Rock Band 2 getting cymbal-ized

GI reports Harmonix's drum kit will feature crash, ride, and high-hat add-ons; Fender, Ion partnership for LE real-instrument conversions.

The term "battle of the bands" has come to epitomize the competitive one-upmanship of Activision's Guitar Hero series and MTV Games' Rock Band franchise. While the first Harmonix-developed rhythm game under the MTV Games label won superior critical approbation thanks to the addition of drums and a karaoke element, the Guitar Hero brand name and a lower price point pushed the Neversoft-made Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock to the top of the billboard sales charts.

This year, the two franchises are again crossing axes with Guitar Hero: World Tour and Rock Band 2, and the musical arms race is heating up. Earlier this year, Activision hit its first power chord, announcing it would hop on the musical quartet wagon, adding in a five-pad (plus kick pedal) drum kit and a karaoke mic, among other substantially new features.

Today, MTV Games and Harmonix have struck back. As revealed in the latest Game Informer, the new drum kit will have more than just squishy, velocity-sensitive pads. While the standard-issue new drum kit will retain the four-pad setup of its predecessor, drumming enthusiasts will be able to purchase an additional cymbal pack. The pack includes crash, ride, and high-hat add-ons that can be plugged into the new kit and will be associated with existing colors. Because the cymbal pack will plug into expansion slots, Rock Band's original drum set will remain compatible with the game's follow-up.

For those counting, that adds up to a possible eight drum inputs, two more than World Tour and topping even the kit in Konami's Rock Revolution. Konami has taken actions of its own to counter MTV Games and Harmonix's move into the rhythm game space, claiming patent infringement and filing suit against Harmonix in a Texas court this week.

In addition to the new cymbal pack, GI reports that Harmonix and MTV Games have commissioned limited-edition instruments from Fender and Ion that will be made compatible with their rhythm game. From Fender, real Stratocasters will reportedly be stripped and then outfitted with game-input parts. The special edition Ion drum kit will feature four pads, three cymbals, and a kick pedal and will double as a fully functional electronic drum kit. Pricing information for the limited-edition bundles was not revealed.

Rock Band 2 is expected to be released this September on the Xbox 360 and will roll to other, as-yet-unannounced platforms later this year.

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307 comments
gah468
gah468

Good god, im gonna go pre order now this is.. its.... just awsome

Lord_Pisces
Lord_Pisces

I don't care about the cymbals. I think that guitar hero just got jealous. And there still calling it guitar hero! I've always liked rock band because it has songs that i've heard of. Rock Band has better downloadable content. And Journey. How can someone think that Guitar Hero is better when Rock Band has Journey?

squirreltakos
squirreltakos

Jeverage has put into words what I have always thought. Thank you This is definitely the most fun game out there too. I never tire of this game.

bladezguy
bladezguy

Damn I play the real drums and this seems like its getting too realistic I mean just play the real drums I guess it could be cool.

ALLoY1717
ALLoY1717

I'm going o be getting the GH intraments cos I want the cymbal plus they seem nore durable, I broke my last set cos I rock too hard on them. Drum I mean.

jason2guy
jason2guy

hopefully when it comes it that it won't be too expensive or else I'll be crying out of window looking at it.

mosesdg2001
mosesdg2001

darkwolfs48 your wrong! The instruments will actally be sold once sept. 14 come around because my store has a launch and sell date for the instruments on that day so it will be out then. As for the comments on the cymbal kit not adding anything to it, your right but it would be fun just to spice things up a little with three additional pads you can hit on.

Xfat
Xfat

Rb2 will need better durable instruments.

Sir_Hobo
Sir_Hobo

I'm not too impressed with the cymbal kit. All it does is let you hit cymbal pads instead of drum pads. It doesn't add anything.

xzc
xzc

Why do they need to strip a REAL stratocaster? i mean come on your just pushing buttons. save the real stratocaster for the real guitarists.

darkwolfs48
darkwolfs48

The game is separate from the bundle. The game launches next month WITHOUT the instruments. So the only people who would be picking it up in September are people upgrading on 360. The instruments / bundle don't come out until October when the PS3 version launches. Guitar Hero doesn't touch Rock Band atm. Drums are not out yet for Guitar Hero and by the time World Tour launches, RB2 will be out. I prefer drums so Guitar Hero never appealed to me.

