Harmonix readies Rock Band

Cambridge (Massachusetts)-based developer Harmonix has teamed up with EA and MTV to develop Rock Band, a new music game that "takes the core premise of Guitar Hero and expands it tenfold." If you thought Guitar Hero's two-player mode was cool, Rock Band hopes to blow you away with a new four-player option that lets you jam with other players over the internet, reports USA Today.

Alex Rigopulos, co-founder of Harmonix, revealed that the new game "lets you create a complete collaborative band," with microphone and drum kit controllers coming along with two guitars (lead and bass). That sounds awesome.

Set for a pre-Christmas release on Xbox 360 and PS3, the game will feature acts from original artists thanks to MTV's involvement, who will be helping to make deals with music publishers. MTV's Jeff Yapp commented: "This game offers a meaningful way for labels to participate in a segment of entertainment they, for the most part, have not been able to."

Although a track list is yet to be revealed, it is said to include a range of music "from metal to classic rock to Southern rock to everything in between," revealed Rigopulos, and will allow gamers to download new songs from the internet. Sounds awesome, doesn't it? We may have some time to wait, but that's okay because we've got Guitar Hero II coming to 360, don't forget.

The game manual for GHII reveals that the mysterious port on the bottom of the guitar controller will allow the connection of an effects pedal, although it says the feature is "currently unavailable." Bummer. Hopefully some pedals will be released for use with the game at a later date.

It's a good time for rocking rhythm-action gamers.

April 2, 2007