Harmonix’s community team had been hinting that they had some pretty heavy Rock Band 4 news to announce during their PAX East panel. The fans and groupies were not disappointed.
While asynchronous multiplayer has been (functionally) attached to the game for a while now via Leaderboards, we now have confirmation that the real deal is coming. Synchronous multiplayer is confirmed to be on the way. And it isn’t just that, there were a bunch of fan pleasing announcements made during the Harmonix panel. Here’s the breakdown courtesy of Harmonix themselves, they call it their “2016 roadmap”:
- May: Battleborn characters – These were announced at the Gearbox panel on Friday, but we’re confirming them for the May update hitting soon.
May: Double kick support – Yep, you’ll be able to use that other port on your drums to use double kick pedals for tougher songs.
- June: Practice Mode — All the features you’d expect are here. Picking sections of a song, slowing them down, vocal pitch guides, etc.
- Summer: Pausing updates — Here’s when we wrap up “Chapter One” of Rock Band 4 and put a pause on updates. We have some huge features in store for the fall, and we want to give them the attention from the dev team they deserve.
- Fall: Expansion Pack — In the fall, we’re launching our first ever expansion pack, which is going to have some really big features attached to it, which haven’t been seen in Rock Band before. Much more to come about everything here at E3.
- Fall: Music Library Enhancements — Arriving alongside the expansion pack (But available to everyone with Rock Band 4), we’re making a bunch of tweaks to the music library, allowing you to sort, filter, and rate songs more easily.
- Holiday: SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE MULTIPLAYER — It’s coming. We want to be sure this version of online is better than in previous games, so we’re going to be using a modified version of Quickplay that has improvements for people with differing DLC libraries and groups where a random person tries to pick every song.
Let’s focus on a few of these things. Harmonix has been issuing monthly updates of late with Rock Band 4 to constantly improve the overall health and quality of the game/music platform. In May, you expert drummers out there are getting the double kick support that many of you have been clamoring for. But on top of that, Harmonix has confirmed that “PDP is making an ION/E-Kit adapter for Xbox One.” This is big news for many (at least from what I can tell from the Rock Band 4 Reddit), however there isn’t news about a PlayStation 4 version of said drum adapter. We’ll have to see.
As of Summer, Harmonix is halting monthly updates so that they can gather their resources behind their two big content drops for the end of 2016. There is an “Expansion Pack” coming in the fall, however, we have no idea what that really is yet. But more importantly – Online Multiplayer is headed our way. Harmonix wants to make “this version of online better than in previous games”, so we’ll cut them some slack for bringing it over a year after the actual Rock Band 4 release. It’s just excited to know you’ll be able to rock out with your pals that can’t be in the same room as you. More details will be coming in regards to the announcements as we get closer to their respective dates. When the news drops, you can be sure to find it here.