Rock Band 2

Key events

Bob Marley Rock Band DLC confirmed

MTV has announced that Bob Marley's Legend compilation will arrive in the Rock Band Store on 22nd September, confirming hints dropped earlier this week.

You can get the whole set for £9.99 on PSN or 1600 Microsoft Points (£13.60 / €19.20) on Xbox 360. Individual tracks cost 99p on PSN, 160 Microsoft Points (£1.36 / €1.92) on Xbox 360 or 200 Points (£1.80) on Wii.

"My father was interested in bringing reggae music to the entire world," Bob's son Ziggy Marley told the MTV Multiplayer Blog, "and now that his music is coming to Rock Band, as the first reggae artist in the game, we are excited to open the doors to reggae music to a whole new group of young people."

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Hendrix music exclusive to Rock Band

Hendrix music exclusive to Rock Band

New single plus Axis: Bold As Love.

Harmonix and MTV have announced that Jimi Hendrix's music will be exclusive to the Rock Band platform from now on.

Next week sees the release of the album Axis: Bold As Love both as individual songs (£0.99 / €1.49 per track) and an album pack (£9.99 / €14.99) on 30th March (Wii and Xbox 360) and 1st April (PS3).

Fans will also be able to get the new single "Valleys of Neptune" next week. Valleys of Neptune is taken from the album of the same name, which is comprised of previously unavailable Hendrix studio recordings.

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MTV wants Rock Band bonuses back

Seeking refund on $150m paid to Harmonix.

MTV owner Viacom is going is asking Harmonix for a refund on some of the $150 million it has paid the Rock Band developer in bonuses, reports Gamasutra.

Exploiting Rock Band Network "isn't easy"

Says company offering to do it for cash.

Corbomite Games CEO Oded Sharon has told Eurogamer that the majority of bands will struggle to fulfil requirements for getting a song published on the Rock Band Network.

Rock Band 2 for Wii in October

30 quid, compatible with old instruments.

EA, MTV, Harmonix and whoever else they've got round today have announced that Rock Band 2 for Wii will be released in Europe this October.

Harmonix releases Rock Band 2 update

Harmonix releases Rock Band 2 update

New modes, features, functionality.

Harmonix has released a significant patch for Rock Band 2, which adds and fixes a swathe of features. It's out now on Xbox 360 and is apparently in certification for PlayStation 3.

Chief among them is a new Audition mode for the Rock Band Network, where users can upload songs from their PCs to try them out using the game's tools.

The Network is currently in closed beta, but opens up in the coming weeks according lead designer Dan Teasdale on the Rock Band website (spotted by Joystiq).

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Conchords Rock Band DLC confirmed

Conchords Rock Band DLC confirmed

Definitely one to zero in on.

Sub Pop Records has confirmed three Flight of the Conchords songs for Rock Band, just like comedy duo Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie promised.

There will be one song from upcoming album "I Told You I Was Freaky", and two from the eponymous "Flight of the Conchords" collection. Sub Pop won't say what the songs are.

Eurogamer's resident FOTC expert Chris Ward expects the songs to be "It's Business Time" and "The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)". He hopes "Robots" will replace one of those, but he can't be sure.

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Flight of the Conchords for Rock Band?

Comedy duo enigmatically confirm.

Songs from musical comedy Flight of the Conchords may be heading to Rock Band, assuming what comedy duo Bret McKenzie and Jermaine Clement said on The Emmys' red carpet wasn't a joke. Frankly, we can't tell.

Trine, Bomberman head PSN refresher

Lots of special offers, too.

The long-awaited arrival of platformer Trine headlines the Thursday PSN update this week, followed admirably by Bomberman Ultra and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Commander's Challenge.

PSN update: Smash Cars, Battle Tanks

PSN update: Smash Cars, Battle Tanks

Plus Buzz! Home space and loads of DLC.

The PS3 Store refresher boasts new games, demos and DLC aplenty, while PlayStation Home opens a new Events Space for Buzz!

Get questions right and a tomato will be lobbed at a rotating Buzz statue. Get 10 questions right in a row and you will unlock a tomato head to put on your Home avatar.

