Earlier this week, Oculus Rift co-founder Palmer Luckey announced that he was going to make a “special announcement” regarding the virtual reality device at The Game Awards on Thursday. The majority of people, including me, suspected that Luckey would reveal the release date and price for the VR headset - but it turns out this wasn’t the case. Instead, the special announcement was that Oculus and Harmonix are bringing Rock Band to the Oculus Rift.
“Oculus and Harmonix are excited to announce that Rock Band is coming to the Rift in 2016! This brand new made-for-VR game inspired by the original Rock Band, from developer Harmonix, places you on a virtual stage living out the ultimate rock and roll fantasy, only for the Oculus Rift,” according to the announcement made at The Game Awards.
So, still no official word on how much the Oculus Rift will cost, and the release date is still given as “Q1 2016,” but Luckey did say that Rock Band VR should debut by March 2016.
Harmonix had stated in the past that Rock Band wouldn’t be arriving on the PC due to piracy concerns. But seeing as the Rift is designed for the PC, it looks like we’ll finally be able to use plastic instruments to thrash out tunes on our home computers – at least with this VR version of the game.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions about how Rock Band VR will actually work. In the promotional video, Luckey and Harmonix creative director Alex Rigopulos are seen holding traditional Rock Band guitars with Oculus touch position tracked controllers wrapped around the stocks, suggesting that this enables them to move the guitar in the VR space. Does this also indicate that the instruments from the console versions will be compatible with the Rift title? Will it be guitar-only? How exactly do you play the game in virtual reality? And does it mean that we may eventually see the full Rock Band 4 game arrive on the PC?