Rock Band 2 announced, try to act surprised

by: Chuck -
Harmonix officially announced Rock Band 2 today and while no one should be surprised that their money printer is getting a sequel I was surprised to learn that all of your downloaded tunes will work perfectly with the new game (although I do wonder if the original songs are coming across or if we'll have to pay for those).  Harmonix is also coming out with new instruments for the game which means that suckers like me are more than likely going to end up with three plastic drum sets in their living rooms by the end of the year (Rock Band, Rock Band 2, and Guitar Hero World Tour).

While the game will be hitting for multiple platforms only the Xbox 360 version has been dated so far (September) which means they are having development issues with the other versions or Microsoft backed up the money truck.  Either way this is looking to be another game that I'll be checking out at E3 in a few weeks.
Cambridge, Mass. – June 30, 2008 – Harmonix, the world’s premier music video game company in the world, and MTV Games, a part of Viacom’s MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), along with marketing and distribution partner Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), are taking the groundbreaking music platform that forever changed the face of music video games to the next level this September with the release of Rock Band 2. With the original providing millions of players a new way to interact with the music and artists they love, Rock Band 2 is the next evolution of the franchise that redefined the standard for music games.

Rock Band is the groundbreaking platform that allows music fans and gamers to interact with music like never before - challenging players to put together a band and tour for fame and fortune while learning to master lead/bass guitar, drums and vocals.

Rock Band 2 builds upon its foundation as the first music game to introduce co-operative band gameplay, multiple instruments, a robust online multiplayer experience, an unrivaled offering of downloadable content and raises the bar by delivering an entirely new level of depth, connectivity, authenticity and features including:
 Backwards compatibility with Rock Band downloadable music content. All previously purchased tracks will immediately load into your Rock Band 2 song list. No need to re-purchase or re-download.
 The biggest and most diverse soundtrack ever featuring some of rock’s most prolific acts, comprised entirely of master recordings.
 Major new and dynamic online modes that will connect the entire Rock Band community in more ways than ever before both locally and globally.
 More variety of instrument choices than ever before with new and improved drum and guitar peripherals, enhanced functionality and innovative new designs - all fully compatible with the original Rock Band instruments.
 And much more.
"As successful as the original Rock Band continues to be, we've now had the benefit of the last eight months to listen to our fans' requests and to build upon that foundation," said Alex Rigopulos, co-founder and CEO of Harmonix. "Rock Band 2 is a second-generation band game that will elevate the music game experience to the next level."
Rock Band 2 will make its debut on Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft this September and have an exclusive launch window in North America. Rock Band 2 will be available for additional platforms later this year.
“We expect Rock Band 2 to continue to drive an amazing social music experience on Xbox 360, said David Hufford, senior director, Xbox Product Management for the Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft... “We look forward to supporting Rock Band 2 on Xbox 360 as gamers continue to download hundreds of new music tracks from Xbox LIVE so they and their friends can perform the rock music they love most."
More details regarding features and music for Rock Band 2 will be revealed at the 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit. Rock Band, the first installment in the franchise, garnered more than 40 awards including Game Critics Award: Best of Show E3 2007.
In addition, Harmonix and MTV Games today announced that The Rock Band online music store recently surpassed 15 million paid downloads since the game’s launch in late November 2007. With more than 200 tracks available to date via download purchase (complete list of tracks at http://www.rockband.com/dlc), the massive Rock Band Music Store allows players to preview and purchase downloadable individual music tracks, packs and albums from the vast selection of offerings available as they build their own custom Rock Band library.
Rock Band 2 is rated “T” for Teen (lyrics, mild suggestive themes) by the ESRB.
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