Smash Cars and Battle Tanks are the low-key PSN additions, although their price - £12 and £8 respectively - is steep. Conversely, Crash Commando has had a price-cut to promote new content added today.

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Rock Band to get Iron Maiden pack

Can I Play With Madness? Not on hard.

Rock Band and Rock Band 2 are to be graced with an Iron Maiden track pack the week after next (from 9th June), according to the Rock Band community 'zine and Kotaku.

PSN update: demos, DLC, more demos

PSN update: demos, DLC, more demos

inFamous! Marvel vs. Capcom! Red Gorillas!

There are demos aplenty on the PS3 Store this weekend, including tasters for inFamous, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 and Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

There's plenty more content for existing PS3 games as well. The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena gets a map pack as does F.E.A.R. 2. There are some monster-themed costumes and level-making tools for LittleBigPlanet, plus some special Live recordings by Alice Cooper for Rock Band. Alice, remember, is a man. It's so confusing.

Also, note the excellent puzzler Fading Shadows for download on PSP. This costs 12 quid but is well worth the money. Pop over to our Fading Shadows review to find out more.

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Wolverine, Killzone head PSN update

Wolverine, Killzone head PSN update

Healthy pile of content to sift through.

Scratchy Marvel superhero Wolverine is the growl of the town this week; the film launched on Wednesday and the game arrives tomorrow. There's a demo here to try out, and our review is poised, ready to strike. Hint: brutal but banal.

The other eye-catcher is the Steel & Titanium map pack for Killzone 2, adding an extra pair of multiplayer maps. The Cops and Robbers mode - does what it says on the tin - for Burnout Paradise might be worth a look, too. Expensive, though.

The rest is fairly run-of-the-mill. Incidentally, the Brain Challenge Bundle is a brain-teaser game plus add-on packs.

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PSN update: bundles of DLC on offer

PSN update: bundles of DLC on offer

Plus: Red Faction, UFC demos.

There's lots to buy on the PlayStation Store this week, plus free samples of Red Faction Guerrilla UFC 2009 Undisputed to try.

Episode two of Penny Arcade Adventures finally shows up but, being non-essential, will need careful consideration before purchase. I've heard that one before. The excellent Exit turns digital-download for PSP, which also receives a Chessmaster game and a couple of PSone oldies.

Saints Row 2 leads the additional content charge with Ultor Exposed (we've just published our review), but there's DLC offered for Godfather II, HAWX, Midnight Club: LA, SmackDown 2009 and Mahjong Tales as well. Plus, LittleBigPlanet gets another dose of the planned April content.

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New prices are for old Rock Band kit

EA "working on" Euro RB2 instruments.

Following Friday's announcement of new pricing for Rock Band instruments in Europe, EA has confirmed to Eurogamer that the prices apply to the original Rock Band 1 instruments only.

Rock Band 2 dated for PS and Wii

UK instrument pricing slashed, too.

EA, Harmonix and MTV have announced that Rock Band 2 will be coming to British Sony and Nintendo fans within the next two months, and that they're cutting the cost of the game's instruments over here.

GHWT standalone drum kits coming

US in a fortnight, Europe "at a later date".

Guitar Hero developer Neversoft has announced that the World Tour drum kit is to get a standalone release.

Guitar Hero outsells Rock Band 2-to-1

Guitar Hero outsells Rock Band 2-to-1

Activision's effort more popular in US.

New figures from US data trackers NPD have revealed Guitar Hero World Tour is winning the battle of the band games.

As reported by Gamespot, 3.4 million copies of the game were sold in North America last year. The figure for Rock Band 2 stood at 1.7 million.

That's despite the fact Harmonix's effort had a head-start, sort of - the Xbox 360 version hit US shops on 14th September, followed by the PS3 game on 19th October. The Wii and PS2 versions didn't arrive until December 18th, though. Guitar Hero World Tour went on sale for all consoles on 26th October.

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Nirvana bassist impressed by Rock Band

But he can't play his own song properly.

Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic has paid tribute to Rock Band for encouraging people to buy music again, but admitted he's rubbish at it himself.

No Rock Band 3 this year

Next game "maybe" to have keyboard.

