Harmonix Claims Rock Band 4’s PC Audience is Too Small

Earlier today, we reported on the news that Rock Band’s 4 Fig campaign had ended and only managed to amass 52 percent of the whopping $1.5 million target. Since then, Harmonix has released a final update explaining why they believe the crowdfunding campaign wasn’t a successful venture and said:

“How do we feel about the end of the campaign? Disappointed, obviously. There’s no shortage of people at Harmonix who love Rock Band, and some of us got extra excited at the prospect of bringing back RBN, and even more about getting the chance to expose RB to a brand new audience.”

“But at the same time we learned exactly what we needed to learn: there doesn’t seem to be enough of an audience to make Rock Band for PC a viable project for us right now. We’re committed to supporting and improving RB4 on consoles. To be clear, we raised nearly $800,000 via backers and investors; it’s an impressive showing of support from our community and for our brand. But as an independent developer we have to be careful about how much money and development time we risk on a project we’re not sure has a big enough audience, and crowdfunding allowed us to (among other things)* judge the market fit for Rock Band PC.”

According to Harmonix, the main reason for failing to reach the funding target was due to a lack of enthusiasm in the PC market. At first glance, this seems a little bit rash and trying to blame consumers for not investing. There’s a huge array of reasons why PC players were sceptical of backing the project. Firstly, the $1.5 million target is quite substantial and might have deterred people from backing smaller amounts. Even though Harmonix is now an independent company and no longer associated with Viacom/MTV, it’s difficult to shake off the past business arrangements. By this, I mean consumers don’t perceive Harmonix as a cash strapped company struggling to pay for development costs. On another note, why did the company decide to use Fig instead of Kickstarter?

To be fair, Harmonix has directly addressed the key questions about their funding campaign in the latest update and it’s well worth reading before making your own opinion.

Thank you to RobotBrush for providing us with this information:

Do you think Harmonix has a valid point, or are they blaming consumers for being wary of their crowdfunding project?

Rock Band 4 PC Crowdfunding Campaign Has Failed

The Rock Band franchise provides hours of entertainment for music lovers and proved to be a popular pastime with close friends. Learning an instrument is very challenging and requires a patient approach. Furthermore, to master any instrument takes years of experience and a huge commitment. As someone who plays the guitar, I’ve never been too keen on music games and would prefer people to learn the basics of a real instrument. However, this isn’t always a viable option due to time constraints and purchasing music equipment can be a very expensive proposition. Rock Band and Guitar Hero allow people to feel like rock stars without having to endure the hard learning curve.

Unfortunately, the Rock Band games have been resigned to the console market and PC players haven’t been able to enjoy the unique experiences. Perhaps, the publisher felt the series is best played in front of a large TV in the living room. However, this isn’t really reflective of modern PCs because you can easily hook up a HDMI cable from your PC to a television. This is especially the case with small form factor systems. Despite being backed by a major publisher for a number of years, the Rock Band team recently went independent and launched a crowdfunding campaign on fig.co to produce a PC version of Rock Band 4. Here’s a brief snippet from the page:

“Back in the Rock Band heyday, we were owned by media giant Viacom, and distributed by game publishing giant Electronic Arts. What you might not know is that a few years ago, we spun back out of Viacom and went completely independent. This past October, we released Rock Band 4 for the consoles—the first new Rock Band release in 5 years. This was a massive undertaking for us as an indie studio, but we somehow pulled it off.”

“We’ve been planning, scheduling, scoping and preparing this PC version since the day after we launched on console back in October, and we’re now ready to launch this Fig campaign to ask for your help to make this happen.”

Unfortunately, the crowdfunding attempt didn’t go as planned and only managed to reach 52% of the $1,500,000 goal. Overall, 1674 backers pledged $792,817 which fell well short of their target. As a result, it looks like Rock Band 4 on PC isn’t a project which will ever come to fruition.

Crowdfunding Campaign Hopes to Bring Rock Band 4 to PC

Remember when we reviewed Rock Band 4 review and we brought you the bad news that it would only be coming to consoles? Well, it looks like we might have been wrong, as Harmonix are pushing to find a way to bring the plastic instrument madness to PC! While the game didn’t rake in the cash as much as the company had hoped, or their partner MadCatz, who produce the games peripherals, they’re looking to set the record straight wit h a Fig crowd-funding campaign.

In order to bring the game to PC, they’ll need to raise a fairly staggering $1.5 million in the next 35 days, but if all goes well, we could see a release of the game on Steam in Fall 2016.

