Rock Band 4

Rock Band 4

The widely rumored return of Harmonix's long dormant Rock Band franchise was confirmed by the Cambridge company this week, leaving many fans wondering why now?. After all, a lot has changed over the course of the past five years. The answer is simple, if you ask project manager Daniel Sussman.

"Say what you will about band games and their rise and fall," he told Gamespot, "but music is still an integral part of world culture, and as long as there's an interest in music, I feel there's an opportunity for us to continue to leverage Rock Band as a way of interacting with music.

He continued, "When we look at where we are with this console cycle, it's actually in a pretty similar spot to where we were when we released the first Rock Band. And guess what isn't on the PS4 or Xbox One? Rock Band. And we think it's a fun enough game that it should."

What makes Rock Band 4 different than the rest of the series, you ask? Well, for one thing, Mad Catz has stepped in to develop new controllers, including a “Band in a Box” bundle that features a fresh wireless Fender, drum kit, and microphone. Legacy controllers from earlier titles will most likely work as well if the game's production team have its way; combine that cross-platform compatibility with support for previously downloaded Rock Band songs and you've got a seamless experience right out of the starting gate.

"We want to treat this game as the game for this console generation," Sussman explained. "We are calling it Rock Band 4 because it's deserving the 4 — there's a lot of innovative stuff that's built into our design. At the same time, we don't envision a Rock Band 5, 6, 7 or 8. What we would rather do is build on the Rock Band 4 feature set through very deliberate content and title updates that are developed in collaboration and conversation with our community."
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