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Rock Band Hardware Q&A

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363w ago - Rock Band, as the name implies, expands on the music rhythm game genre by adding more players and more instruments alongside the guitarist to create an entire band. The complete Rock Band ensemble consists of a vocalist, a lead guitarist, a bass guitarist, and a drummer. The new instruments are a microphone, a drum set, and upgraded Fender Stratocaster guitars for the lead and bass guitarists.

The extra peripherals will set the price of the game close to the $200 mark, but the success of Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero II makes the pricing easier to accept. If players are willing to pay $70-$90 for a single-player guitar game, $200 doesn't sound unreasonable to get the full four-player band experience. We caught up with Harmonix producer Daniel Sussman to find out more about the Rock Band hardware.

GameSpot: Will I be missing out if I use an older guitar model such as the Gibson SG or the X-Plorer, or will I be able to retrofit it with new accessories? Perhaps through the X-Plorer effects-pedal port?

Daniel Sussman: I don't know about specific guitar models, since that's something only the manufacturer can answer. But I can say that Rock Band is designed to work with the open-controller standards of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms, and should therefore work with third-party controllers...
 

Midnight Club: Rockstar's most ambitious project yet

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365w ago - Rockstar says that its next-gen Midnight Club, set in Los Angeles, is the company's "most ambitious project to date."

Yeah GTA IV looks great, but we can see where Rockstar is coming from: Midnight Club LA houses a very impressive, completely seamless recreation of LA-la-land, full of familiar places and potentially crawling with online racers.

We'd hate to think how the San Diego studio managed to map such a gigantic landmass (and make it look prettier than GTA IV), and our Rockstar spokesman seemed similarly taken back. "The fact that they live two hours away probably helped," he said.

Read all about it in our first Midnight Club eyes-on. "It's just the beginning," Rockstar promises.
 

Rock Band going on tour

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365w ago - When MTV bought Harmonix for $175 million last year, it was clear it would heavily promote the studio's first project with every arm of its media empire. When that project turned out to be Rock Band, a multi-instrument, karaoke-enhanced rhythm game, that became even more obvious. Then, when Viacom announced it planned to invest a half-billion dollars in its MTV Games unit, it appeared no expense would be spared on fine-tuning Rock Band's hype machine.

This week, in conjunction with the Summer Showcase of Rock Band's distributor, Electronic Arts, MTV Games announced the latest promotional offensive for the title. Like many actual rock bands before it, the game will embark on a cross-country bus tour. The orgy of synergy will begin at the MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas September 9, when several buses equipped with Rock Band demo stations will fan out across the country. Stops will include several college campuses.

MTV will also use the Rock Band bus tour to indulge in another rock-and-roll tradition, the battle of the bands. Every "band" that plays the game on the main stage will have their performance recorded, with the resulting video being sent back to the casting directors responsible for MTV's battery of reality shows. Of those, two groups will be flown to MTV's New York City headquarters to practice...
 

Grateful Dead Revived for Rock Band

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365w ago - Harmonix and MTV Games announced today that they are partnering with Rhino Entertainment to bring 18 psychedelic tracks from legendary rockers the Grateful Dead to Rock Band in the form of downloadable content. No word yet on how the tracks will be distributed, whether in the form of albums or smaller packages, but confirmed songs include "Casey Jones," "Sugar Magnolia," "Touch of Grey," "Truckin'," and "Uncle John's Band."

"Grateful Dead's unique fusion of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, and jazz challenged traditional musical boundaries and pushed the limits of creativity to produce a signature sound that is undeniably their own," said Paul DeGooyer, senior VP of audio, home video and electronic games at MTV. "With an enormous legion of fans all over the world, Rock Band will give players a chance to interact with the music of these beloved rock pioneers and experience what Grateful Dead did best -- jam from the depths of their souls."

The 18 Grateful Dead tracks join previously confirmed complete albums Nevermind by Nirvana and Who's Next by The Who among of the ranks of downloadable content for Rock Band, along with unrevealed tracks from Metallica.

Also new on the Rock Band front are four new disc-based tracks, confirmed during a playtest of the head-to-head drum battles by IGN. The new...
 
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