Harmonix unveils Rock Band 2

DLC will carry over, new instruments.

Harmonix has unveiled Rock Band 2 and announced plans to release it as a timed exclusive on Xbox 360 this September - with other platforms to follow "later in the year".

Perhaps the biggest feature will be cross-compatible downloadable songs, lead designer Dan Teasdale told IGN. And this works both ways; Xbox 360 fans can carry-over downloadable tracks from Rock Band 1, while PS3 fans awaiting release can play Rock Band 2 downloadable songs in the original game.

We're promised some "cool new features" that let you play your DLC in "different ways", too.

The existing peripherals will work with the sequel and you would bloody hope so too, but Harmonix and MTV will be offering updated peripherals that are "more realistic and reliable".

Feedback from the first game has led to Harmonix to expand its online options and offer better party functionality, so your friends can hop in with much less hassle.

There's no word on what songs will feature just yet, but Teasdale called it the "strongest playlist we've ever assembled". He also mentioned the possibility of user-created content in a similar vein to Guitar Hero: World Tour, but suggested something like this would take time to do properly.

"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," said Teasdale.

"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 is available on Xbox 360 in Europe, with PS3, PS2 and Wii versions yet to be dated.

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