The Droid Bionic from Motorola is one helluva smartphone. It’s super fast, both in processing and network speeds. It’s one of the first mobile phones to pack a dual-core processor, with each core running at 1GHz, delivering up to 2GHz of processing power, and it’s Moto’s very first 4G LTE enabled phone. More specs: 4.3-inch qHD display, 512 MB of RAM, rear-facing 8-megapixel camera, front-facing VGA camera, HDMI out. It will ship with Android 2.2 (Froyo) on board. Moto’s also pushing Mirror Mode, a function that enables simultaneous streaming of video to the TV and on the device. All in all, this is a pretty solid device. 2011 is going to see a big push towards faster phones with larger, higher quality displays and right now the Bionic is the clear leader of the pack. Precise price point and release date have not been specified yet, but you can expect it the Bionic to land on Verizon Wireless in Q2 2011.
At CES 2011 Verizon kept reiterating the blazing speeds of 4G LTE. They claim the next-gen cell service is up to 10 times faster than current 3G speeds and they used a fun example on stage at their press event to show how these incredible speeds can be utilized. They invited Electronic Arts to show off Rock Band Mobile‘s multiplayer capabilities. Owners of select 4G LTE devices will be able to “jam together” with up to four friends over the network. Verizon is hopeful Android apps will take advantage of 4G LTE’s fast speeds with wireless connectivity functionality as featured in the upcoming Rock Band game. Look after the break for the PR which lists the 20 songs in the game; there you’ll also find a video demonstration. If you didn’t know, Verizon plans to expand its 4G network to blanket its entire 3G coverage area within the next three years.
Freddie Wong is back with another out-of-this-world video. This time a futuristic version of Rock Band takes centerstage. Augmented reality meets rhythm gaming! Me likey a lot.
To make a short story even shorter… Last week RockBandAide leaked a partial setlist from the upcoming Harmonix music game Rock Band 3. This week at Gamescom in Germany, three Harmonix developers set up a camera and dispelled all rumors surrounding the “official” setlist. During this brief video (which is embedded after the break), the developers revealed the entire 83-track setlist in a tongue-in-cheek manner; while two devs told viewers not to believe the misinformed rumors posted online, the other dev nonchalantly scrolled through the entire setlist while the camera was rolling! Avenged Sevenfold, The Bronx, Bob Marley, David Bowie, Deep Purple, Devo, Elton John, Foreigner, INXS, John Lennon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ozzy Osbourne, The Police, Queen, Steve Miller Band, War, The Who, Yes. The setlist is pretty phenomenal, so make sure you peek past the break to check it out. Thanks to disc export and DLC support, the game will have access to a library of over 2,000 songs! Rock Band 3 releases October 26, 2010 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii.
Are you ready to rock!? Well don’t get too excited since we’re still a few months away from the next iteration of Rock Band. MTV Games and Harmonix announced that RB3 hits stores October 26. The game will ship for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and DS. Pricing details were previously reported. Besides the all-important release date, a bunch of enticing preorder options were detailed, too. If you preorder the game at Walmart you will get a $10 eGift card. Those who shop early at Amazon will receive access to an exclusive in-game guitar plus $10 off a future videogame purchase (the latter offer applies only to Xbox 360 & PS3 RB3 preorders). And last there’s the GameStop special: three free downloadable songs (“My Own Summer” by The Deftones, “Blue Monday” by New Order, and “Burning Down the House” by Talking Heads). I don’t have to tell you which option is best to choose. Look after the break for the official PR.
Somehow the video footage from the MTV Games/Harmonix booth got lost in the archives…but I have pictures to put in its place!
The layout of the MTV Games/Harmonix was pretty straightforward. The bulk of it was filled with the current Rock Band titles and they include The Beatles: Rock Band, Green Day: Rock Band, and Rock Band 3; a section of the booth contained Dance Central stations (that’s the Kinect-enabled dance party game). Speaking of RB 3, the brand spankin’ new keyboard was playable at the booth. It’s a very solid piece of hardware and a welcome addition to the guitar, drums, and mics. The new Rock Band Pro guitars, including the Fender Mustang and six-string Fender Squier Stratocaster, were on display. Man are they beautiful, and they look so real (in fact, the latter one is real)! But don’t take my word for it; look in the gallery to see for yourself.
It was just yesterday when we learned all about Rock Band 3′s new instruments and game modes. One day later comes even more news about the highly anticipated music game from developer Harmonix and peripheral maker Mad Catz. Here’s what we know so far: RB3 will feature a new game mode beyond the Expert level called “Pro”. Pro mode aims to actually teach you how to play an instrument. If you’re asking to yourself, “How can plastic toy guitars teach me how to play the real thing?” I’ve got a definitive answer that might just blow your mind.
In addition to the redesigned standard guitar that will ship alongside the game, Mad Catz is also manufacturing two new guitars that will resemble real life guitars. The Wireless Fender Mustang PRO-Guitar Controller ($149.99) contains 102 buttons in total, including 17 frets along a button-based neck and a 6-string strumming area which allows for discrete picking of each string and a touch-sensitive string box which allows players to mute or ‘cut-off’ notes when pressed. This thing is so authentic that it operates as a fully functional MIDI guitar; a MIDI output connector provides compatibility with MIDI software sequencers. A six-string Fender Squier Stratocaster is also in the works but has yet to be detailed.
