Harmonix and MTV Games, along with partner Electronic Arts today revealed at the 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit new features for the next evolution of Rock Band 2.
Rock Band 2 is set to raise the bar in music gaming innovation with new features to rock the world. From a press release issued this morning:
- Local and global online modes to connect the entire Rock Band community.
- World Tour mode, now online, simplifies the best of gameplay from the original Rock Band by fusing Solo Tour and Band World Tour modes and cranks it up a notch with an all new collection of opportunity gigs, challenges, cities, venues and hirable staff.
- Tour Challenges that offer rockers a chance to play through mini-campaigns focused on the best songs by instrument, decade, genre, artist, album and more.
- Battle of the Bands mode challenges players to go head to head against other bands in constantly refreshed contests created by Harmonix (internet connection required)
- Quickplay makes it easier than ever to get in and jam without hassle while allowing for new prefab characters or customized characters that can play on any instrument plus lets you make your own set lists and organize your song lists in a variety of categories (genre, era, etc.)
- Customizable Set Lists keep the music rolling and your band rocking in Quickplay mode.
- Drum Trainer mode gives players the fundamentals of different beats and fills, translating gameplay into real drumming skills.
- Character Creator completes your look with all new choices in clothing, accessories, tattoos, hairstyles, instruments and more to keep your unique rock avatar playing the full rock part.
- Backwards compatibility with all Rock Band downloadable music content released to date.
- Disc Export Feature gives owners of the original Rock Band the ability to export most of the Rock Band disc tracks and upgrade them into Rock Band 2 gameplay--the first time ever in videogame history!
Rock Band 2 features the largest music catalogue of any music-based videogame to date including:
- Over 100 songs - with over 80 songs on disc plus an additional 20 bonus tracks which will be made available for free download this spring.
- Unrivaled Blend of Classic, Developing and Emerging rock acts including Pearl Jam, Metallica, Allman Brothers, Motorhead, Devo, Jane's Addiction, Megadeth, Paramore, Modest Mouse and more.
- Rock Band 2 is the first and only video game to feature the music of AC/DC. It includes their epic rock anthem, "Let There Be Rock”
- After 14 years since Guns N’ Roses last official music release, Axl Rose selects Rock Band 2 to debut official new track, “Shackler’s Revenge” from the highly-anticipated album Chinese Democracy
- For the first time ever, music from American music icon, Bob Dylan, is featured in a video game with “Tangled Up In Blue”
- With ongoing weekly DLC releases including individual tracks, track packs and full albums, the Rock Band music library will feature more than 500 songs by year’s end!
From the solid officially licensed Rock Band 2 instruments to the expanded third party options, Rock Band 2 introduces new and improved choices that promise to deliver unsurpassed realism. In addition, Harmonix and MTV Games have become the first companies to officially support third party instruments and accessories in a music videogame.
Achieve ultimate stardom with the upgraded functionality and smooth new look of the official Rock Band 2 instruments.
- Fender Stratocaster Controller takes on a new authentic look plus adds a reinforced strum bar, quieter buttons, wireless functionality and a built in calibration tool that automatically sets your AV setup to an ideal setting for maximum rock.
- Drum set goes wireless while also featuring quieter, velocity sensitive drum pads and a metal reinforced pedal.
- Microphone showcases authentic styling and weight.
Kick up the intensity with officially licensed third party instruments from Mad Catz:
- Fender Telecaster Controller features soft buttons with lower action to help you shred faster than ever.
- Fender Bass Controller, the first bass guitar controller ever, takes the shape of the Fender P-Bass with extended length, tuning pegs and a split strum bar to replicate finger-bass style picking.
- Full-sized Squire Stratocaster Guitar Controller multiplies the authentic guitar experience by featuring a controller built into an actual Squire Stratocaster body.
- Cymbal Expansion Pack is a straightforward but amazing upgrade to the Rock Band 2 drum set featuring add-on cymbals.
Take Rock Band 2 instrument authenticity to a whole new level with a high-end peripheral from ION:
- ION Drum Rocker, a real electronic drum kit that functions as a game controller, brings the Rock Band fantasy to life featuring a simple substitution that takes the drum kit from a controller to a real instrument.
Rock Band 2 will make its debut on Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft this September and have an exclusive launch window in North America. Rock Band 2 will be available for additional platforms later this year. Rock Band 2 will be available for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 and Wii later this year.