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Online, Ions, and More! A PAX East Panel Recap

So our panel just ended a few minutes ago. People are still filing out of the room, and the energy in here is still electric. We talked a lot about the past, present, and future of all things Rock Band, and a ton of good discussion happened. Let’s run through the announcements all quick-like.

We spent a good amount of time talking about our 2016 roadmap for Rock Band 4, which you can see above. There’s a lot to unpack there, so let’s take it a month at a time.

In May, we’re bringing you characters from Battleborn®. Miko and Thorn will be playable for free, bringing a touch of charm and class to your band.

Thorn and Miko

Also in May, you’ll be able to use that port on the back of your drums for a second kick pedal. That’s right, double kick support is coming back to Rock Band 4.

In June, you’ll be hit with Practice Mode! Slow down songs, replay specific sections giving you trouble, have vocal pitch guides for the lead and harmonies, and more.

We’re looking at June as the end of “chapter one” of Rock Band 4. We’ve brought a lot of great content since the game launched last October, and we’re looking toward what we’re bringing you in the fall, so we’ll be putting updates on pause after June, which gives the team time to put the finishing touches on the huge features coming in the fall.

No story with chapters would rightfully end after chapter one, so continuing our promise of Rock Band 4 being the Rock Band for this console generation, in the fall we’re going to be launching our first expansion pack. This is going to have some heavy-hitting features in it that will get some light shined (shone?) on them at E3. There are brand-new, never-before-seen features, and they add some really interesting ways to play the game.

Alongside the expansion pack, we’re also going to be bringing some enhancements to the music library. While details are still a little sparse here, we know we want to bring you better filtering options, and the ability to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to songs in your library. More to come on this soon as well.

Around the same time all of this drops, we’re going to have an adapter available from PDP to let Xbox One users play Rock Band 4 using their Xbox 360 ION Drum Rocker or E-Kit adapter. Not surprisingly, you’ll hear more about this at E3.

Then, the heavy-hitter. Just like we brought a lot of free post-launch content to Rock Band 4, the expansion pack is going to keep updates coming into 2017. The big update that we’re talking about now comes around the holidays and brings synchronous online multiplayer. We’re still early in the design phases here, but the idea behind here is to give you Quickplay-esque gameplay, while addressing some concerns around DLC library mismatches and giving everyone chances to pick songs.

I’m so excited about the future of Rock Band. Rock Band VR is shaping up really nicely, and as you can see, Rock Band 4 has some amazing things in store. For now, I’ve got to jet to set up our event under the stars at the planetarium in the Museum of Science, but I can’t wait to keep talking with everyone about where Rock Band is headed. Plus, now that the online multiplayer cat’s out of the bag, I don’t need to worry about slipping up.