Rock Band and Plastic Instruments Will Return on Xbox One and PS4, Harmonix Says

CCO Alex Rigopulos states that Harmonix is waiting for the right time to bring back the iconic music game.

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It's been a long time since we had a new Rock Band or Guitar Hero game. If you're like me, then your old plastic instruments from those games are collecting dust in a corner, sitting unused year after year. Rock Band 3 launched all the way back in 2010, and we've not had a follow-up since then.

But Rock Band developer Harmonix hasn't given up on the franchise. Although there's been a lack of recent peripheral-based music games, Harmonix CCO Alex Rigopulos affirms that the company has plans for future Rock Band titles on the current-gen consoles.

In an interview with GameReactor, Rigopulos explained the developer's approach to the series. When asked specifically if Rock Band with plastic instruments will return, Rigopulos responded, "We think about it all the time because we love Rock Band, and we're waiting for just the right moment in the new generation of consoles to bring it back."

He continues: "Someday, when the time is right, we will want to bring it back."

So there's a strong probability that we'll see a return of the plastic instruments during this console cycle. Maybe just not right away, considering Harmonix is developing several different games simultaneously.

The company's gesture-based music game Fantasia: Music Evolved launches October 21 for Xbox One and Xbox 360. At this year's E3, Harmonix announced Dance Central Spotlight for the Xbox One, which will be released by the end of 2014. It also recently revealed music shooter Chroma for the PC. In May, the developer Kickstarted a sequel to the PS2 classic Amplitude, which should have a 2015 release.

What do you want to see in a new Rock Band? Do you want even more instruments, or would you like a return to the basics of the genre? Let us know in the comments.

Alex Newhouse is an editorial intern at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @alexbnewhouse
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

141 comments
sonicpsycho13
sonicpsycho13

Transfer all content from previous RB titles. Improved Pro mode for learning real instruments. Better, more durable instuments.

DrKill09
DrKill09

This fad is old and dead.  Leave it that way.  If people still wanted to play these games, plastic guitars wouldn't be stacking up at game stores and Goodwill.


Besides, now there is Rocksmith, which actually helps you learn REAL guitar, not some plastic toddler toy.

baztyper
baztyper

A kind of magic - Queen


Please thank you

JackNief
JackNief

...Not trying to deter interest, but, wasn't Rock Band and Guitar Hero's lifespan kind of over and done with? I mean they were really, really big, then they just kind of.... died down.

blackbeltjones
blackbeltjones

After playing Rocksmith, I will not go back to plastic instruments. I have the real string guitar for RB3 but its note detection is crap. I will certainly NOT buy if I cannot transfer my 1,200 RB songs over to next gen.......

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

Since Rocksmith I just can't accept this plastic crap. At least give us the option to eithe ruse real or plastic instuments :S

Mandrew257
Mandrew257

If I can't transfer my DLC or use my old instruments, I don't want it. But if it lets me play with my real guitar like Rocksmith, I might pick it up....might.

catsimboy
catsimboy

Please don't. I don't want to see a billion individual song DLCs (x2 because their demo version is also listed) clogging up the DLC section of each systems digital store. It's bad enough that I have to see every friggin' game that isn't even out yet available for digital pre-order.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

One set of incredibly well made instruments (WITH THE BASS GETTING A REAL ENTRY, like MAD CATZ did... of all companies...), followed by a SINGLE hub game that connects to a type of cloud based music platform.

mixmaster1995
mixmaster1995

I know, wrong game here, but I would love to see a Guitar Hero Metallica 2.

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

Transfer DLC and compatible instruments from PS3 and 360 to PS4 and Xbox1… otherwise…. not interested.  Too much already invested in it.  Not spending all over again on it.

Areyal
Areyal

aaah Rock Band... spent so much time playing it. Luv ya Harmonix!

nparks
nparks

Should have brought it back at launch.  Then we'd have something to keep ourselves occupied until the next gen games finally start coming out.