“With a PC version being released on Steam much of the infrastructure for adding songs to the game can be done via Steam Workshop, with no fees and less overhead. So we’re updating the authoring tools and documentation to help anyone with a song in their heart (and multi-track audio recordings, and some time….) to create playable Rock Band songs. Then, using Steam Workshop, you can submit those files to us—we’ll do a quick check to make sure they play properly and include music you own, and then put them into the game via the Rock Band 4 in-game store. Steam Workshop makes sure you get your cut of the revenues when they sell.” – Said Harmonix

The PC release is expected to have all of the same content we’ve seen released so far for consoles, so that’s certainly a nice perk, but will you be helping fund its development? Hit up the funding page here for more details.

  • World Tour Campaign Mode
  • Freestyle Guitar Solos
  • 65 songs included “out of the box” – and you can get up to 33 additional songs if you back us here on Fig!
  • 1700+ additional playable songs available as downloadable content
  • Supporting wireless guitar controller, drum kit and next generation microphone

Of course, Harmonix know what the PC market likes, so you can expect the PC release to enjoy a few extra features.

  • Tools to author your own songs for play in the PC version of Rock Band 4 – submit them to Rock Band Network via Steam Workshop and share with the rest of the Rock Band 4 PC community!
  • Mouse and computer keyboard support for menu navigation
  • All feature and content updates from the console game.  Rock Band 4 on the PC will have all of the updates released prior to its launch, and will continue to be updated alongside the console versions moving forward.

eTeknix 2015 Christmas Buying Guide – Treat Yourself or Someone Else!

The time for holiday festivities is almost upon us and as the modern tradition of consumerism continues to grow, it becomes harder and harder to pick the right gifts for people every year, or perhaps it’s just me who struggles? Either way, we’ve sat around a Christmas fire, or just a general fire in November and December, getting into the gift buying state of mind and picked a range of our favourite products which we’ve reviewed here at eTeknix throughout 2015, as what better products to recommend than the ones we’ve had in our own hands and tested!

We’ve got a huge range of budgets covered here today, although I think it’s fair to assume that given we play around with graphics cards and a lot of enthusiast friendly products, there are some real wallet busters here too. Of course, you can use this guide to find some of the best products of the year to treat your family, friends and more, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t just spoil yourself too!


Rock Band 4 Band in a Box

Get ready to rock out this Christmas and no doubt many other days. Pick up the guitar, drum sticks, or just butcher your favourite song on the microphone. Rock Band 4 – Band in a Box is a fantastic gift and it’s a great thing to deploy at parties too, certainly beats the usual Karaoke chaos! It comes with the guitar, microphone, drums and the game for $249.99. To save costs, the standalone game with the guitar is just $129.99. In the UK, the Band in a Box is £219.99, while the guitar and game is just £109.99.

Check out the full review here.


Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Chassis

The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Mid-Tower chassis is by far my favourite chassis of 2015, it just oozes high quality inside and out, with capabilities for high-end water and air cooling and so much more. It is available from Overclockers UK for £139.99 and is available in both Gun Metal and black.

Check out the full review here.


Raijintek Styx Micro-ATX Aluminium Chassis

What a fantastic little chassis this is! Built from beautifully finished brushed aluminium and available in a wide range of colours, this would make a great gift for someone building a new gaming system this Christmas. The Raijintek Styx chassis is available from Overclockers UK for just £64.99.

Check out the full review here.


be quiet! Silent Base 800 Chassis

Another expensive chassis on our list, but one of the best we’ve seen this year. If you’re wanting to build someone, or yourself, a gaming PC that not only looks great but is as silent as you could ever hope for, the Silent Base 800 Window is the way to go. It is available from most popular retailers for 149,90EUR/119 GBP/149,90 USD ex. VAT.

Check out the full review here.


Corsair Strafe RGB MX Silent Red Mechanical Keyboard

Featuring the innovative Cherry MX Silent Switches, the Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is simply amazing to use. It’s packed full of features and is by far the quietest mech we’ve ever tested. A little expensive, but I’m sure anyone would be happy to unwrap this at Christmas. The Strafe is available for £139.99 from Overclockers UK, while the MX Red and the MX Brown are priced at £129.95. If you want the non-RGB version, you can find the MX Red and the MX Brown at £99.95 each.

Check out the full review here.


Thermaltake Commander Gaming Gear Keyboard and Mouse Combo

The TteSports by Thermaltake Commander Keyboard and Mouse Combo is a great gift for Christmas, it’s affordable, has a nice range of features and you get a keyboard and a mouse in a single nice and tidy (and easy to wrap) box! With prices around £23.99 it’s hard to say no to such a great deal! Readers in the US can pick one of from Newegg for an equally impressive $29.99.

Check out the full review here.


