Rock Band - Official price and release date announced

There has been no shortage of buzz surrounding Rock Band since it was announced. It takes the idea of the highly popular Guitar Hero franchise to the next level. I had the pleasure of testing it out recently (more on that tomorrow) and it definitely lives up to the hype. However, one concern everyone seems to have is the price.

The most solid number we've heard to date is $200, which to most people is a bit steep for a video game. However, Harmonix has confirmed that the game will only cost $169.99 when it hits stores on November 23rd. That's still a lot of money for a game, but lets take a look at Guitar Hero II for the Xbox. You paid $89 and got the game with a guitar. With Rock Band you get the game, a guitar, a drum kit, a mic and a USB hub (if you get the 360, otherwise the PS3 comes with a wireless guitar, so you don't need the hub). Also, bear in mind that there are really 4 games wrapped up into one, a game for each of the instruments (the guitar doubles as lead or bass/rhythm). When you look at it that way, you're actually getting a pretty good deal.

Also announced was that Rock Band would be released for the PS2. The game will be a little behind the other two, as it will be released on December 10th, but it will only set you back $159. Bear in mind that with the PS2 you aren't going to have the same online play as the other two current-gen consoles.

With the price and date confirmed, the question is raised, which game will you be getting this holiday season? Guitar Hero III, or Rock Band? Personally, I've played Rock Band and it's everything I hoped it would be, so I'm definitely going to get it. On the other hand, the Guitar Hero series has been good to me so far. It looks like I'm going to be saving my change up for both.

$169 Rock Band on November 23 [via gamespot]