Once RB2 is out, can you still download and play new tracks on RB1?

Teasdale: Absolutely! We've been working hard with Microsoft and Sony to develop a way to share content between games, and we're really happy that we'll be the first game to support fully functional cross-title DLC.

As far as Harmonix is concerned, there's no difference between "Rock Band 1 DLC" and "Rock Band 2 DLC" – we're just releasing awesome songs every week onto the Rock Band platform, all of which are playable by the Rock Band titles that support DLC.

IGN: Some people are going to ask, why even buy RB2 if you can keep enjoying DLC on RB1? I'm one of those people. So, what's the hook that will make me want to spend $60 on a new game disc?

Teasdale: At Harmonix, we have a very clear method for making games – we innovate, then we perfect. With Rock Band, we innovated by being the first full band game that you can play in your living room or online.

Rock Band 2 takes all the lessons we've learned from making a multi-instrument music game, addresses them, then adds some amazing new ways for you to experience your music library that have never been seen in a music game before. We've been scouring forums and parties everywhere for what people liked and didn't like, and I'm pretty confident we've addressed everything I've heard people ask for.

On that note, we've also secured what I can easily say is the best setlist I've ever seen in a music game. The PR team would kill me if I revealed some early, but it reads like a who's who list of rock music. We have a couple of surprises that we'll be announcing soon regarding this.

Rock Band 2 really is the ultimate rock experience, and I think people will find it hard going back to the original Rock Band after playing Rock Band 2 for a few minutes.


The interface hasn't changed much, but why fix what's not broken?​


IGN: As someone who has played a lot of RB with three friends at a party, it's a real pain to get everyone into a band and ready to play. Are you streamlining the plug-and-play aspects?

Teasdale: One of our biggest focuses of the design team has been to make the game "party safe." We've made navigation improvements to Rock Band 2 across the board based on the feedback we've been getting both from fans on forums as well as from our own personal experiences at Rock Band nights.

IGN: Will we get Band World Tour online right out of the box?

Teasdale: I'm pretty sure John Drake (Harmonix PR Coordinator) will hit me if I confirm or deny anything, but I can say this: We've taken almost everything people have asked for in Rock Band and added it to Rock Band 2, as well as including some "first time ever" features. Our World Tour campaign mode is no exception to this.

IGN: I don't know if you're aware, but recently an Activision executive revealed that Guitar Hero World Tour is going to be the first game to allow you to play guitar, drums, and vocals. What are your plans to counter this amazing advancement in music games?

Teasdale: Yeah, the clip of the Activision executive making that statement is floating around on the internet. I think the follow-up question he got was priceless: "Isn't that called Rock Band?" We released Rock Band back in November 2007, almost 10 months before GHWT will even make its debut. I think looking at a calendar settles when the "amazing advancement" in music games actually took place.

The reality is that a full band experience is a new genre of game and, of course, there are going to a lot of products out there for the consumer to choose from. We believe the music games category will only continue to grow, which showcases the strength and popularity of what we've already accomplished with Rock Band. With Rock Band 2, we're going to continue to push the boundaries of old and introduce new music, features and hardware that will elevate the entire genre and set a new standard of excellence once again. We look forward to delivering the ultimate in authentic music and gaming experiences, something no other company has come close to replicating.

IGN: GHWT has a studio where you can make your own songs. What do you think about user-created content in music games?

Teasdale: Harmonix believes that user creativity and user-generated content has an important role to play in music games especially since it is a company made of musicians – either in currently touring bands or in the past notable ones -- and we strongly believe in the possibility of giving every-day people the chance to create their own music. In fact we've been pioneering this since our earliest music games like Frequency and Amplitude – I recommend checking out YouTube for some of the crazy remixes people have done with our previous games.

Pricing for the new bundle has yet to be announced.​

The one thing we've learned from both doing this in previous games and seeing the efforts of homebrew composers at places like ScoreHero is that it takes time to develop tools if you're serious about building a platform for people to express themselves musically. We believe that a feature like this would have to be done in just the right way to hit the broadest demographic possible from professional music composers to the most casual gamer just trying something new so the result is a truly robust feature that educates the player and enhances the total music experience for the user. If we're going to do it, we want to do it right as our goal is to create a fully-realized, fully-integrated way for people to become real musicians and release quality music through Rock Band.

