Rock Band 4 is Officially Announced for the PS4 and Xbox One

Rock Band 4 has been officially announced for the PS4 and Xbox One.

The game, which is set to release by the end of 2015, will see those familiar, pricey plastic instruments make a comeback, with developer Harmonix stating that they want to bring the series “back to basics” and remove the tacked-on features that saw later entries in the series being met with a consistently less warm consumer reception, whilst also making the fourth iteration in the rhythm-action franchise unique from its predecessors.

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According to Harmonix, all previous songs you have downloaded in the series will be available to you again, providing that you pick up the game within the same console family. For instance, if you purchased previous Rock Band games on the PS3, then all of your downloaded songs will be available on the PS4, with the same rules applying for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Harmonix is also working to ensure that the instruments you bought for previous Rock Band games will work with Rock Band 4, though they seem uncertain in regards to how they hope to achieve this. Speaking to Polygon, Alex Verrey of Mad Catz, the officially licensed creators of the Rock Band instruments, said: “The current generation of console hardware, however, is dramatically different from last gen — presenting a new set of compatibility challenges.

“Rest assured, however, that we hear the message loud and clear and we’re on the side of the gaming community. It’s an ongoing effort and we’ll do everything in our power to try and ensure compatibility wherever possible.”

Harmonix is working to ensure the instruments you bought for previous Rock Band games will work with Rock Band 4.

Verrey also confirmed that Rock Band 4 wouldn’t see a shift towards “pro” controllers, and any new instruments developed for the game would be in keeping with the Rock Band theme.

Harmonix also stated that Rock Band 4 would not kickstart annual releases of the series, with the company instead relying upon updates and DLC to keep revenue flowing. Rock Band 4 is intended to be a platform for which the series relaunches, and will not face the same problems the series did back in its prime when unnecessary sequels bogged it down and eventually led to the genre in general sinking back into anonymity.

A few bundles of the game have been announced, though Harmonix has stated that they will have more to reveal over the coming months. Here are the three we know about thus far:

  • The Band-in-a-Box Bundle, which includes the Rock Band 4 game, a Wireless Fender Stratocaster Guitar Controller, a Wireless Drum Kit Controller and a Microphone.

  • The Guitar Bundle, which includes the Rock Band 4 game and a Wireless Fender Stratocaster Guitar Controller.

  • A special Wireless Stratocaster Guitar Controller, featuring custom artwork of “Gabe” from the Penny Arcade webcomic. This limited-edition collectible will only be available via on-site pre-orders at the Harmonix booth during PAX East.

Check out the game’s announcement trailer below: