Rock Band coming to Australia

EA confirms Harmonix-developed band simulation game finally making its way down under on November 7.

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An industry rumour started circulating over a year ago saying that Harmonix-developed rhythm title Rock Band would not be coming to Australian shores to coincide with the Christmas 2007 holiday period launch in the US. The rumblings were given further credence when Charles Huang--cocreator of RedOctane and the Guitar Hero brand--went on record to GameSpot AU in 2007 saying he believed the product would miss its intended launch window in multiple territories outside of North America due to insufficient manufacturing. Sure enough, when the game launched in December last year it turned out exactly as Huang predicted, and almost a year after going on sale EA was still making announcements at E3 2008 about new European regions due to receive the game. Australia so far has not been one of the listed countries to receive Rock Band, and attempts at ascertaining a firm release date or reason for the delay from the game's distributor EA has fallen on deaf ears.

Rock Band, the Harmonix-developed rhythm game that features guitar, drums, and vocals has had a well-documented rough trip to reach retail shelves in Australia. The recent news that Activision had priced and dated Guitar Hero: World Tour for our market made it look as if Guitar Hero would be the first full band game to go on sale down under. EA hit back today announcing Rock Band will be available from November 7 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii platforms in Australia. The product will be sold in multiple configurations with hardware-only bundles on all platforms--consisting of one guitar, microphone, and drum kit--carrying an RRP of A$199.99 ($166.47), the hardware bundle including software will cost A$249.99 ($208.23), and stand-alone drum kits and guitars will retail for A$129.99 ($108.30) and A$89.99 ($74.99) respectively.

An EA spokesperson was unavailable at time of print to comment on the availability and pricing of Rock Band downloadable content for Australia or an estimated time frame for the launch of the game's sequel, Rock Band 2.

The news comes only days after Games Conference Asia 2008--Asian version of Leipzig's trade show--where EA Asia Pacific President Jon Niermann confirmed the game would begin shipping to Singapore from September 25 this year.

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