IGN: Are any improvements being made to the instruments? And will we get wireless guitars for 360?

Teasdale: Definitely. At Harmonix, we have a real benefit to having our hardware team in the same offices as our game team, since we can work together to create an authentic band experience.

Rock Band 2's instruments will not disappoint. Like I mentioned before, our philosophy here is to innovate, then perfect. Along those lines, we've been able to take all of the feedback we've received to make quieter, more realistic, and more reliable instruments. We've also added some features for players to customize the experience that they want to have, but we'll be talking more about this soon. And yes, all of your Rock Band instruments will still work with Rock Band 2.

We're also actively welcoming new peripheral makers to make instruments for our game. Just like real instruments, we want players to be able to choose what instruments they use, and we'll be expanding the choice of players alongside Rock Band 2.

IGN: What kind of improvements are being made to character and band customization?

Teasdale: We'll be letting you in on how we're improving the already deep character and band customization tools over the next few weeks, but it's safe to say that we'll be preserving and expanding the experience that we innovated with in the original Rock Band.

IGN: Is BWT more of the same or is it being completely redone?

Teasdale: We were really overwhelmed with all of the positive feedback we've been getting about our World Tour campaign mode. We're definitely enhancing the tour to provide an even deeper touring experience, but we're also excited about some of the new ways you can play your music library.

IGN: One thing that hurt BWT was that you couldn't select which DLC could be pulled for random tracks, which meant that you could get ruined on a 4-song set if Metallica showed up when you foolishly chose Expert. Is this being modified at all?

Teasdale: Yes! Nobody wants to play Green Grass and High Tides in their first random setlist, or Metallica when their parents are playing Easy Guitar. We've made some pretty cool changes here that both preserve the "risk-reward" nature of random setlists while also providing players with the option of avoiding specific types of music.

IGN: What are the chances of having multiple vocalists? Or at least a way that one character can be both a vocalist and play another instrument and have that properly represented in-game?

Teasdale: This is actually something that I have a vested interest in. I play bass in the band Speck, and one of our songs requires me to both sing and play bass at the same time. The problem, however, is that I have no coordination!

Take a gander at the new guitar.​

To train up for one of our shows, I played Rock Band's Endless Setlist on Expert Bass and Vocals at the same time. When it came around to playing in front of 600 people later that week, my Rock Band singer/bass skills totally carried across to live performance!

So, like I said before, I have a vested interest in getting this experience over to players who want to move to the next level of performance. One of our new ways of experiencing your music library has something targeted explicitly towards players that want to sing and play guitar.

IGN: We'd love to have a solo mode so people can just mess around with drums or guitar. Any hope on that front?

Teasdale: We have several new modes that not only provide new ways for you to experience your music library, but also new ways for you to transition from Expert to real instruments.

IGN: Will we see a similar spread of rock songs from across the '60s through modern day? Will we maybe more classic rock tracks on disc?

Teasdale: Rock Band 2 has the strongest playlist we've ever assembled, and I think fans will be blown away not just at the spread, but also at the caliber of acts we've attracted.

We also have over 200 songs available right now, between our on-disc content and DLC. If you want more classic rock, I highly recommend downloading the Boston and Grateful Dead six-packs that we released.

IGN: Are you broadening genres at all?

Teasdale: The Rock Band platform is all about the music, but we've always pushed to have our disc songs be both the best music and the best gameplay possible.

One of the great things about releasing multiple tracks, packs, and albums weekly through the Rock Band Music Store is that we can diversify and delve into specific subgenres and artist catalogues. You'd be hard pressed to justify Jimmy Buffett and Disturbed on the same disc, but the great thing about DLC is that we can push the boundaries of what players experience.

We also listen to all of the suggestions that are posted on the rockband.com forums. If you have your own pet favorites, you should rally up support there.

IGN: Any cool mods added to the instruments like a wah-wah pedal or some vocal effects? Can we do Frampton?

Teasdale: We'll be talking more about hardware in the coming weeks, but one of our cool things we're pushing is player choice and customizability in their instruments.

IGN: How well do you feel the RB1 model for DLC has worked? Are there any areas you want to improve for when RB2 ships?