HelIWithoutSin
HelIWithoutSin

Just PLEASE make it possible to transfer our DLC.

juturna666
juturna666

I would buy a new console in a heartbeat for a new Rock Band, but only on one condition: All of the previous content I've amassed transfers over.I know it's already been said numerous times in the comments, so I know I'm not the only one, but I've spent hundreds of dollars on DLC and such over the years, and if it doesn't transfer over, I'm done. I remember checking every week to see what songs were added and downloading them. If they don't allow content to be transferred over, they're basically screwing their most loyal fans. Also, while I love the plastic instruments and think they should stay, I think adding more realistic instruments and adding that educational aspect to the game is crucial. I mean, no one is going to spend hundreds of dollars on a "real" Rock Band guitar when they can plug the guitar they already have into Rocksmith.

textureofcouch
textureofcouch

A few things for this to be perfect: fix the guitar timing engine, get rid of trill lanes, put in a better set list than Rock Band 3, and make a good story mode so we can feel the connection that we felt when the first Guitar Hero games that came out.

Heshertonfist
Heshertonfist

I'm a little surprised by how many people actually want another music game. They'll probably release one then you'll all be sick of it again.

jarmana
jarmana

gotta agree we don't need more instruments. guitars, mics, drums, and keyboards are enough. it is needed on ps3 ps4 xbox one and xbox 360 maybe the wii u if you want to be bold. importing of the old library is an absolute must. character and band customization also a must. a venue creator/editor tool could be cool as well.

fire897
fire897

As great as Rockband was, I dont want to buy more instruments. Sorry.

drizex
drizex

Yes, I want a new ROCK BAND, but also want to have for the PS3 ... as from the music, I would love that Harmonix put Separate Ways (Worlds Apart), Faithfully and Don't Stop Believing with ... Keyboard version, because I have the keyboard ROCK BAND 3 for PS3 ... and I also hope that the instruments be compatible with the PS4 system ^ ^

XBlade1X
XBlade1X

YES! Rockband is amazing and it would be stupid not to resume supporting your most beloved game series!

Make it possible to bring over my entire library from Xbox 360 to Xbox One and I will cry many happy tears!

bemaniac
bemaniac

I would probably kill to have this come out on ps4/xbox1 purely so my library of over 2500 songs can stay alive in this digital age of expiry dates!

darkandlighteco
darkandlighteco

No thanks i'm good with the custom songs community !

jgimpelman
jgimpelman

Listen, I play Pro Keys, so all of this talk of "Rock Band doesn't use real instruments" is b.s. The game uses fully functional MIDI drums and guitar/bass as well, and has over 4500 songs to download. Sure, not every great band/song or whatever will be in the game, but you can never satisfy everyone. The song library is still far and away the most impressive in gaming history. 


As for this news, if it's not backwards compatible I won't be buying it. I love the Rock Band series, and have amassed a considerable number of downloads and spent a sum of money on the franchise. If you're going to put out a new game, I better be able to play all of my songs in it. The leaderboards from previous games should also transfer over. Not having all of the songs in the new game would be like sticking a giant middle finger in the face of fans who have spent hundreds of dollars on the game already. 

section18
section18

In the meantime, you can use your drum kit on PC like a real drumset. Google "Rockband Drum Machine PC"

magnusdopus
magnusdopus

They should use the motion capture function of the kinect and put your moves into the game. Extra points for playing 'Purple Haze' Jimi Hendrix behind the back style,

landonvath
landonvath

I still play Rock Band all the time!! More of the Basic genres please!

mrdragon411
mrdragon411

what i want the most is all my dlc to carry over and my squire guitar  to work on next gen console's.

yourbasement
yourbasement

Agreeable at that, Rock Band 1 didn't even launch until 2 years after the 360 release and 1 year after the PS3 launch.


