Today is the day many gamers in Europe have been awaiting. The highly anticipated rhythm game Rock Band has finally been given an official release date in the region--for one platform, at least. According to distributor Electronic Arts, Rock Band will have "an exclusive launch window on the Xbox 360" that will begin on May 23. As for gamers with other platforms, they'll have to wait until sometime in the "summer," says EA.
(North American gamers got Rock Band on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on November 20, 2007, and a PlayStation 2 version followed in December. A Wii version will hit the US and Canada in June.)
The European version of the Harmonix/MTV Games rhythm game will add nine new songs especially for the region--four English tracks, two French, and three German--to bring the total up to 67. The full list of songs, which will be available as downloads in the US, is as follows:
Blur "Beetlebum" (English)
Oasis "Rock 'n' Roll Star" (English)
Tokio Hotel "Monsoon" (English)
Muse "Hysteria" (English)
Les Wampas "Manu Chao" (French)
Playmo "New Wave" (French)
Die Toten Hosen "Hier Kommt Alex" (German)
Juli "Perfekte Welle" (German)
H-Block X "Countdown to Insanity" (German)
The online catalogue of Rock Band tunes available in the US--over 70 so far--will be available for download in Europe starting on May 27. The tracks will each cost 160 Microsoft Points (£1.36) from Xbox Live Marketplace, and from then on, all new songs will be released simultaneously in the US and Europe on a weekly basis.
[UPDATE] Rock Band has been rated 12+ by the PEGI rating board. Whereas the game retails in the US for $169.99 (£86) with the game, drum kit, microphone, and one guitar, or $59.99 (£30) for the software solo, EA has told GameSpot that Europe will be getting a different set of SKUs.
The Instrument Edition of Rock Band will be priced at £129.99 or €169, and will be a bundle of the three instruments--but not the game. The game itself will be priced at £49.99 or €69.99, with wireless guitars going for £59.99 or €79.99 and the drum kits for £69.99 or €89.99 a la carte.