Kalki_Avatar
Kalki_Avatar

I'm putting my money on the new RB kit. I'll bet the World Tour one will break in a week.

Champhockey30
Champhockey30

wow! i am so excited for this game. i have previouslly been a bigger fan for guitar hero and when rock band originally came out i stuck to guitar hero 3, but now this second rock band looks much more promising and fun than the new guitar hero world tour. cant wait for this to come out!

Gammit10
Gammit10

I'm so psyched for the cymbol pack. I hope you'll be able to configure which color is the hi-hat, as some of the songs ("Run to the Hills") uses red, while most use yellow.

albert48501
albert48501

konami is being messed up here... harmonix FTW i love the drum kit they had first and the new one is going to be really awesome

ShenlongBo
ShenlongBo

There needs to be a mic stand on the drum kit, or a separate one in the pack. I wanna sing and play drums at the same time.

djstyles92
djstyles92

as long as rock band 2 has AC/DC they win

tnyswonger
tnyswonger

Dan2002sk8er "so pre-ordering the new Ion drum, I've wanted an electric drum kit for a while now there is one that I can use with my favorite game as well. and only $300, I was looking a $600 for just the drum kit, I know it won't be the best electric drum kit but it will work 4 me. " Actually, to make it an electronic kit you need the base set ($299.99), the Alesis DM5 drum module which is $349.99, plus Ion's website recommends a seperate bass pedal (which allows you to use the current one as the high hat pedal-approx. $59.99 for a cheap one), plus the third cymbal which is $49.99. So grand total for the complete electronic drum set = $758.97. You could just buy the Alesis DM5 Pro Drum set for $599 and it includes the drum brain and all three cymbals, you just have to buy a kick pedal.

blazewind191
blazewind191

the original RB1 drum set is highly unreliable and has many complications. and now, harmonix is releasing a "better" version of the drum set. is this some sort of evil, twisted way to earn money??? the least these guys can do is selling the game separately than only selling it as a bundle

21655
21655

If RB1 Wii wasn't so gimped, I'd actually be a little excited about this. But, for now, I can't trust Harmonix and Pi Studios. GHWT FTW, I say.

DthBlayde
DthBlayde

@Hansolo10 "Because the cymbal pack will plug into expansion slots, Rock Band's original drum set will remain compatible with the game's follow-up. " looks to me like the original drum set will hold up just fine.

HanSolo10
HanSolo10

This game will be great and is better than GH4 because rock band was the first to come out with this type of game and so we can expect Rock Band 2 to be more refined and even better than the original. GH4 is the follower here and is learning from "Harmonix" who is responsible for making GH1 and GH2. It sounds like the new drum set is very nice but it doesn't sound like the extra cymbal kit is compatible with the original drum set. I'd like to buy the new drum set but I can't justify spending the extra cash.

Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

If the real guitar that's outfitted with RockBand buttons was somehow able to be played as a real guitar, now that would be something!

Lightz39
Lightz39

MSG-Deathscythe Your a horrible troll bud. A) The drums haven't been released yet. B) GHWT Suxorz.

teirdome
teirdome

I think what everybody is missing here is that the World Tour drum kit will possibly be compatible with Rock Band 2. Harmonix and company are making this game right and allowing you to purchase whatever kit you want. It's only a matter of time before the vastly better kits start coming out for Rock Band and doom World Tour.

shoeman12
shoeman12

8? that almost sounds like too much.

MSG-Deathscythe
MSG-Deathscythe

the ion drum kit is a joke! my cousin had it and it was literally destroyed because it was a piece of junk. rb2 is getting desperate of one-upping gh4 but it looks like it is going to fail. like i said a long time ago, whoever licenses the Roland V-Drums will win this war.

JustinLeeTime
JustinLeeTime

If they only had decided on 5 note paterns for the drums originaly. The guitar was already 5 so why not just stay with 5. Then again the kick drum would make 5 so thats probably why their isn't one more hit pattern in rockband. I guess this is the only way to counter Guitar Hero's version, but I still think the sound of drummer Travis Barker being able to close his eyes and play the drum patterns for songs in Guitar Hero 4 and get 100 percent because the patterns are that real., just amazing.....

meboney1985
meboney1985

this just proves that Rock Band understands what the buyers want. Guitar Hero is just trying to cut in on the business. There gonna have to pull a set list out of there A%# to get me to purchase it as well.

