Rock Band in VR Could be Amazing, Harmonix Says
"We’re excited about the possibilities," Harmonix CEO says.
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The Rock Band experience could be "even more incredible and immersive" in virtual reality, according to Harmonix CEO Steve Janiak. In a new interview with Gaming Insiders, Janiak said Harmonix is always looking to work with exciting new technologies, and virtual reality is no different.
"Harmonix prides itself on being at the forefront of new technologies," he said. "VR is an intriguing frontier, and a great opportunity to fundamentally reinvent how people connect to music."
Although he didn't announce any specific plans to add VR support to this year's Rock Band 4, he didn't rule it out, either. He even teased that VR could be a way to better capture the feeling of performing in a band--something the Rock Band series is trying to do.
"For Rock Band, the feeling of playing live music, of really being on stage with the lights and the crowd and the sound enveloping you, that's the experience we're trying to deliver with Rock Band 4," he said. "It could be even more incredible and immersive in the context of VR, and we're excited about the possibilities."
Harmonix, of course, is already working on VR with its new music app for Samsung's GearVR mobile headset. It's described as a "fully immersive, music-drive dreamscape," though it's not specifically tied to any Rock Band game.
Also in Gaming Insiders' interview, Janiak says that, in addition to the regular release of new DLC tracks, Harmonix plans to roll out new features to Rock Band 4 as time goes on. This could in theory include VR functionality, but this isn't confirmed.
"We'll also be adding substantial new functionality to the core game and releasing those new features on an ongoing basis, as part of a continuing conversation with our fans to see what resonates with them and what they want," he said.
This is part of Harmonix's plan to release only one Rock Band game this generation of consoles. Instead of yearly sequels, the developer has said it it plans to improve and expand upon Rock Band 4's functionality over time by way of the kind of updates Janiak alluded to above.
You can read the full Gaming Insiders interview with Janiak here. It's a great read for Rock Band fans, as it also touches on song pricing experiments, why 2015 is the right time to bring back Rock Band, and if Harmonix will work with The Beatles again.
Rock Band 4 launches later this year for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Activision is also reportedly planning to revive the Guitar Hero franchise this year with a brand new, more-realistic game due out for the same platforms.
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