MTV and EA announced today that the first handheld version of "Rock Band" will be released on June 9, alongside a piano black "Rock Band" version of the PSP.
"Rock Band"'s first portable edition, "Rock Band Unplugged," is coming sooner than some gamers probably expected. It will be out on June 9, according to a press release issued this morning by the firm representing the game.
The game is described as combining "traditional beat match gameplay [combined] with key elements from both 'Rock Band' and 'Rock Band 2,' such as overdrive and chords." Unlike the portable "Guitar Hero: On Tour" for the Nintendo DS, there will be no guitar peripheral that plugs into the system. "Your hands are the 'peripherals,'" the press release states, noting that players will be controlling guitar, bass, drum, and vocals with their fingers. The game will also include a World Tour mode.
MTV and EA are pushing the idea that "Rock Band Unplugged" includes an online-enabled store for downloadable. That means that the game's more than 40 master-recordings can be supplemented with downloaded songs bought through the PlayStation Network Store. Of the initial tracklist, nine songs are being released first for the PSP game before being offered for "Rock Band" games on other platforms (which, presumably means the other 30-plus songs included in the PSP game have or will be out for other versions of "Rock Band" by June 9).
The nine tracks debuting on "Rock Band Unplugged" are:
* 3 Doors Down- "Kryptonite"
* AFI- "Miss Murder"
* Alice in Chains- "Would?"
* Audioslave- "Gasoline"
* Black Tide- "Show Me the Way"
* Blink 182- "What's My Age Again"
* Freezepop- "Less Talk More Rokk"
* Jackson 5- "ABC"
* Tenacious D- "Rock Your Socks"
"Rock Band Unplugged" was developed by the franchise's longtime development studio Harmonix along with Backbone Entertainment.
Sony will launch a "Rock Band"-themed PSP when the new game launches. The system will be "piano black," come with a 4GB memory stick and a voucher to download the movie "School Of Rock" from the PlayStation store. (See all the Jack Black tie-ins here? And this game isn't even "Brutal Legend"). The "Rock Band" PSP will sell for $199.99.
We'll have hands-on impressions of the game by our own Tracey John next week.