CM Storm Quick Fire XTi Mechanical Keyboard

RGB mechanical keyboards are everywhere this year, but the XTi from Cooler Master is my personal favourite so far. It’s no-fuss and bold design is great for home and office, gaming or work, with the added bonus that it’s incredibly durable and has some of the nicest lighting tones I’ve seen so far, even if it does only allow for a mixture of red and blue! You can pick up the XTi from Box for just £134, although there’s also a deal that includes a free mouse here!

Check out the full review here.


Corsair Scimitar RGB MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse

The Gaming Scimitar RGB MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse is packed full of features that will put a smile on any PC gamers face. With RGB lighting, excellent performance and a customisable keypad on the side, it’s one of the best mice we’ve ever tested. better yet, it’s only £69.95 from Overclockers UK.

Check out the full review here.


Logitech G502 Proteus Core Gaming Mouse

The Logitech G502 is a prime example of how great a gaming mouse can truly be. This is without a doubt the best mouse sensor we’ve ever tested and the rest of the mouse isn’t exactly lacking in features either. I’d be tempted to buy this one for myself this Christmas, but you could always treat someone else with it too. It’s available directly from the Logitech website (with free shipping) for just £69.99.

Check out the full review here.


G.Skill MX780

A relatively new entry on the peripherals market, the G.Skills MX780 is a fantastic gaming mouse, with a switchable left or right handed grip that makes it ideal for a wide range of gamers. With a retail price of just $59.99 it is exceptional value for a Christmas gift, and given its spec, it’ll go head to head with many of the best mice on the market.

Check out the full review here.


Corsair Void Headset

We were absolutely blown away by the Corsair Void series, some of the best sounding, most comfortable and best-looking headsets we’ve ever seen! They would make a great gift, but be careful, if you try them out before you give them away, you may want to keep them. The Corsair Void USB 7.1 RGB Headset is available from Overclockers UK for just £79.99. This is £10 cheaper than the Wireless headset which is £89.99, I prefer the wireless and think it’s not much more to pay for the extra tech, but you’re own preferences will obviously determine which model you prefer.

Check out the reviews for the USB 7.1, Wireless 7.1 and 2.0 headsets here.


Astro A40 TR + Mix Amp Pro

Eager to get the best of the best gaming headset for you or your loved one? Then make no exception, the Astro A40 TR Headset with Mix Amp Pro is the way to go. This is one that’s sure to leave a dent in your wallet, but as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Available from the Astro store for £200, plus around £48 for the optional Mod Kit, the Astro is expensive, but the sound quality, features and comfortable fit are priceless.

Check out the full review here.


Crucial BX200 SSD

SSD prices are dropping constantly and there really has never been a better time to invest. If it’s for your own system, you can give yourself a great upgrade without spending a fortune, but the smaller drive sizes make excellent gifts to those who could do with a performance upgrade on their system. The Crucial BX200 comes with an MSRP of £234.49 ($299.99) for the 960GB model and £66.49 ($84.99) and £116.99 ($149.99) for the smaller 240GB and 480GB models, plus the small boxes are super easy to wrap up as a gift.

Check out the full review here.


QNAP TS-251 2-Bay NAS

Give the gift of a connected home this Christmas, from streaming your movies around the house, to backing up those important files, there are a lot of benefits to owning a NAS. Not the cheapest of gifts, but it’s one of those products where if you buy cheap, you’ll likely regret it in the long run. The QNAP’s TS-251 Turbo NAS can be found at NewEgg for $384.99, at Scan UK for £295.32, or through Geizhals starting at €284.

Check out the full review here.


Sapphire Nitro R9 380X 4GB Graphics Card

AMD have created a mighty powerhouse with the R9 380X and the Sapphire Nitro is one of the finest examples. It’s fast, sleek and affordable, more than enough power for 1080P ultra gaming, or 1440p high gaming, making it a great addition to anyone who wants the latest PC games for Christmas. The Sapphire Nitro R9 380X is currently available from OverclockersUK for £199.99. NeweggUS currently has this card listed for $229.99.

Check out the full review here.


Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 Graphics Card

Spend a little more, get a lot more, the GTX 970 is a superb card, but one that may be getting a little expensive for those looking for a Christmas gift. With enough power to play anything on the market and even delve into high-end resolutions, it’s a strong contender for something to put under the Christmas tree, or even put on your own wish list. The Gainward Phoenix GTX 970 is currently available in the UK from SCAN for £273.56 and for an estimated $360 in the US.

Check out the full review here.


Nvidia GeForce GTX 980ti 6GB Graphics Card

It wouldn’t be Christmas if we couldn’t all hope and dream, but the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti is currently one of the best cards on the market and we would be crazy not to suggest the best of the best. Available in the UK for the £599.99 it’s certainly not cheap, although we’ve seen some great deals bringing it down below £500, so it’s best to shop around. Just imagine the look on your partners face when they unwrap this monster on Christmas day!