I personally want to play plastic guitars and drums all over again, the real thing has never intrigued me since I just like to listen to music and have a good time. On the fact of DLC, it would take a lot out of Harmonix to relicense all 2000+ songs and then send them to Rock Band 4, would it be great? Yes, but it's highly unlikely that they are going to waste resources to getting previous gen DLC to work on the current gen consoles.

toshineon
toshineon

I'm all for it. I mean, I love Rocksmith, but as a party game, Rock Band is better. Way better.

robinoid
robinoid

The one thing I would like to see is a more strict expert vocals.  I have a pretty easy time singing on expert on all my favorite songs on Rock Band.  Karaoke Revolution however, is much more difficult to master.  I believe the vocals should require just a little more precision and push people just a little bit harder to master a song.

generalxsl
generalxsl

I can care less about the instruments. I'd like to see them focus a little more on the vocals. The addition of 4 to 5 mics would be great. However... If this is just a ploy to resale all the same content you can count me out. To date I've spent over a thousand dollars on music downloads alone just within Rock Band. If this content doesn't transfer over... or at least offer a reasonable 'transfer licensing fee' on all previously downloaded content attached to my gamer tag... The term 'deal breaker' is the only thing that comes to mind! And no amount of time between RB3 and RB4 will change my opinion!

imajinn
imajinn

RB? On the current gen? I'm in. I played so much on last gen with friends/family I would pick up a new one for current gen in a heartbeat.

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@DrKill09

Rock Band 3 also taught you to play guitar and bass….and keyboards and drums too. Plus it is a lot more fun to play than Rocksmith or Band Fuse and much better for parties. Not to mention to sold a Lot better than Rocksmith or Band Fuse which are niche titles at best - not everyone wants to actually learn an instrument. Don't be such a snob. 

blackbeltjones
blackbeltjones

@catsimboy I hated that with alot of games... not just RB. They should just show the games that released DLC and then you click on that to see the new stuff..... DOA is notorious for filling the damn DLC section...

blackbeltjones
blackbeltjones

@ohjtbehaaave While I agree with the transfer of DLC, (I wont buy a new RB if I need to start my 1,200 song collection over) I want to use my Gretsch Duo Jet with RB like I do with Rocksmith..... 

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@nparks

Not enough consoles sold on the market to support a game like this with peripherals. Sure way to end up in bankruptcy rather quickly. 

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@juturna666


If it doesn't happen, you can blame the music industry and their insatiable green, not Harmonix. 

Hekteur
Hekteur

@Heshertonfist thanks for deciding for me. I had quite opposite opinion on the matter, but since you decided that we were all gonna get sick again ... You gotta be right I guess.(I actually never got bored of music game. I was smart enough to not buy all the available content they amde).

hermitkiller
hermitkiller

@section18 Rock band played with pc sounds fake & ridiculous.

It should be played with consoles where it belongs.

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

@blackbeltjones @ohjtbehaaave It's sort of apples and oranges though.  Rocksmith uses a real guitar… and RB uses the plastic instruments.  It will be interesting to see which direction RB goes in.

jeremybristol
jeremybristol

@ohjtbehaaave @blackbeltjones  RB3 could be played with real instruments, too.  Probably not quite as accurate as Rocksmith, but yeah.  As an amateur drummer, though, I have to wonder when, if ever, Rocksmith will add drums to the mix.  It's great that it teaches you how to really play, but it's not much of a party game.

blackbeltjones
blackbeltjones

@ohjtbehaaave @blackbeltjones Well i also have the RB3 Fender that is a real guitar as well, so they can do both like they did in RB3... I just want them to let me use my own guitar. I cant stand the Fender because the fretboard is plastic because thats where the sensors are. Hence the piss poor detection. If they can just make a tone cable like Rocksmith and even Bandfuse did, it shouldnt be an issue. Just dont want to spend any more money on plastic instruments. I think a lot of us probably have two fake guitars, fake drum set, fake keyboard and likely two or three "fake" microphones. I like the ability to use the Fender guitar and RB keyboard as MIDI instruments but I would prefer to use my own. I still want to transfer my songs from the 360 to the One for free, but I doubt that happens. It's unfortunate and unlikely I will be able to transfer all 1,200 for free..... but here's hoping. If I can play all those songs and learn some more songs while doing it, I will gladly pay $70 for RB4 and a "realtone" cable to use my own guitar.

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

@blackbeltjones @ohjtbehaaave Yeah at this stage of the game there's no excuse for a new RB to not have the ability to play your real guitar with it.  I still have an Ion Drum kit for 360 which worked with RB and GH…. and they better find a way for it to work with the next RB too.