UK Shippin' Out May 23: Rock Band

Blighty finally gets Harmonix' multiperipheral rhythm game--but only on the 360; PS3s get Haze'd, and Age of Conan storms onto PCs.

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This week sees one of the biggest launch days in the year so far for UK gamers. Firstly, Brits will be at last able to get their hands on Rock Band, the musical game from EA that promises to make them and their mates feel like a proper rock band.

For its European customers, Harmonix has made the decision to split the game and the instruments at retail, and its pricing hasn't proved popular on this side of the pond. The Instrument Edition, which contains the three peripherals--a guitar, microphone, and drum kit--will sell for a recommended retail price of £129.99. The game itself will go for £49.99. Wireless guitars will be £59.99, and drum kits £69.99.

From now on, Rock Band downloadable content will be released simultaneously in the US and Europe, and the back catalogue of songs that have been available in the US is already online for Europe as well.

Trying to steal Harmonix's thunder, THQ's Battle of the Bands is going head-to-head against Rock Band by also being released this week. The Wii game combines music and warfare, as two gamers choose a music genre each and then battle to keep control of a song. There are five musical styles to choose from: rock, funk/hip-hop, country, marching band, and Latin. An arsenal of weaponry is not only permitted but encouraged, including sniper violins and flame-throwing guitars. There is also a single-player mode against an AI opponent. Battle of the Bands--which was previously called Band Mashups--will be £29.99.

Next up, the famous barbarian roars into the UK with Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. This massively multiplayer online role-playing game for the PC has been long awaited by fans. Developed by Funcom--the creator of Anarchy Online--it was revealed at the start of the week that a total of 700,000 copies of the fantasy game were due to rampage amongst the general public on release day. Preorders of the Collector's Edition have now completely sold out--despite a second print run to cope with demand, bringing the total to 110,000. However, those who fancy their chances can try getting to stores early--there are still some retail copies of the Collector's Edition available, said Funcom.

PlayStation 3 exclusive first-person shooter Haze will be gunning onto consoles today. From Free Radical--the developer of TimeSplitters--the game sees privatized soldiers use a drug called Nectar to enhance their combat abilities, unaware that it's also controlling their minds. Haze is priced at £49.99.

Adventure fans who haven't played The Secret Files: Tunguska on the PC when it was released back in 2006 can now give it a go on the Nintendo DS or Wii. The point-and-click adventure puts gamers in the shoes of feisty redheaded heroine Nina, as she investigates the disappearance of her father. This leads her to a further mystery--that of an event that occurred in 1908 in the Siberian region of Tunguska where an unexplained inferno turned everything to ashes. The Secret Files: Tunguska will be £29.99 on both the Wii and DS.

Earlier in the week, Nintendo's downloadable game service WiiWare launched in Europe with an initial offering of six games. These were: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King (1,500 Wii points, £10.50), LostWinds (1,000 Wii points, £7), Dr. Mario & Germ Buster (1,000 Wii points, £7), Star Soldier R (800 Wii points, £5.60), Toki Tori (900 Wii points, £6.30), and TV Show King (1,000 Wii points, £7).

On Thursday, the PlayStation Network also got its weekly update, although it didn't add any new games. A batch of packs for Go!Explore on the PlayStation Portable became available, including ones for the UK and Ireland, Scandinavia, Italy, France, and Benelux. Bourne Conspiracy and Iron Man demos are also now up for grabs for free, along with a Korn video clip from Haze.

Not to be left out, Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness stormed onto Xbox Live Marketplace this week. The two comic-strip characters Tycho Brahe and Jonathan "Gabe" Gabriel are running a detective agency called Startling Developments, and players join by customising a character. The duo's first episodic outing is more expensive than most Xbox Live Marketplace offerings at 1,600 Microsoft points (£13.60).

Another new addition is Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory to the Xbox Originals section. Like other Original titles, the game costs 1,200 Microsoft points (£10.20) to download. First released in 2005, the Ubisoft stealth action game takes players into the world of high-tech espionage.

MAY 23, 2008
Haze (PS3)
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (PC)
Rock Band (360)
Final Fantasy XI: Vana'diel Collection 2008 (360, PC)
Battle of the Bands (Wii)
The Secret Files: Tunguska (Wii, DS)
Mary King's Riding School (DS)
Fizz (DS)
Pirates: Duels on the High Seas (DS)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Game of the Year Edition (PS3)
Let's Ride: Silver Buckle Stables (PS2)
TrackMania United Forever (PC)

Discussion

32 comments
Amendiri
Amendiri

Nice. I finally placed an order on Rock Band: Solus + a drum kit. $124 total. That's more than £100 cheaper than here in Denmark. And it's not out here until the end of August! Now I just have to wait until Amazon gets those drum kit in stock again...

Merc1319
Merc1319

i know, over here in australia we've yet to see even a hint of rock band... i honestly dont think i care anymore... my $300 would be best spent on gears 2, ninja gaiden 2 and too human methinks

Dragonahcas
Dragonahcas

You should also note that Rock Band is only being released over here on the Xbox 360 for now. So any Wii and PS3 players are having to wait even longer. Nearly ONE YEAR after the original game came out. They could have at least gave us some more music on the disk to help compensate.

TehPickle
TehPickle

I stopped being exciting about rock band months ago. Factor into that the insanely inflated price and it amounts to a game I no longer care about. Damn shame.

jknight5422
jknight5422

I guess one good thing is that with Xbox Originals being available via download, we don't have to worry about them being incompatible with the next next-gen Microsoft console.

