It appears that the Rock Band franchise will draw first blood in the upcoming battle of the rhythm games. Shacknews reports that Rock Band 2 will be released for Xbox 360 in September, with other platforms following soon after. A few tidbits of information were dropped, mostly about DLC. Content downloaded for Rock Band 1 will work just fine in Rock Band 2, and the opposite is true for songs downloaded after Rock Band 2's release. Another improvement (and much needed) will be easier party play setup. Improved instruments are on the way, to no one's surprise, though backwards compatibility with the original Rock Band instruments is promised. Of particular interest is this quote from lead designer Dan Teasdale:
Rock Band 2 takes all the lessons we've learned from making a multi-instrument music game, addresses them, then adds some amazing new ways for you to experience your music library that have never been seen in a music game before. We've been scouring forums and parties everywhere for what people liked and didn't like, and I'm pretty confident we've addressed everything I've heard people ask for.
Rock Band 2 looks to be a promising sequel, and we look forward to its release in a few short months. Read more snippets from an interview at IGN, plus pics of the Rock Band 2 guitar, after the break!
The Rock Band 2 guitar, pictured above, looks very nice. It's easily the closest any game peripheral has come to looking like the real thing.
Highlights from the IGN interview:
Rock Band 2 will have "the best setlist of any game, ever". Online World Tour is all but confirmed. Probably no editor at this point, they want to take time to do it right, for both the hardcore and the casual fan. Instruments will be quiter, more realistic, and more reliable. Tweaks to Band World Tour random setlists will help keep killer songs out when playing with friends on easy mode, for example. Support for playing guitar and vocals at the same time! There will be "new ways for you to transition from Expert to real instruments."
All in all, some great stuff. What are your thoughts? Do you have a wish list for features you want to see in Rock Band 2?