The announcement comes on the heels of Harmonix quietly releasing further DLC songs for Rock Band 3 for the first time in 21 months, which I covered in January. Since then, they have released several more downloadable tracks, all of which should be compatible with Rock Band 4, so long as you import them within the same family of systems. Below are videos of me playing one of the new tracks on expert pro drums and expert guitar, if you'd like to get a feel for the new DLC.
Rock Band 4 will feature an all-new engine, capable of delivering next-gen visuals in 1080p at 60 frames per second. The new installment will also feature new, more fluid animations for your virtual band members. The new engine also boasts improved character models and lighting effects suitable for next generation consoles.
In an effort to avoid another oversaturation of music/rhythm games, Harmonix has promised that this will be the only flagship Rock Band title for this generation. Their focus instead will be to provide continuous DLC support, similar to their weekly content seen in the past three Rock Band games. No word has been announced on exactly what their DLC support will be like, although I'd speculate it to be weekly like the previous installments.
Currently, there are only plans to release Rock Band 4 on PS4 and Xbox One. Unless fans support and demand it, we will not be seeing Rock Band 4 on the Wii U or PC.
Harmonix is working hard to be able to support previously purchased Rock Band instruments, and will support the majority of them at launch. There is no guarantee that they will be able to support all previously compatible peripherals, however. Mad Catz, the company who made the instruments for Rock Band 3, will be in charge of making Rock Band 4's instruments again this time, specifically designed for next-gen. No other information on the new instruments is available at this time.
Currently, no songs from the soundtrack have been announced yet, although Harmonix has announced they plan on putting in enough funding to "support a top tier soundtrack." Turning to their fans, they have put up a webpage that allows you to submit requests for songs you'd like to see on Rock Band 4. Here is the link to that if you'd like to make a request!
What do you think of the announcement of Rock Band 4 so far? Are you excited to play it, or will you be passing on it? Are you going to buy the new next-gen versions of the instruments, or stick to your classic ones? Or are you just waiting for more information (namely, the soundtrack!) Let me know in the comments below!
**Images sourced from Rockband.com, Psu.com and Hardcoregamer.com**