Dan2002sk8er
Dan2002sk8er

so pre-ordering the new Ion drum, I've wanted an electric drum kit for a while now there is one that I can use with my favorite game as well. and only $300, I was looking a $600 for just the drum kit, I know it won't be the best electric drum kit but it will work 4 me.

gamerkingg
gamerkingg

is the drums removable for the addons?

thedaxxman
thedaxxman

Wow you fanboys really just need to cut the $h1t in the end none of this will matter...and yes i do own a ps3 thats because id rather pay 500 bucks for a system than getting a 360 that'll break down in 2 months and not pay 15 bucks a month for online play...fanboys:shut the hell up you make no decent points, the only people that really have is combatsoldier and QualityJeverage. Big whoop you can play TTFAF on Expert we should tottally throw a parade for you... ...it will never matter that you can... ...thats super for you but still don't start bagging on people or calling then noobs and saying you pwned them I'll show you pwning but wait you @$$holes are probably just a bunch of nine year olds that everyone hates and go on forums and threads just to get some rep for yourselves from people you'll never know, never meet, or they just want to gas you and stuff you in their vans and make windchimes out of your genitals. Save your story...dont be an @$$ just because you can do something.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

Hey I just wanted to thank the people that took the time to answer my questions on wether guitar hero or rock band is better. it sounds like I just have to go and buy both. Anyways, thanks a lot for the input guys and I really appreciate it.

luigismansion101
luigismansion101

It looks good with eight inputs, but those three added inputs are already there technically. you just have your choice of hitting the green pad or green crash. it's not really adding a new pad per se, but it looks good in advertising. gh:wt looks like a much better buy, but i'll probably buy the disk for this game if it has a good setlist.

MindsEye13
MindsEye13

QualityJeverage, by some of these peoples comments, they would also have us learn to use REAL guns or REAL swords to fight REAL zombies and ninjas and pirates. I don't want to be a REAL rock star anymore than I want to be a REAL spy or treasure hunter or pit fighter. So to the haters of us non-REAL rock stars, you can continue to play your REAL guitars in your REAL parents basement and enjoy your REAL failed dreams and cry your REAL tears. We'll be over here having REAL fun! REALLY!! FACE!

i_am_chromas
i_am_chromas

Konami is just jealous... lol. jk. Rockband 2 better be one rocking game though, adding more drum inputs doesn't make up for the fact that you can't make your own songs on it XD Guitar Hero is number one imo in rythym games, Rockband is a close second.

Gifted_One
Gifted_One

Now if only i found the game fun

wolfblademusic
wolfblademusic

Dispatch421 Do you not realize that you can do double bass already? Brucies_Bubble.... if you have a PS3 the games aren't region coded. Can't you just import them Again Brucies_Bubble.... If you don't have a PS3 then WTF not?

dispatch421
dispatch421

For everyone else that has said it, double bass pedal would be awsome!!!!!

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

Thanks number1yanker. I really appreciate it.

number1yanker
number1yanker

combatsoldier, i know that with the 360 the gh3 guitar was compatible with rockband - i assume the same is true for ps3 though someone with that system would know better

A_Cool_Stud
A_Cool_Stud

Double bass pedal would be a good addition, and probably necessary on some of the higher-difficulty metal songs.

Erix360
Erix360

What they need is a double bass pedal so that the game will be more accessible to metal. And they should also focus less on the microphone because as it is a lot of fun, much less people seem to have that as a high priority when thinking about a song to purchase.

VicMackey
VicMackey

@QualityJeverage The anti-guitar game vitriol is not directed at people like you, but rather at people who spend so much time and effort mastering TTFATF on Expert that they may as well just invest in a cheap guitar and put their dedication to better use.

venompunisher
venompunisher

drc003, have you even seen this so-called ridiculous kit? it turns into an actual electronic drum kit, and as a drummer, im like wetting myself over it, because i can use rockband to practice without really annoying people, or just use it as a real set and practice! i really wouldnt have to get up! oh and why is everyone in america illiterate, did you not learn how to read! its not "symbols" its "cymbals" with an f***ing "C!" @$$holes!