Rock Band is the highly anticipated game in which players play along with rock music with the included microphone, guitar, and drum accessories. The game borrows many of the elements from the popular Guitar Hero franchise. Rock Band is developed by Harmonix, published by MTV Games, and will be distributed by Electronic Arts. Harmonix has released the titles of 35 songs included with the games. Additionally, other songs can be purchased and downloaded.
The game includes a Rock Band branded Fender Stratocaster guitar (wired for Xbox 360, wireless for PS3/PS2 versions) that offers some improvements over the guitar included with Guitar Hero. There are 5 fret buttons located further up the neck of the guitar dedicated for solo sections using hammer-ons and pull-offs (no strumming required). Also, there is an effects switch on both the wired and wireless version.
Harmonix has confirmed that the Guitar Hero and third-party guitar controllers are compatible with Rock Band.
The included drum accessory has 4 foam pads used as a snare, hi-hat, tom-toms, and crash/ride cymbal that you hit in a very similar fashion as the real drums. There is also a foot pedal for simulating the bass/kick drum. It is similar to the drums in the DrumMania arcade game. The drums feature detachable legs so you can set it up on a table top.
The drums match playing the drums so closely, that Harmonix claims that if you can play the drum parts on the Hard difficulty in the game, you can play the drums in real life.
Rock Band includes a microphone similar to the one found in Harmonix's Karaoke Revolution. Rock Band adds a phoneme detector to sense for vowels and consonants, instead of merely matching pitch and timing like in Karaoke Revolution. The microphone doubles as a cowbell and tambourine when there are no vocals.
It will be released Friday, November 23rd, 2007 for both the Xbox 360 and PS3. It will be released for the PS2 on December 10th. The game will include a microphone, guitar, and drums and will retail for $169, less than the anticipated $199.