Rock Band is a music video game developed by Harmonix Music Systems, published by MTV Games, and distributed by EA Distribution. It is the first title in the Rock Band series. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions were released in the United States on November 20, 2007, while the PlayStation 2 version was released in the U.S. on December 18, 2007 and the Wii version was released on June 22, 2008. The game was released in Canada for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on December 22, 2007 and for the PlayStation 2 on January 2, 2008. It was released in parts of Europe as a timed exclusive on Xbox 360 on May 23, 2008.
Rock Band allows players to perform in a virtual band by providing up to four players with the ability to play three different peripherals modeled after music instruments (a guitar peripheral for lead guitar and bass guitar gameplay, a drum peripheral, and a microphone). These peripherals are used to simulate the playing of rock music by hitting scrolling notes on-screen. Players with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions can interact through both online and offline multiplayer capabilities. In addition to the 58 core songs included on the game disc, over 600 downloadable songs have been released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, with more added each week.
At launch, the game software was made available in a bundle that packaged it together with the instrument peripherals, as well as for purchase separately. Individual instrument peripherals were released at a later date. The game has received widespread critical acclaim, with sales of four million units and global revenues of $600 million. Players have also made 30 million downloadable song purchases since Rock Band's release. The game's success prompted the release of a sequel, Rock Band 2.
Rock Band is awesome, I cant think of any other game that I've played that makes me and my mates feel like rock gods that are only alive to rock the virtual audience's socks off, hard. Even nowdays I'll pull out the worn plastic instruments of virtual rock, and blast away a few songs. It does get old though, who knows how many times I've played the same songs over and over. So the announcement of the Rock Band Network surprised me when I first saw it, mostly because that my Rock Band experience has always been crafted by the developers themselves. The Rock Band Network in theory should be like the iTunes store, where bands will be able to sell their recorded music over the internet and get paid from the sales except that the Rock Band Network will have the artists creating a playable track along with the music.
Sounds exciting does it not? The ability for bands to promote themselves over a game is great, the tools that the developers used being offered up to help the experience over. I just worry that the balance the game has created with the now "vanilla" tracks will be very different for each uploader. Still its a very good idea, and it only makes Rock Band a better game.
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