Teasdale: Our downloadable content plans have been the crux of our platform strategy, and I'm super psyched to see players enjoying it to. We've completely blown past our last announced milestone of 12 million songs sold and are now at 15 million paid downloads. We have an amazing music store integrated into the game, we've been outselling "real" music retailers like iTunes for some artists, and most importantly, we're releasing more and more new content every week.

That said, there's a huge amount of potential for finding more ways to play that content besides Quickplay and the World Tour campaign mode, and I think Rock Band 2 delivers some really new and amazing ways to do that.

IGN: We've only seen a few full albums with RB1 DLC. Is there an effort to ramp up album production for RB2?

Teasdale: We've got some amazing albums cued up for this fall, but you'll have to wait until we announce them to find out what they are, and how they integrate into Rock Band 2.

IGN: Is the announcement of RB2 for '08 going to alter strategy for releasing DLC prior to launch? Do you start holding some songs back for RB2?

Teasdale: It definitely makes our job harder when deciding "should this be DLC or a disc song". Fortunately for us we have great relationships with all the labels and artists, so a lot of our experiences are dealing with the massive deluge of requests from bands that want to be on Rock Band. We think people will be excited by both the songs on the Rock Band 2 disc as well as the weekly content for Rock Band that we'll be continuing to deliver.

IGN: Here are ten bands I want to see in RB2:
Agent Orange
The Beatles
Built to Spill
The Buzzcocks
Journey
Led Zeppelin
Modest Mouse
Pavement
The Replacements
Tool

Based on this list. How do you think I would rate RB2 on a scale of 0-10 (ten making me a happy reviewer and zero making suicidal).

Teasdale: Not only have you named some of my favorite bands, but you've also named some of the bands that are on the Rock Band 2 disc.

Will one character be able to sing and play guitar?​

While I can't rate your list explicitly on "What's on Rock Band 2," I can rate you based on the number of times you mention music from my home country of Australia – which is none. Do you not like Australians? I'm a little offended that you haven't added iconic rock acts like Billy Thorpe, Radio Birdman, INXS, Midnight Oil or Crowded House to your list of songs. I haven't even started on modern bands like Regurgitator, Silverchair, Architecture in Helsinki, The Grates or Wolfmother!

I suggest that you purchase a couple of the "Triple J Hottest 100" CD's and get back to me.

Rock Band 2 is set to debut at E3 2008. Expect more details and first impressions the week of July 14.
Source
Do we even have rock band in europe yet on the PS3?
 

Nuvian

Master Sage
Feb 4, 2008
14,831
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#3
[QUOTE="havoc19, post: 0]only 360 here so far, probably Sep for Wii/PS3 versions for the 1st game[/quote]
So the 360 will probably get the second game before we get the first one, nice... i see no point in releasing it at all in europe then to be honest.
 

noD

Superior Member
Dec 10, 2007
862
0
0
Georgia
#6
Oh, Xbox get it 1st, may be due to all the PSN / HOME evelopment going on and HMX going to take advantage of Home or something, let's hope but XBox has always promoted RB on tour and stuff so they got some kind of partnership going. Hope RB2 has a concert hall in Home, Where users can sign up and play.

Online World Tour - Yes sounds like its coming, yes.
Online Band Scoring / Duals, yes.
My downloads will work on version II, yes.

Oh, one question he forgot, the disc songs on Rockband, hope I can play them in Rockband 2, I love the origanal tracks in Rockband and would like to be able to play them with RB2 features. Creep, GG&HT, Say It Aint So, Don't Fear The Reaper, Flirt'n W Disaster, etc

Dude this should be game of the year again, I'm so hyped right now.
 

T-Dogg400

Superior Member
Jun 14, 2008
761
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#7
PS3 in Europe still havent got Rock Band, thats a waste - its piontless to own Rock Band cauz its not great to pay high amount of money lol.
 

the_End

Master Guru
Jul 30, 2007
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#9
I hate these ****ing times exclusive but I'm so ****ing pumped for Rock Band 2. I'll be getting the new guitar, it so ****ing better then the GH: WT one, I mean DAMN it looks almost real to. DLC works, World Tour Online (FINALLY), I mean... this game is going to ****ing OWN.
 

babybell

Elite Member
Oct 10, 2007
1,676
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#11
[QUOTE="Gambit_101, post: 0]wow europe doesnt have the ps3 version yet.sad.[/quote]

I know its amazing. I bet what they will do here is have the seperate instrument pack (yet again -_-) But either bundle both games together or not bother releasing the original at all!
 