Fable_fan88
Fable_fan88

Brits should just wait 4 more months for GH4:world Tour to come out... its going to be less $ and better than Rock band

afrothunda312
afrothunda312

EA & Harmonix = Money Grabbers I want Rock Band badly but c'mon, selling the actual game and instruments seperately? WTF! Price IS ridiculous

ColdGen
ColdGen

For us Aussies the Penny Arcade game equates to about AUD$26.40 - not cheap by any stretch.

Skreb-Masters
Skreb-Masters

Be smart. Buy Rock Band off play.com. That'll save you a good £40 if you get the box and game. Also, 1600 points for the Penny Arcade game? **** that! Not even Xbox Originals cost that much.

CamisadoBlue
CamisadoBlue

If you live in the UK, dont buy rock band... surely they will HAVE to drop the price at some point... this is just stupid money.

woofie13
woofie13

Rock Band in May?!?! I feel so sorry for Europe! :( wow, 6 months late?.

SkeletalKnight
SkeletalKnight

Lots of releases for UK this week I guess. I kind of feel bad that all the Rock Band content is coming out at once, it'll make it harder to choose!

okassar
okassar

LMAO it's about time.When I saw the word shippin' out and Rock Band I was thinking "Yes!Rock Band 2" or something like that.But wow,UK JUST got Rock Band

adamosmaki
adamosmaki

Better Buy a REAL guitar and a real drum set than pay $170 to play a game with fake guitars and drums. Cant believe people buying this games

JarrodK
JarrodK

That battle of the bands game looks so ludicrously crappy lol

Bablos
Bablos

If you guys are tempted, I picked up the instrument pack for 99.98 and the game for 39.99 from Amazon UK - 40 quid cheaper in total than numerous other retailers. Softens the blow somewhat.

Gifted_One
Gifted_One

I am just happy to see the game industry has a bunch of titles due within the next two years that make this list of games look like a list of real steamy cow pattie.

Ricksterlau
Ricksterlau

I'm surprised to see FFXI in there. I wonder how many people are still currently playing that game.

iamsthedogfood
iamsthedogfood

The band games should have a similar price philosophy to the console makers: Low hardware prices encourage people to buy games and downloadable content. It doesn't always make sense to make a profit on everything you sell.

tyzwain
tyzwain

Shops are doing their 'best', if you can call it that. HMV are giving away free 2100 xbox points to buy new songs with it - plus student discount it certainly softens the blow.

mister_dan
mister_dan

They must be making shag loads of profit. I mean, how much do the peripherals cost? It can't be near on £70 for that drum kit. I'm eager to see the pricing of Guitar Hero's next instalment, which looks like it has a nicer looking kit as well.

AceofOpus
AceofOpus

I am happy with you guys over the pond finally getting Rock Band. I don't play it (as I have no hand I coordination) but seriously how long does it take to recode a game (seriously I am asking a question that I am very curious about here). Now if you guys would kindly hand over the new Futureheads CD....

Amendiri
Amendiri

"Anabub I see RB in the shops and apart from selling an internal organ I have no way of affording it ... I know I'm poor but the pricing is just dumb, though not as dumb as people buying it at that price and helping keep the price up!" The problem is... I want this stupid game. Bad. So I don't care what the price is, almost. I am raging about it, but in the end I'm buying it anyway. I have been wanting to play this game since mid last year and now I'm finally able to do so. Though the price is steep it's not enough to make me boycut it - I've been waiting too long for it to do that! Anyway, using around £120 for the drums and the game is fine enough for me. It's way better than spending £250 for the stupid box and game here in Denmark and wait to do so until the end of August!

DefunctDave
DefunctDave

I work in a sorting office and there were about 20 Rock Band complete sets sent to the great people of Norwich...I was half tempted to write down the addresses and stop off at the lucky households and blag a session... I gotta admit, Rock Band is the only game that tempts me to buy a 360, however on the GHWT article it says "Localised content will also be available to download on all of the next-generation consoles--including the Wii" If that is that case I think I'll hold out and get GHWT. In saying that, I don't have the cash at the moment so I'll have to wait anyway. I wouldn't be supprised if they used the SD cards on the wii to store DLC however I wonder how they will keep them secure and stop people hacking them seeing as SD cards can be read by PCs.

Gothan
Gothan

Its a total rip-off, ive been looking on websites for months leading up to the release, and they all say we can buy each peripheral seperately. I went into the store to get my solus edition and they say you HAVE to buy it as a complete set :@

RockaWuzHur
RockaWuzHur

ITS THAT MUCH wow! Its only about 130 bucks in the states!

Anabub
Anabub

I see RB in the shops and apart from selling an internal organ I have no way of affording it ... I know I'm poor but the pricing is just dumb, though not as dumb as people buying it at that price and helping keep the price up!

Amendiri
Amendiri

Yeah right... It's ridiculous in UK? Here in Denmark it's more than £250 for the game and the instruments! And we can't even buy the instruments seperately! So if we want the drum kit only, we have to import it! And by the way... Here in Denmark we have to wait until the end of August to see Rock Band in our stores. This is so dumb! What the hell is up with this launch date being pushed further and further away, over and over? I'm going to buy Rock Band from UK on Amazon and get it shipped to my door step in two weeks. Fukk this shiat.

EPaul
EPaul

The Price of Rock Band in UK is ridiculous