Check out the full review here.


DDR4

Getting a little more back to reality and reasonable prices, DDR4 memory is dropping in price quite nicely now. It was super expensive at launch, but now you’ll often find DDR4 kits at equal or lower prices to their DDR3 equivalents. That makes them a great upgrade for Christmas, but make sure you have a DDR4 motherboard to go with it!

Check out our latest memory reviews here.


Shield Android TV

Snapped up a 4K TV in the Black Friday deals? The Nvidia Shield Console is the most powerful Android device on the market, and it’s the perfect media player for Plex, 4K content on Netflix and more. Even better, it’s also a very powerful gaming system, with many AAA games available to play, as well as game streaming features that will leave you wondering why this device doesn’t cost more than £149.99! You can buy the Shield TV and accessories directly from Nvidia here.

Check out the full review here.


Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme S

Think someone could do with a cooling upgrade for their system, or perhaps even parts towards a new system build this Christmas? Treat them to an AIO water cooler and they’ll be able to reduce the noise from their system and unlock its overclocking potential! The Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme S is a little expensive, but it’s still a competitively priced AIO at just £81.98 and would make a great gift, especially if you’re just going to treat yourself.

Check out the full review here.


Alpenfohn Atlas

The Atlas is one of the coolest coolers we’ve seen this year, a tiny form factor with big performance and virtually silent acoustics. Building a system for someone or upgrading your own, this is one cooler you’ll want to consider and given that it’s available from Overclockers UK for a very reasonable £42.95, it’s another great addition to our buying guide.

Check out the full review here.


be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim

Need a premium cooler but don’t want to pay a premium price this Christmas? The be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim is more affordable, but still packs some impressive performance figures. It’s available from Scan.co.uk for just £30.52 + shipping here in the UK and from Amazon.com for $49.90 + $9.80 shipping in the US.

Check out the full review here.


Inateck Mercury Box Bluetooth Speaker

Love your music on the go, when you’re out at the park, or anywhere for that matter? The Mercury box offers up a huge sound from such a tiny box. Built from aluminium and featuring a waterproof design, it’s one of the best mobile speakers on the market, great for listening to music wherever you are! Available from Amazon.com for just $48.99 and readers in the UK can get it from Amazon.co.uk for £49.99.

Check out the full review here.


OnePlus 10,000mAh Mobile USB Power Bank

The perfect stocking filler, a 10,000 mAh mobile battery. This has enough juice to charge most mobiles several times, and it’ll even recharge high-end devices such as iPads with ease too. Perfect for travelling, and best of all, it’s super lightweight and affordable. The power bank is £13.99/$14.99/€15.99 and you can order it directly from OnePlus.

Check out the full review here.


Gaming Systems

Nothing says I love you like a kick-ass gaming PC. Of course, budgets vary wildly from hundreds to even thousands of pounds/dollars, but that’s the joy of buying a PC, or building your own, there’s so much to choose from! With so many awesome system integrators around these days, you can’t go far wrong. Chillblast, CyberPower, PC Specialist, Vibox, Freshtech or Overclockers UK.

Gaming in the living room? Why not invest in a CyberPower Syber Steambox! Prices start at £485 and go right up to £1905, giving you a great choice to suit your needs, and your budget.

A whole lot of gaming for not a lot of money from Chillblast, with their very competitive Fusion NightHawk, a great option for those looking for their first gaming PC at just £599.

Got a little more budget to play around with this Christmas? The super fast gaming systems from PC Specialist that feature ASUS Maximus VIII hardware also come with the gorgeous Gladius mouse! Systems in this category start at £890 for the i5 and GTX 960 model, all the way up to £1670 for the i7 and GTX 980 Ti.

Another mid-budget powerhouse, this time from Vibox with their Element X. At just £649, this MSI R9 380 and AMD FX-6300 powered computer is great for gaming and would make a great gift this Christmas.

Time to bring out the big gun’s and really treat yourself? Or perhaps you just want your friend or family member to open a present they’ll never forget? The FreshTech Solutions Stealth Gaming PC is an absolute beast, powered by some of today’s latest and greatest hardware. Of course, it’s not cheap at £1412, but this is not your run of the mill gaming PC.

Overclockers UK offer a range of gaming systems, and general day-to-day PC’s just like another other, but with the big advantage that they’re also a normal PC component retailer. If you want to build your own system, customise a build or pick a pre-built system, you’ll find lots to play around with here.

Check out our full range of system reviews here.

