The Oculus sponsored Rock Band VR made a surprise appearance at Tokyo Game Show this year, despite the title still being a year away from release. Developer Harmonix was on hand at the Alienware booth to demo an early alpha build of the game, and answer some questions about the how it will work.
Game graphics were obviously extremely early, and lacked polish. Although this was probably to be expected considering that development is still barely a year old. Despite this, there were a couple of tracks available for TGS visitors to try.
Sadly, while the game retains the Rock Band name, there are no multiplayer plans at the moment. It doesn’t even support any other Rock Band instrument save the guitar. According to the developers, the goal for now is to provide a solid single-player rock-star VR experience.
The developers were also unable to say if the game would be backward compatible with older Rock Band controllers, but it looks like this may not be the case. At the moment, Harmonix is demoing the game with an Oculus Touch controller slung over the top of the guitar. This isn’t quite an elegant solution, but it is necessary to get some sort of motion tracking on the instrument.
Still, the experience looks to be the same old Rock Band; with the same rhythm bar running at the bottom of the display and the rock providing feedback with how you’re doing. Although, players might be less inclined to head bang their way to stardom while wearing an expensive VR headset.
At the moment, it looks like Harmonix is on the right track with Rock Band VR. A lack of details for multiplayer is cause for concern, since Rock Band has always been about getting groups of friends together. Still, being published by Oculus means that the game will be making its way to the PC first; and that means that there will be a Rock Band on the PC for a change.