Rock Band 2 Announced!

Harmonix, the world’s premier music video game company in the world, and MTV Games, a part of Viacom’s MTV Networks, along with marketing and distribution partner Electronic Arts Inc., are taking the groundbreaking music platform that forever changed the face of music video games to the next level this September with the release of Rock Band 2. With the original providing millions of players a new way to interact with the music and artists they love, Rock Band 2 is the next evolution of the franchise that redefined the standard for music games.

Rock Band is the groundbreaking platform that allows music fans and gamers to interact with music like never before – challenging players to put together a band and tour for fame and fortune while learning to master lead/bass guitar, drums and vocals.

Rock Band 2 builds upon its foundation as the first music game to introduce co-operative band gameplay, multiple instruments, a robust online multiplayer experience, an unrivaled offering of downloadable content and raises the bar by delivering an entirely new level of depth, connectivity, authenticity and features including:

* Backwards compatibility with Rock Band downloadable music content. All previously purchased tracks will immediately load into your Rock Band 2 song list. No need to re-purchase or re-download.
* The biggest and most diverse soundtrack ever featuring some of rock’s most prolific acts, comprised entirely of master recordings.
* Major new and dynamic online modes that will connect the entire Rock Band community in more ways than ever before both locally and globally.
* More variety of instrument choices than ever before with new and improved drum and guitar peripherals, enhanced functionality and innovative new designs – all fully compatible with the original Rock Band instruments.
* And much more.

“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.”

Rock Band 2 will make its debut on Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft this September and have an exclusive launch window in North America. Rock Band 2 will be available for additional platforms later this year.

“We expect Rock Band 2 to continue to drive an amazing social music experience on Xbox 360, said David Hufford, senior director, Xbox Product Management for the Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft. “We look forward to supporting Rock Band 2 on Xbox 360 as gamers continue to download hundreds of new music tracks from Xbox LIVE so they and their friends can perform the rock music they love most.

More details regarding features and music for Rock Band 2 will be revealed at the 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit. Rock Band, the first installment in the franchise, garnered more than 40 awards including Game Critics Award: Best of Show E3 2007.

In addition, Harmonix and MTV Games today announced that The Rock Band online music store recently surpassed 15 million paid downloads since the game’s launch in late November 2007. With more than 200 tracks available to date via download purchase (complete list of tracks at, the massive Rock Band Music Store allows players to preview and purchase downloadable individual music tracks, packs and albums from the vast selection of offerings available as they build their own custom Rock Band library.

Rock Band 2 is rated “T” for Teen (lyrics, mild suggestive themes) by the ESRB.

For more information on Rock Band and Harmonix Music Systems please visit and

PS2 Rock Band Getting the Shaft


Rock Band has not yet been released for the Playstation 2 although recent reports have found out that when it does, it will be a much watered down version of the game.

Obviously, the game is not going to support any online play as well as downloadable content, unlike the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. Some things that were a little less expected are the fact that the World Tour mode is going to much different in the sense that it is very linear as well as the fact that you will not be able to customize characters or gain cash and fans.

Personally I feel like these features are the some of the main differences that caused the game to stand apart from Guitar Hero. Without them, I don’t really feel like the game is worth purchasing.

Hopefully Harmonix and MTV will at least be able to release expansion patches for PS2 owners so that they can get new songs because I’ve already played through them all on my 360 version and if I knew that there were no more songs, I would be pretty pissed.

Harmonix, Activision brawl over Guitar Hero PS3 controllers

Guitar Hero III box

In what is a most amusing series of events, Harmonix and Activision are fighting like kindergarten kids over who’s responsible for not releasing a patch for Rock Band.

Harmonix, with some help from MTV, thought that releasing a patch for Rock Band, which would allow Guitar Hero III controller compatibility is a good idea. The idea did, after all, come after thunderous public request. However, it didn’t go down as well as they had expected. Harmonix’s patch was approved by Sony, but not by Activision, who supposedly objected to the patch.

This makes Harmonix and MTV heroes who want a free and liberal gaming area and where everything is good and compatible. Activision is suddenly a dark, evil EA-esque villain who wants the depraved gamers to buy Rock Band controllers. And because we need a fine background for a fight, we have Sony and their PlayStation 3.

Sony promptly replied that this is a matter out of their hands, and one that should be “amicably resolved” by Harmonix, MTV and Activision. Well, at least Sony has nothing to do with the whole fiasco. Then again, it’s the ill-fated, all-cursed PlayStation 3 that serves as a setting for this tale.

Activision struck back yesterday by saying that MTV/Viacom is unwilling to participate in a healthy tussle discussion about the issue. According to their press release, Activision were the good guys all along and Harmonix/MTV have been the ones who were not talking with Activision about their technology.

This fight is almost like the Silicon Knights/Epic brawl, except there’s no legal matters here and the subject is ridiculous. What’s bad is that the gamers are suffering in the long run. They are the ones who haven’t gotten the patch yet, while the big corporations talk about how they love gaming and want gaming to be accessible.

How will Harmonix/MTV respond? Is the PS3 really cursed? Isn’t watching this silly fight fun? Comment and conquer!