Harmonix Staff Have Been Posting Positive Reviews of Rock Band 4 on Amazon

Rock Band 4 has received fairly positive critical acclaim although the user-response is quite mixed. In the last few years, community media via Twitch, Steam Reviews and Amazon Reviews have helped inform consumers when deliberating a game purchase. Many are distrustful of the mainstream gaming print media, and prefer to listen to first-hand experiences from early adopters. In a completely audacious move, members of the Rock Band development team have been leaving positive reviews on Amazon for a game they help create. Clearly, their own opinion is biased and skewed the Amazon reviews in a completely unfair manner. Destructoid investigated three leading reviews on Amazon and outlined their key roles at Harmonix.

In lieu of this damning evidence, Harmonix released a statement which reads:

“Harmonix has clarified its internal policy about posting reviews of our own products on retail sites, and we’ve asked that existing reviews be edited to identify Harmonix employees or be removed entirely. While we believe the reviews posted by a few employees were sincere and without ill intentions, as a studio we don’t believe these are appropriate actions. We appreciate the feedback from the community, and take our relationship with our fans seriously.”

Disclosure helps in this situation, but I’m baffled why these team members thought giving their opinion was a good idea in the first place. Even with this disclosure, people will find it difficult to take their opinion seriously. Matthew Nordhaus added this piece of information to his original review:

“I added this review half in jest (as you might be able to tell from the tone of the original). In hindsight, it’s probably important that I note that I worked on the game and work for Harmonix. That being said, I’m confident that if I didn’t I would still give the game five stars. It’s a beautiful, peaceful, cooperative game, rare enough already in today’s landscape, that I can play with my wife and kids. Music discovery, playing with your family and friends, and cooperation make Rock Band my favorite.”

I’m not entirely sure if this explanation sounds like a passionate plea or marketing exercise. Whatever the case, I’m glad this has been investigated and everything has been properly disclosed. Although, this was clearly going to happen and provides a lesson to any publisher out there who tries to pull a similar stunt.

Rock Band 4 – A New Era of Rhythm Gaming

Plastic instruments around the world have been slowly working their way into people’s garages and lofts for the last couple of years, ever since the great rhythm game boom slowly died off and became stagnant. It was a great time, I owned many of the games and practically had an orchestra’s worth of pretend instruments, which saw hundreds of hours of usage between me and my friends when we were having house parties, or just kicking back with a few beers.

Now it seems those good times of jamming with your friends are back, for what feels like something of a reunion tour and hopefully not the last one. Harmonix is back with Rock Band 4, with new songs, new instruments and given the few years it has been since the last one, a new audience to entice into the rhythm game market.

There’s a notable omission from the game this time around, however, as there is a lack of online multiplayer, which is a big issue for those who live far from their friends. On the plus side, this game is locked and loaded for local co-op gaming, allowing you and your friends to play drums and guitars, as well as sing vocals. Whether or not online multiplayer being missing is a deal breaker for you will vary, but for me, it’s not a feature I would be using. The game is missing a few small features, but all that could change in the near future, as Harmonix has made it no secret that they’re using the base game as a content platform, with new features, songs and who knows what else coming through various updates, with several in the works already.

Setting up the instruments is easy enough, as they’re all intuitive as far as where all the components go and as a bonus, you’ll find batteries included, as all instruments bar the microphone are wireless. The drum controller has been massively updated, although it still keeps the look and shape you’ll be familiar with. It’s more responsive, durable and from what I can tell, a little quieter too! The pads are velocity sensitive, the kick pedal is durable and has a responsive spring that makes it feel natural and as a nice bonus, the included sticks are of a very nice quality; they’ll feel right at home in the hands of anyone who’s played a real drum kit.

The guitar looks stunning, a Stratocaster copy with dual neck buttons. The first five at the top of the neck, the rest above the 12th fret area for some solo and tapping action; if you’re feeling adept enough. I’ve been a Guitar Hero veteran for years and I can still hear the squeaky and clicky strum bar in my nightmares. Those days are gone, the MadCatz guitar is super quiet, and the buttons have a really nice action that’s forgiving for those who don’t hit them dead-center. Put simply, the partnership between Harmonix and MadCatz has paid off really well, as the instruments are the best this sector of the market has ever seen and they’re an absolute joy to use.

Gameplay on Rock Band 4 is right where you would expect it to be, somehow everything is new and tweaked, but at the core, it still feels like the same old game. This is a good thing and a bad thing, those looking for a new dynamic will like the new improvisation sections, but at the end of it all, it’s the same core game we came to know and love in the past. The song selection is quite diverse, offering everything from System of a Down to Uptown Funk (like we’ve not had enough of that one already), but there’s enough in there for the music lovers and the karaoke addicts to blunder their way through and keep people entertained. Of course, there’s also a huge library of legacy songs, as well as DLC tracks that are already coming thick and fast, so there’s going to be no shortage to stuff to play anytime soon.

