Although it’s been out of the spotlight for a few years now, the rhythm genre is poised to make a big splash in 2015. Both Rock Band and Guitar Hero are set to release new iterations – their first in several years – for current-gen platforms.
With that excitement, however, comes the potential for hardware shortages, at least as far as Rock Band 4 is concerned. According to developer Harmonix and co-publisher Mad Catz, gamers should pre-order their copies of Rock Band 4 as soon as they go live in order to ensure those gamers don’t miss out.
The Rock Band 4 developer did not say what type of sales they expect, or whether they truly believe the new hardware – guitar, microphone, and drums – will truly be hard to find. However, if past Rock Band iterations are any indication, chances are the full retail package will be sold out during the holiday season. We don’t know what exactly that retail package will entail, but past Rock Bands have offered a complete set that includes all instruments and a copy of the game. There were also standalone, guitar-only versions available, but most went after the full set, and in turn made it a scarce commodity.
At the same time, this could also be a move by Harmonix to gauge fan interest in Rock Band. Pre-orders have always been a good metric for how well an upcoming game might sell, so many publishers try to introduce enticing pre-order bonuses to encourage early investment. Harmonix is taking things a step further by allowing gamers to set an alert for when pre-order go live, giving the developer even more metrics to gauge potential sales.
The good news, though, is that even if Rock Band 4 instruments are sold out at launch, players won’t be completely out of luck. As Harmonix has revealed previously, the upcoming current-gen game will support legacy hardware including past guitars, drum sets, and microphones. The only instruments it won’t support are the Pro Guitar and the keyboard from Rock Band 3, as Harmonix is removing those instruments from their gameplay.
So while Guitar Hero is trying to cut a new path with a revamped guitar peripheral, Harmonix is ensuring as many fans as possible can get in on the action on day one. They may have to wait a little longer to get their hands on an official Rock Band 4 guitar or drum set, but the most important part is getting to play the game as early as possible.
Will you be pre-ordering a copy of Rock Band 4 before release? Do you expect the instruments to be hard to find?
Rock Band 4 is set to release this holiday for PS4 and Xbox One.