Idenowhereiam

Bandw!dth Savior
Oct 26, 2006
8,277
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In Miami, man <3
#12
well thats pretty lame.. I mean the wii version just came out.. releasing a new one within 6 months might not make sense.. I hope they don't delay the ps3 one for more than 2 weeks.. (Ms power move if you ask me)
 

noD

Superior Member
Dec 10, 2007
862
0
0
Georgia
#14
[QUOTE="Thorzilla, post: 0]I don't mind waiting a few weeks. This is day 1 purchase!!! Best game ever :DD[/quote]

Me to, pre order to.
side not for Thorzilla: we need to hook up and play a few songs, I've been playing MGS4 and should be done today. ready to get back and jam some on Rockband.

Oh, how about Spain yesterday, I was pulling for Germany but you guy put a wooping on them. 1-0.
 

Thorzilla

Elite Sage
Feb 4, 2006
11,740
81
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#15
Yeah yeah! I'm motivated enough to play some gigs :DD
However, I'm leaving for the whole summer, and I don't think I'm going to take Rock Band at all. I will take my mic most likely, but not my drumset :(

Anyway, 1 month and a half is no biggie, we can always keep updated on RB2 and wait for it to come!
 
Apr 28, 2005
2,837
4
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Maryland
#18
[QUOTE="ishanz, post: 0]I'm waiting for the first "[email protected]" message in this thread.[/quote]

[QUOTE="rikwakefield, post: 3021445]Followed by the obligatory online petition?[/quote]
So I guess PS3 owners who like Rock Band shouldn't be upset by this? Jeez, grow up already.

I guess they just need some extra development time (or they cut a deal).
 

dfx13

Apprentice
Dec 9, 2007
158
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#19
Gotta wonder if MS paid for the earlier release for the XB360. If that's the case, then shame on Harmonix for accepting money in exchange for reduced support for the rest of the gaming community. I guess I shouldn't start an anti-MS rant here, but this is one aspect of the game industry that really upsets me. If the game hits other platforms by the holiday season, then MS paid millions for a very short time exclusivity. That's bad for the gaming community, it's bad for MS shareholders.

Hopefully the delay is due to technical issues on the other platforms.
 

sorrow880

Forum Guru
Mar 18, 2007
3,546
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www.myspace.com
#21
This really does suck for us Rock Band enthusiast, but I don't really see too much value to MS in this. People like me aren't going to go out and buy it on the 360 because we've already invested so much money into our ps3 versions because of downloadable content. So unless we can get our downloadable content transfered to the 360 version, I'm sure 99% will just wait for the ps3 version to come out later.

Eitherway, it's a must buy when it does come out. Rock Band owns GH.
 

the_End

Master Guru
Jul 30, 2007
6,634
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#24
[QUOTE="Italiagibson, post: 0]i think that gutar hero world tour will be better.[/quote]

:lol:.... :lol:. If GH III is any indication WT will suck balls just like GH III. If you like the music from GH III then sure it will appeal to you but the note charts are the games strength and 3's were horrid.
 

noD

Superior Member
Dec 10, 2007
862
0
0
Georgia
#25
[QUOTE="SillyHatMafia, post: 0]Meh, i want Guitar Hero World Tour ( The music in Guitar Hero 1, 2 and 3 appeal to me MUCH more than Rock Band.[/quote]

cool, I did not know you will be able to import you songs from GH1, 2, 3 into World Tour.
That's nice but I'm going to wait and go with RockBand 2 just because I liked RockBand better then all the past GH's. The song for both all cool with me it just I like graphic's, note charts better on RockBand.
 

Mist

Super Elite
Mar 5, 2007
2,219
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#26
I think rockband needs to team up with an impressive band, Guitar Hero has scored big with legends Slash, Aerosmith, and then Metallica.

I hear Guns N' Roses are in talks on how to release Chinese Democracy in some innovative way. I think the 2 parties would do a huge favour for eachother.