View the complete song list here and view the complete list of legacy song here

The main “quest” if you will is entertaining enough to warrant a play through, but doesn’t span the difficulty levels as well as previous games in the series. On the plus side, you can swap instruments and even difficulty levels mid-song, meaning you’re less inclined to quit the song when things go wrong. The higher difficulties are a hell of a challenge and a lot of fun, but those wanting something more authentic can invest in the Pro Cymbal kit which launches later this year, as this will unlock Pro mode for the drums.

What this game really lacks though it big hitting tracks, sure there are a few great bands, but they’re not usually the “hits” of their respective albums. This is likely due to most of the best songs being done already with previous entries in the series, but it’s still no excuse. The DLC and more so the legacy library does patch that up nicely, but there’s still no excuses for having two U2 songs here by any measure.

Overall, great fun, incredible new instruments and a good selection of fun to play tracks to get you started. It doesn’t feel as fresh as I was hoping, but with more songs on the way, the drum cymbal add-on now available for pre-order and the promise of plenty of updates to the core game, this is still the best entry in the Rock Band franchise to date and it’s going to be a big contender this holiday season. If you’re looking to get back into rhythm gaming, you’ll not find anything better.

Rock Band 4 – Band in a Box comes with the guitar, microphone, drums and the game for $249.99, while the Triple Cymbal Expansion Kit will set you back an additional $49.99. The standalone game with the guitar is just $129.99. In the UK, the Band in a Box is £219.99, the Guitar and game is £109.99 and the drum cymbals are £39.99.

Pros

  • Exceptional quality instruments
  • All songs available to play without completing main quest
  • Drop in – drop out gameplay
  • Good range of musical styles available
  • Huge DLC library
  • Expandable drum kit
  • Virtually silent guitar

Cons

  • No online multiplay

Neutral

  • Drums expansion kit not available at launch
  • DLC prices can quickly add up to a small fortune, but with licencing rights, this is understandable
  • Not as many big hits in the base game as previous entries in the series

“Rock Band 4 is the best entry in the series so far, with the best instruments ever to bless rhythm gaming and a huge library of songs available to choose from. If you’re looking for the ultimate party game, this is it!”

 

 

Rock Band 4’s DLC Costs a Total of $3926

Rock Band 4 has a fairly extensive music library but also charges for a jaw-dropping 1973 downloadable tracks. Each piece of music is priced at $1.99 which equates to a monstrous total of $3926. However, the game usually revolves around downloading your favourite tracks and this huge amount of extra content is designed to suit a variety of tastes. Although, I would have preferred to have seen a large amount of these integrated into the base game.

Arguably, the licensing costs involved are astronomical which explains the high pricing model. However, it seems very unreasonable for consumers to spend such a vast sum of money in individual segments. The download model is akin to a free-to-play game and quickly gets out of hand when making regular micro-payments.

This is a shame as I’m pleased to see the resurgence of music-themed games. One saving grace is you can import various songs from Rock Band 3.  The series has also fleeced customers with its DLC programme and doesn’t look like changing anytime soon. Whatever the case, Rock Band 4’s superb gameplay could be marred by the absurd amount of DLC. This follows other games of late which implemented DLC on launch and tried to make microtransactions acceptable.

Have you ever used a microtransaction in a full-price game?

Pro-Cymbals Expansion Kit & New Songs Revealed for Rock Band 4

Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. has just announced new tracks that will be hitting the Music Store on Rock Band 4 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The new tracks from Alabama Shakes, Breaking Benjamin, Death From Above 1979 and The Pretty Reckless add to an already extensive library that is available for the game already.

Alabama Shakes makes its Rock Band debut with “Don’t Wanna Fight” from the band’s 2015 record, Sound & Color. Breaking Benjamin returns to Rock Band with its 2015 single, ”Failure,” which reached number one on Billboard’s US Mainstream Rock charts earlier this year. Death From Above 1979 made waves on the Billboard charts last year when it released “Trainwreck 1979” as a single off of its most recent release, the critically acclaimed The Physical World. “Follow Me Down” is the first track off of The Pretty Reckless’ second LP, 2014’s Going to Hell.

New songs, but also new hardware, just a week after the games launch we’ve now got access to the pre-order for the Rock Band 4 Pro Cymbals Expansion Kit, which are expected to ship in time for Christmas this year, with prices around $49.99.