Harmonix boss Alex Rigopolous has confirmed we won't see a third Rock Band game this side of 2010.

Guitar Hero outsells Rock Band in US

Guitar Hero outsells Rock Band in US

But gap narrows as music games decline.

Investment analyst Ben Schachter of UBS has been poring over the sales figures of Guitar Hero and Rock Band in the US, and has found that the Activision Blizzard series outsold the EA games by over a million copies in November.

The picture isn't quite as clear-cut as it seems, though. Schachter - as quoted by GameSpot - found that Guitar Hero sales are in decline compared to last year, while Rock Band's are increasing sharply. Overall, the huge US market for music games created by the original Guitar Hero seems to be in decline.

Over 1.7 million Guitar Hero games of all versions and formats were sold in the US in November, of which 978,000 were copies of the latest version, Guitar Hero World Tour. This compares with 628,452 copies of Rock Band and Rock Band 2.

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Rock Band: Country now, Pearl Jam soon

1991 classic Ten coming in March.

Harmonix has confirmed that this week's Rock Band pack rustles up five country music numbers - and that Pearl Jam's debut album ten is on the way.

Nine songs for Rock Band this week

All going cheap, including one freebie.

December's first Rock Band downloadable content is a pick-and-mix of single tracks from a broad selection of groups and a couple of efforts from Naked Brothers Band, Harmonix has said in its regular DLC update.

Rock Band creators get USD 300m bonus

For exceeding performance targets.

MTV parent company Viacom plans to dish out enormous USD 300 million (GBP 193 million) in bonuses to Rock Band creators Harmonix for exceeding performance targets.

Foo Fighters album for Rock Band

"The Colour and the Shape" next week.

Harmonix has announced that Foo Fighters album "The Colour and the Shape" will be released as downloadable content for the Rock Band games next week.

Alone and MGS4 demos on PSN

Plus GHWT tracks and PSone games.

Alone in the Dark and Metal Gear Solid 4 demos top the list of additions to the PlayStation Store this week because of the way we've formatted our list.

Making Music

Harmonix on Rock Band 2 and the Beatles game.

The battle of the band games has never been more heated. This Christmas will see Rock Band 2 going head-to-head with Guitar Hero World Tour, which works with drum and microphone peripherals too. But with neither game even in the shops yet, Harmonix is already gearing up for round two.

Rock Band dev doing Beatles game

Platforms TBC, out next Christmas.

MTV, Apple Corps and Harmonix have announced that they are collaborating on "a brand new videogame featuring the music of the iconic Beatles" due out next Christmas.

EA announces Rock Band 2 Euro plans

EA announces Rock Band 2 Euro plans

360-exclusive disc in Nov, kit in Dec.

EA has announced that Rock Band 2 will "begin shipping" in Europe on 14th November exclusively for Xbox 360 for a limited time.

The software will be released in the UK on 21st November, and the standalone bundle of new instruments will be at retail "beginning in December".

Rock Band 2 solus discs will go for GBP 49.99 / EUR 69.99 but there's no immediate word on instrument prices. The Rock Band 1 "Band in a Box" pack currently goes for GBP 99.99 on 360 and GBP 79.99 on PS3 and Wii.

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Siouxsie headlines Rock Band update

Siouxsie headlines Rock Band update

Also: Blink-182, Silversun Pickups, more.

Harmonix has announced that this week's Rock Band content consists of a Siouxsie and the Banshees pack and individual tracks from Blink-182, The Psychedelic Furs and Silversun Pickups.

Punk-lovers can check out the Siouxsie and the Banshees pack for 440 Microsoft Points (GBP 3.74 / EUR 5.28) or USD 5.49 on PS3, which gets them "Hong Kong Garden", "The Killing Jar" and "Kiss Them For Me". The tracks are also available individually for 160 MSP (GBP 1.36 / EUR 1.92) or USD 1.99 for PlayStation players.

And if that isn't to your liking, you could go for Blink-182's "Dammit", The Psychedelic Furs' "Pretty In Pink", or Silversun Pickups' "Melatonin" or "Well Thought Out Twinkies". All the individual songs go for the usual rate, and all the songs are master recordings.

