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Harmonix has announced Rock Band 4 for the PS4 and Xbox One as expected. The new-gen revival of their music series will be arriving later this year.
Fortunately, players won't need to repurchase all of their songs from the past Rock Band games. Rock Band 4 will support the 2000 tracks released since the first Rock Band arrived back in 2007. Any DLC songs for PS3 and Xbox 360 can be downloaded for RB4 as well. You may have to wait awhile for all of your old library to be available for the game, though.
"The number of songs available as DLC at launch is to be determined and may be subject to change," says the fine print on the announcement. "Previously purchased DLC will be available for re-download and use in Rock Band 4 only after the DLC is released on next-generation consoles."
You may need to stay within the same console "family" (PS3 to PS4 or Xbox 360 to Xbox One) to be able to transfer your songs. In the game's FAQ, Harmonix says that "cross platform DLC compatibility is not entirely within our control."
While previous Rock Band games also appeared on the Wii, Harmonix currently doesn't have plans to develop Rock Band 4 for either of Nintendo's consoles. PC gamers are also missing out.
"Due to shifting production priorities and capabilities of the studio, we don’t currently have plans to release RB4 on the Wii / Wii U / PC simultaneously with Xbox One and PS4. While we genuinely appreciate the support of Wii Rock band users over the years, and the increased interest from PC gamers, the truth is that we had to prioritize opportunities on other platforms with historically larger RB audiences. "
Rock Band 4 will use the same core instruments as previous games in the series. This means it's possible that players will be able to use their old controllers from previous Rock Band games. However, Harmonix hasn't confirmed that yet.
"We’re already working closely with Mad Catz, Sony, and Microsoft on solutions for letting you use legacy hardware on new consoles. This is a challenge on both the software side and hardware side, but something we’d love to happen. We’ll have more information on this in the coming months."
Harmonix is enlisting Mad Catz to create new wireless controllers for Rock Band 4 as well. They'll offer two different hardware bundles at launch. The first comes with a copy of Rock Band 4, a Wireless Fender Stratocaster Guitar Controller, a Wireless Drum Kit Controller and a Microphone. The second just comes with the game and the guitar. No prices were announced today. You can see the new instruments in the image gallery below.
Today's announcement didn't mention any actual features of Rock Band 4. Harmonix did suggest that there may be extra cooperation involved in this new game, though.
"When I watch people play Rock Band what I see is four people sort of playing a single-player game in the same room," Harmonix's Daniel Sussman told Eurogamer. "The relationship between the drummer and the bassist is not as connected as I think it can be. So that's an area where I think there's a lot of room for improvement from a game design standpoint."