The cross-platform compatible Pro-Cymbals Expansion Kit consists of realistic Crash, Ride and Hi-Hat cymbals. Once connected to the Rock Band 4 Wireless Drum Kit, the cymbals enable players to unlock Pro Mode in the game, enhancing the game’s realism and showcasing their unique flair. With a quick and easy set-up, the Pro-Cymbals Expansion Kit connects in minutes and features an innovative velocity-sensitive and sound-absorbing design for endless play sessions of distraction free drumming.

All tracks will be available for download on October 13 for $1.99 per track, while the Pro Cymbals are available for pre-order at $49.99.

Rock Band 4 Launches Today With Over 1700 Songs Available

Today is the day a lot of people have been looking forward to, I am sure of that. Today is the day that the brand new Rock Band 4 is being released and it looks like it easily could be the best in the series yet. Harmonix and Mad Catz have both been hard at work on this release where Harmonix has created the game and Mad Catz the hardware to go along with it as well as the physical distribution.

Rock Band 4 will be available today, October the 6th, for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and there will be more than 1700 songs available upon launch. That’s a lot of songs to master. Available products on launch day include the Rock Band 4 video game, stand-alone software, Band-in-a-Box Bundle, and Wireless Fender Stratocaster Guitar Bundle. The Fender bundle will probably be the most popular one, at least that’s my prediction.

Through the Rock Band Music Store, more than 1700 songs will be available on day one. This includes tracks from the series’ incredible back catalog of music but fully updated to include the new gameplay features in Rock Band 4. Players can rock to these tracks and enjoy new Freestyle Guitar Solos, Freestyle Vocals, and Dynamic Drums Fills, even while touring the world with their band in the game’s new expanded campaign.

One of the downsides is that you have to purchase a lot of the songs from the store at a price of $1.99 each, but there is also good news for those who previously played Rock Band in the previous versions. If you already owned a song there and you stay on the same platform, PlayStation or Xbox, then you’ll be able to get those songs again for no additional cost.

Some of the new Tracks available:

  • All That Remains – “Divide”
  • All That Remains – “What If I Was Nothing”
  • BABYMETAL – “Gimme Chocolate!!”
  • Blitz Kids – “Run For Cover”
  • Bring Me The Horizon – “Throne”
  • Dead Sara – “Mona Lisa”
  • Duran Duran – “The Reflex”
  • Earth, Wind & Fire – “September”
  • Interpol – “All The Rage Back Home”
  • Janis Joplin – “Move Over”
  • Jefferson Starship – “Jane”
  • Linkin Park ft. Daron Malakian – “Rebellion”
  • Marilyn Manson – “The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles”
  • Mastodon – “High Road”
  • My Morning Jacket – “One Big Holiday”
  • Of Mice & Men – “Would You Still Be There”
  • Oh Honey – “Sugar, You”
  • Pantera – “Cowboys From Hell (Live From Monsters In Moscow Festival)”
  • Pierce the Veil ft. Kellin Quinn – “King for a Day”
  • Seasick Steve – “Summertime Boy”
  • “Weird Al” Yankovic – “My Own Eyes”
  • The Wild Feathers – “Backwoods Company”

Van Halen “Jump” Into Rock Band 4

Rock Band 4’s music library includes a wealth of iconic artists including Aerosmith, Avenged Sevenfold, The Black Keys, Elvis Presley, Fall Out Boy, Foo Fighters, Jack White, Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars, St. Vincent, Queens of the Stone Age, The Who, and for the first time, Van Halen! On launch, fans will be able to rock out to Van Halen’s legendary hit track, “Panama” with more songs to come in the future. According to the Harmonix’s CEO, Steve Janiak,

“For years we’ve wanted to bring Van Halen’s music to Rock Band,”

“Not only are the songs incredible in their own right, but they’re amazingly fun to play and perform, whether you’re on guitar, bass, drums, or vocals.”

In terms of gameplay, Rock Band 4 maintains the quintessential full-band experience whilst adding Freestyle Guitar solos. Also, there will be in excess of 1500 downloadable tracks on the Rock Band Music Store. With such an extensive library, there should something to suit your style. I’m pleased to see the resurgence of music-based games but I prefer Rocksmith because the software is built around learning a proper instrument. Nevertheless, Guitar Hero and Rock Band are exceptionally fun at parties.

Rock Band 4 is scheduled for release on October 6th and will be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Please note, launch hardware might be limited so pre-orders are highly recommended.

Rock Band 4 Pre-Orders Available and FreeStyle Guitar Unveiled

Harmonix and Mad Catz have partnered up for the newest Rockband game and the fourth in the series, that is old news. What is new is the reveal of the Freestyle Guitar Solo gameplay, something everyone is understandably excited about.