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Free Rock Band 2 songs listed

Available to US owners next month.

Harmonix may not be prepared to confirm or deny the release of country music for Rock Band later this year, but the developer has revealed which 20 songs PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii owners will be getting free next month.

Country in Rock Band "sooner or later"

Not necessarily December, despite report.

Harmonix has said that Rock Band will have country music "sooner or later" after Country Music Television reported that "select country tracks" would be released in December.

EA to take over Trafalgar Square again

Play games, look at Gemma Atkinson.

EA will be hosting an enormous public event inside the largest temporary structure ever erected in London's Trafalgar Square on 31st October and 1st November.

Rock Band 2

Rock Band 2

Time to get back together.

Harmonix may have dragged us to the peak of novelty mountain with Rock Band and its drum kit, guitar and microphone combination, but as we all lay around at the top coming to terms with the thin air (and even thinner wallets), things became awkward. The Tour mode was offline-only, and effectively restricted you to playing the main mode only when your whole band was around, which is either dimwitted or conceited depending on your point of view. As for the instruments, the guitar strum bar was dreadful, the drums' foot-pedal was made of matchsticks, and in-game the lead guitar was too easy and the bass guitar too boring. Plus, of course, online play was limited to one-offs. And it rained.

In hindsight, it's amazing we liked it as much as we did, but the gameplay drove every player into self-absorbed rock fantasy, and with its cunning multi-part "Overdrive" sequences - where each player enacts a bonus modifier accumulated separately - and an interesting blend of rock sub-genres and eras, many bands found themselves in a shared zone of pitched concentration, where the notes and flourishes escaped through the fingers before conscious thoughts had time to catch up. Harmonix long ago mastered the way these games work - having the player react to prompts that descend from the top of the screen, with the exception of the vocal line, which owed more to SingStar and Karaoke Revolution - and had no difficulty articulating its vision on the screen.

For Rock Band 2, however, that wasn't going to be enough. Activision is fighting back with Guitar Hero: World Tour, due out next month with an array of - at least to our eyes and limited finger access - more impressive peripherals, a towering tracklist and a number of interesting new ideas, including a music studio. Rock Band 2 can't very well revolutionise its peripherals, so the core software has to be pitch perfect, eliminating every flaw, nailing the tracklist and offering up a few special surprises to justify a full game purchase to existing fans already partly sated by premium DLC downloads.

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Rock Band 2 song transfer priced

Sabbath, Maiden, Metallica tracks off limits.

Harmonix and MTV will charge 400 Microsoft Points (GBP 3.40 / EUR 4.80) to transfer 55 on-disc songs from Rock Band 1 into Rock Band 2.

GH dev mocks Rock Band cymbals

Reveals plans for new drum controls.

It was never going to be pretty - and with Guitar Hero World Tour set to go head to head with Rock Band 2 this autumn, the rock 'n' roll royal rumble has begun in earnest.

360 instruments also cross-compatible

Guitar Hero and Rock Band learn to share.

Microsoft has said Xbox 360 instrument peripherals for Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Revolution will all be compatible across all three games.

Rock Band 2 instruments work in GH4

As do Konami drums, SingStar microphone.

Sony has been working with the makers of Guitar Hero World Tour, Rock Band, SingStar and Rock Revolution to ensure PS3 instrument peripherals will work across all of those titles.

The Who frontman bored by Rock Band

Daltrey won't get fooled again.

The Who frontman Roger Daltrey has grumpily admitted that Rock Band "bored" him, and laments how technology has changed the way we interact with music.

Konami sues Harmonix and MTV

Claims Rock Band violates patents.

Konami has filed a lawsuit against Harmonix, MTV and Viacom, claiming music game Rock Band infringes on its patents.

First Rock Band 2 tracks confirmed

First Rock Band 2 tracks confirmed

Motörhead! The Who! The Muffs!

The first batch of Rock Band 2 songs have been revealed in early previews of the game.

According to GameSpot the list is looking similar to the one that emerged earlier this month.

So that means "Ace of Spades" is really on its way, as is "Give It Away" and "Kids in America".

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Harmonix unveils Rock Band 2

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.

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