For the past few weeks, rumors swirled about Harmonix working on another Rock Band, between the release of new downloadable content for Rock Band 3 and a tip that a person familiar with the project confirmed its existence – which the developer poked fun at on Twitter.
That said, a Rock Band comeback would be welcome, as it's always been a fun party franchise, giving everyone from kids to older gamers the chance to rock out to their favorite bands, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Foo Fighters and many more.
Before Harmonix makes the official reveal, here are five things we'd like to see in a new Rock Band title.
New Rock Band instruments
With a new Rock Band game for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, people will need to pick up more plastic instruments. Considering Mad Catz did so well on the previous peripherals in the series, it'd be wise to bring the company back to produce new ones. We're talking about a guitar with light-up effects, a drum set that's a bit wider and a microphone well suited for the job.
Will they be expensive? Probably – the last Rock Band packages sold for around $200, particularly that limited edition Beatles Rock Band bundle. However, if it all leads to getting the quintessential rock experience, then by all means, bring on the power tools.
Make the game compatible with older peripherals
Some people still own their original Rock Band equipment, including drum sets, guitars and mics, so Harmonix and Mad Catz should find a way to make them compatible with the newer systems. It's not completely unheard of, as most equipment needs an accessory that allows them to connect to the new devices – like the dongles that worked with the PlayStation 3 version.
Would it be a pain to achieve this compatibility? Probably. However, it'd be a lot easier on gamers' wallets, and make it that much simpler to pick up the game and jam out. Harmonix could offer a package where the game is either sold on its own or with new instruments – exactly what it did with Rock Band 2, Rock Band 3 and The Beatles: Rock Band.
With the re-introduction of the Rock Band franchise, they can also bring back one of the greatest peripherals Harmonix ever produced, the fog machine. This adds a layer of greatness to each performance, and it'd be wonderful to use it again.
Team with Twitch for a Rock Band streaming community
We enjoyed playing Rock Band online. While notthe same as jamming with friends in your living room, it certainly beats nothing, and there's still that victorious feeling of knowing your group nailed a song. With the new Rock Band, Harmonix should take it a step further with Twitch-streaming.
Imagine a big Rock Band community getting together and hosting streaming nights with the game, allowing fans to jump in and play along, or better yet, hosting competitions where bands jammed out against one another. It's a smart move that would expand the game's popularity.
Introduce a new Jam Mode
Throw in a jam mode where players perform whatever they want and then share their creations through the Rock Band Store whenever it reopens.
There's a lot to this mode, but opening up a flow of creativity could be just what the doctor ordered for the franchise – and it would certainly increase the community.
Plenty of new song packs, and compatibility with old DLC
Finally, a music game needs the best songs. Over the years, the Rock Band games received plenty of excellent tunes from familiar and up-and-coming bands, and we think the new game will have plenty to go around as well. Here's hoping Harmonix finds a way to bring Led Zeppelin into the picture, because we want to jam out to Stairway To Heaven.
If Harmonix wants to knock our socks off, it'll make the new Rock Band game compatible with the classic DLC from the previous titles, so we can expand the song list even further. Give us the Lego Rock Band, AC/DC and previous packs that were already available (not counting the ones that were removed, like Metallica – unless you bought them).
We'll learn more when/if Harmonix details its 2015 plans over the next few months.