Updated: Trailer & Screens Live.
The handheld version of Harmonix' Rock Band, Rock Band Unplugged, will be available on the Playstation Portable on June 9th.
Developed by Harmonix and Backbone Entertainment, the game aims to create a full band experience in your palm by "combining traditional beat match gameplay with key elements from both Rock Band and Rock Band 2, such as overdrive and chords." Unlike the DS version of Guitar Hero, Rock Band Online will not need a separate peripheral that clips onto your system. Instead, you'll control bass, guitar, drums and vocals by taking "direct control" of instruments. Interesting!
The game will feature Rock Band modes like World Tour, Band Survival and Warm Up, and a character creator for full customization. Over forty tracks will be included in the game, including nine songs that will debut in Unplugged. And when you've played out those forty songs, you'll be able to download more from the PlayStation Store. According to Harmonix, players will be able to download tracks to either their PC or direct to the PSP with a store similar to the console version of Rock Band's music store.
The tracks listed below will launch exclusively through Rock Band Unplugged on the PSP system for a limited time before becoming downloadable content for the other platforms:
- 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"
The question with a game like this is, since Rock Band and Rock Band 2 have become the ultimate social/party video games, will a handheld version work? Sitting in a bus tapping rhythms with headphones in your ears is a far cry from the "living room rock star" experience of console rock games. I guess it beats just listening to your iPod, though, and if anyone can capture music game awesomeness on a handheld, it's Harmonix. We'll all know for sure on June 9th.
We'll have a launch trailer and some more screenshots for you all very, very soon. Keep watching this space.