The Wireless PRO-Cymbals Expansion Kit ($39.99) will bring the drums setup into Pro mode territory. The kit will attach to the standard drums setup and add three new cymbals to the mix: hi-hat, crash, and ride. The cymbals will feature enhanced responsiveness, quieter sound with noise-dampening rubber, and permanently rest at a pre-defined 10° angle.
Next up is the MIDI PRO-Adapter ($39.99) which allows you to hook up your own keyboard or electronic drum set to a console. This conversion box will act as mediator to allow for MIDI to USB to console. It features a velocity sensitive adjustment for MIDI drums and a full D-Pad plus standard gaming controller buttons so you can properly navigate on-screen menus.
And last but certainly not least is the Wireless Keyboard Controller ($79.99), the latest addition to the party. The keyboard/keytar instrument includes 25 keys and features a two-octave (C3 to C5) range and non-weighted, velocity-sensitive key bed. Just like the Fender Mustang, the keyboard has a MIDI out port allowing you to use it as a real keyboard with MIDI software sequencers and hardware devices. It’s also been confirmed that it can be used to play the lead guitar and bass in the game. (Note: A RB3 + keyboard bundle will sell for $129.99.)
So, if you’re one of those people who has been playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band games for years now but you’ve been craving a more realistic experience, all signs point to Rock Band 3 on delivering and satisfying your quench for a new challenge. Or if you’re the casual type RB3 has some good news for you, too. Three-part vocal harmonies have been ported from The Beatles: Rock Band, bringing the grand total of potential simultaneous players to seven: guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and three vocalists on mics (or however you decide to divvy it up). Also, every game mode support player drop in/ drop out, meaning players can come and go as they please, new instruments can join and difficulty level can be changed on the fly. House parties are about to get a whole lot more fun.
Rock Band 3 is expected to release this holiday season for all major consoles. Look in the gallery below for some in-game screenshots. After the break catch the newly release game trailer and an image of the Fender Squier Stratocaster.
USA Today got the scoop on the latest peripheral to join the Rock Band party. In addition to guitar, bass, drums, and mic, Rock Band 3 will support “a 25-key, fully functioning MIDI keyboard.” RB3 project director Daniel Sussman on the keyboard: “We’re actually utilizing the full two-octave range that the keyboard controller has. Everything that you are playing, whether you are playing on easy or expert, is accurate musical information. The track looks like a real keyboard track, and you are playing notes on the keyboard that if you were to step away from the game and were to play on a real piano, they would be the right notes.” For those of you wondering about the keytar rumors from a while back, it’s been confirmed that the keyboard is designed to use on a lap or strapped over a shoulder. Watch the video embedded above to learn more about how the keyboard will work in-game.
Also announced was a new Pro Mode which makes the guitar, drums, and keyboard experiences more realistic. For example, “More realistic music notations replace the standard color-coded notes during gameplay. For guitar, numbers flow down the screen along six guitar strings, telling you where to place your hands on the neck and when to strum.” In fact, two new guitars are currently being developed that include actual strings where you need to strum. Game developer Harmonix is working on a six-string Fender Squier Stratocaster and third party peripheral maker Mad Catz is making a Fender Mustang Pro. Harmonix’s John Drake on the more realistic guitar: “It can tell where your fingers are based on technology in the neck and the bridge of the guitar. No buttons. While you’re playing it, it feels exactly like playing a real guitar.” The drums will get three new cymbals and gameplay forces you to play the correct cymbal at the right time. Says Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos: “If you are someone who is looking for a deeper challenge either because you are an expert player looking for the next level of challenge or because you actually have musical aspirations, there is the Pro game play (mode), which is really going to start to close the gap between simulated music and real musicmaking.”
Rock Band 3 will release for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii this holiday season. Look after the break for a partial tracklist organized by decade (the disc will contain 83 new songs in total).
Those of you who downloaded the Green Day: Rock Band demo from Xbox Live Marketplace (which includes the two tracks “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” & “Welcome to Paradise”) were treated to a teaser banner when exiting the demo for Rock Band 3. Along with the usual suspects (guitar, drums, bass, and mic) sits an entirely new instrument, a keytar! At first glance gamers interpreted the new icon to represent the addition of a keyboard peripheral for the new Rock Band game, but ArsTechnica claims their “now-famous Mole” has reliable information that the new instrument is in fact a keytar. For those of you who are not familar with the instrument, a keytar essentially combines a guitar and keyboard into one, and it’s very ’80s. Look after the break for a sexy image of said instrument.
Along with this tease comes more news surrounding the upcoming music game. While the first two iterations of Rock Band were sold with instruments created by developer Harmonix, all peripherals for Rock Band 3 will be created and distributed by third-party game accessory company Mad Catz. Mad Catz will promote a myriad of bundles including guitars, drums, and mics. Information regarding the keytar will likely be detailed next month at E3.