When you think of rock music, you need guitar solos and it has been missing from the previous games. You just can’t have real rock without guitar solos. We will still have to wait a little until we bring out the axe as the game isn’t scheduled for a release until October 6th, but it is already available as pre-order for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Show off your vanity, impress your friends, and generally just have fun. That is what this game is all about. Now you don’t need to be a skilled guitarist anymore, tho it probably wouldn’t hurt if you are.

https://youtu.be/Dtvh7B_U-Hw

We also got two videos along with the announcement, one being the Freestyle trailer above and one being a behind the scenes on how it all came to be. What the team wanted to achieve and the journey towards the product we’ve just seen demonstrated.

There are two different versions for each console. One is a bundle with all instruments for your entire band and that will set you back $249.99 while the other just comes with the guitar and only costs about half, $129.99.

Below you’ll find a bunch of screenshots of the game that were released along with all this information. I for one am looking forward to this game.

We May Not See a PC Release for Rock Band 4 and Here’s Why

We saw Rock Band 4 being announced for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 earlier this year, but how about the PC? We haven’t received any official announcements for the latter platform, up until now that is. Harmonix just announced that the latest Rock Band title will not have a PC release due to piracy concerns.

The developer is not actually concerned with the game’s piracy itself, but more with the songs in the title itself. They state that there are many concerns regarding the platform’s security and it looks like bands are sceptical with releasing the game on the PC as well. They are afraid that their songs may eventually end up being stripped out of the game and uploaded to torrent websites, thus they are more comfortable on going with the closed nature of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 platforms.his does not mean we won’t see Rock Band 4 on PC. Harmonix stated that songs may come with a DRM platform and prevent songs from being ripped out of the title.

However, this does not mean we won’t see Rock Band 4 on PC. Harmonix stated that songs may come with a DRM platform and prevent songs from being ripped out of the title. However, they will not make the move to release it on PC due to the low demand on the platform. They say that if a lot of fans want it on the PC, they may consider making a PC version in the future. Until then, we just have to look forward for the console version.

Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information

Mad Catz Will Co-Publish Rock Band 4 for PS4 and Xbox One

Mad Catz has entered the software business before, but never on as large a scale as this time. They have partnered with Harmonix and this time it’s not just for branded peripherals but the entire game. This cooperation will help to ensure that there is plenty of available stock when the game is released as well as great bundles with Mad Catz controllers packed together with the new game.

“Since the announcement of Rock Band 4, we’ve been thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response of passionate fans and gamers worldwide. The time is right to reintroduce the franchise to the new generation of consoles and our co-publishing agreement is a natural extension of the excellent relationship both companies share in realizing that vision,” said Darren Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz. “We’re excited to extend our agreement with Harmonix, and are confident that Mad Catz’ global sales force, distribution channels and retail marketing expertise will deliver the retail success we believe Rock Band 4 will achieve in 2015 and beyond.”

The new game is scheduled for a 2015 release date on both systems and Mad Catz will handle retail sales, promotions and distributions of both the game and hardware while Harmonix will handle all digital sales and content. Mad Catz is also developing a new generation of Rock Band 4 wireless music game controllers that will give players the chance to rock as the biggest guitarists, bassists, drummers and singers of all time.

The new rock game will feature an unrivalled and diverse collection of music across the spectrum of rock and provide gamers with access to over 2,000 compatible tracks via DLC. Previously owned music from the franchise will be reintegrated which is great news for those who have spent a lot on the previous three Rock Star games.

Rock Band 4 for Xbox One and PS4 Confirmed

Rock Band 4 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 has been confirmed by developer Harmonix Music Systems, due for release later this year.

“When we stopped developing Rock Band 3 [in 2010], clearly the market needed a break,” Alex Rigopulos, CEO of Harmonix, told IGN. “But since then we’ve been paying close attention to what our community has been saying about it. There’s been this steadily growing crescendo of fans saying, ‘Hey Harmonix, what the hell? It’s time! Why haven’t you announced a new Rock Band? We’re ready for it!’”

Harmonix says that it is taking the game back to basics, and is cutting the fat of multiple releases. Instead, Rock Band 4 will serve as a central hub for additional DLC packs; Harmonix has confirmed that purchased songs from previous Rock Band games will be transferable to the new release, specific to the player’s Xbox or PSN account, and that it is looking into a way to make old instruments compatible with the new game.

Regarding Harmonix’s new model, Rigopulos said, “Going forward, our goal is to view [Rock Band 4] as more of a live service where we can gradually and incrementally append new functionality to the core experience rather than having $60 annual title updates. You shouldn’t expect a Rock Band 5 in 2016.”

Harmonix has also announced a series of exclusive Rock Band instruments, now available for pre-order.

Source: IGN