And there’s one more morsel of news that comes from this same source. Rock Band 3 will feature a new “pro mode” “that will require proper technique, and may lead to actual skills on guitars and bass.” Again, expect more details about the game to be exposed at E3 in mid-June.
EW’s Music Mix blog’s got the scoop on the latest band-specific Rock Band game, Green Day: Rock Band. Developer Harmonix had a fun time choosing the venues and songs for the game. You journey through three venues throughout the course of the game: the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, England; the Fox Theater in the band’s home of Oakland, California; and The Warehouse, a fictional location that’s based on where they used to play before they hit the big leagues. The game includes 47 songs from three Green Day albums, and they each correspond to the three venues. Dookie (1994) and American Idiot (2004) are loaded on the disc in their entirety and they’ve included 12 tracks from 21st Century Breakdown (2009). The remaining six will be made available as downloadable content. Note that these 6 missing tracks were previously made available for download for Rock Band and Rock Band 2, so if you already own them you can import them into Green Day: Rock Band at no charge. There’s also a handful of popular singles from Warning (2000), Nimrod (1997), and Insomniac (1995) included. Look after the break for the full tracklist.
Besides venue and tracklist information, EW reports that the visuals are quite good, and the avatars of Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tré Cool look great thanks to advanced motion-capture technology. Harmonix spent a lot of time researching the band to make sure everything is historically accurate, even the types and number of tatoos the band members added over the years. And since MTV Games is part of the project, rare performances and interviews will be included on-disc as unlockabled achievements. If this game is anything like Harmonix’s last band-specific game, The Beatles, I have no doubt it’s going to ROCK. Green Day: Rock Band lands in stores June 8.
[Via EW-Music Mix]
Rock Band Network beta opens to Xbox 360 users, allows rockstars in training to show off their talent
Harmonix wants to breathe new life into its Rock Band series by allowing gamers to upload their own music to the game for others to play. It’s being positioned as a way for unsigned artists to show off their talent in video game form. All artists have to do is create a MIDI file of their song, record it with quality audio levels, and submit it for a peer review. If a song is selected for the service, the artist will be prompted to pick a price point (ranging from $1 to $3) and then the song will be posted to the network for millions to download and play. However, there is somewhat of a catch. Artists must pay to place their songs on the network and the pricing is pretty steep, ranging from $999 for an entire track to $500 per minute of music. This being said, it is likely that only serious artists will be willing to take the leap into the Network. And if you ask me, this is a good thing; we shouldn’t run into showing-singing tweens. So far many larger bands have expressed deep interest in lending some of their tracks to the service. They include Jonathan Coulton, The Shins, Ministry, Evanescense, The Stills, Creed and All That Remains. Also, SubPop has announced that Nirvana, Sleater-Kinney, Flight of the Conchords, and the Postal Service will share tracks as well. Harmonix stipulates that they will not enable the service ”until we accrue a good base of content.” So you think you got what it takes? Head on over to Rock Band’s official site to join the beta and get started!
Many publishers used this year’s Spike Video Game Awards as a launching pad for their future games lineup. Notable titles include Halo: Reach and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. Surprise announcements include Arkham Asylum 2, a reboot of the Medal of Honor series, a stand-alone Green Day Rock Band game, and a lead up to the 2010 Tron movie called Tron Evolution. Check out the Halo: Reach and Green Day: Rock Band trailers below and look after the break for trailers for the rest of the games mentioned here, plus more! 2010 already looks to be a solid year for video gamers. Get pumped. And for those who are curious–The Beatles: Rock Band won (and rightfully deserved) music game of the year and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves nabbed Game of the Year. Look after the break for the full rundown of winners.
Note: A press release announces that the Halo: Reach multiplayer beta begins Spring 2010.
Dhani Harrison (son of The Beatles’ George Harrison and developer on The Beatles: Rock Band) sat down with The Chicago Tribune and spilled some new information of what’s to come with the next installment of Harmonix’s Rock Band.
“I’m working on ‘Rock Band 3′ and making the controllers more real so people can actually learn how to play music while playing the game. Give me a couple years, it’s going to happen.”
When asked about potential integration with Microsoft’s upcoming Project Natal interface, MTV Games general manager Scott Guthrie: “We aren’t standing still – we will keep moving into new areas and look at new technologies that our platform holder partners are also developing, such as Project Natal from Microsoft.”
It’s starting to look like Rock Band 3 will not just be another rhythm game in the serieswith a new tracklist and an updated online catalogue. With more realistic instruments and potential Project Natal integration Rock Band 3 will surely make gamers and newcomers alike ready to rock out all over again.
Musically-inclined YouTuber Jordan has connected his Guitar Hero and Rock Band drums together to his computer to output some cool beats, using Osculator, JunXion Lite, and Logic. The magic begins at 2:20.
This Sunday at the Emmys TV Guide caught up with Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords fame. You can see and hear with your own eyes and ears, respectively, the brilliantly hilarious duo confirm that three of their songs from the hit HBO series will make their way to Rock Band sometime soon. This is very exciting news for all FOTC fans out there.
This calls for one thing, and one thing only…BRET’S ANGRY DANCE. Just do it, it relieves so much stress.