After the disappointment of Harmonix's efforts to crowdfund a PC version of Rock Band 4, you'd think that we wouldn't hear much about the game for a little while. That turned out to be far from the truth at PAX this past weekend. The developer laid out a roadmap of future plans for the game, and there's quite a bit to see.
Starting in May, we'll see the ability to plug in a second kick pedal on the standard drum kits. That means you'll finally be able to nail some of those brutal kicks (but you'll still never be Neil Peart). They're also planning on releasing a couple of Battleborn characters for the game. You'll be able to add Miko and Thorn as members of your band, if you need a little variety in your lineup.
June will bring Practice Mode back to the franchise. This mode lets you pick out specific sections of a song, slow them down, and really practice them. This was a favorite feature of mine in earlier Rock Band games, as I enjoyed figuring out those solos and such at my own pace, before unleashing them on my friends while we were jamming.
Sometime in the Fall, Harmonix will be releasing their first expansion pack for the game. They're not planning on talking about it much until E3, but they're planning on releasing a bunch of new features in the expansion, including better ways to filter your enormous libraries.
Fall will also bring the one feature that has held me back from purchasing Rock Band 4. I was pretty dedicated to drumming in the early Rock Band games, and picked up the ION Rocker drum kit, which is a semi-professional drum kit that was designed specifically for Rock Band. Unfortunately, since it was designed for the Xbox 360, and Microsoft doesn't allow the use of 360 peripherals on the Xbox One, ION kit owners have not been able to use their favorite drum kit.
Harmonix is teaming up with PDP to release a special adapter that will let drummers like myself use their kit on the Xbox One.
The final announcement was that the team is hard at work on online multiplayer capabilities for the game. While I prefer to rock out with my friends in person, it's not always easy to get everyone together. Sometime toward the end of the year, we should expect the ability to play with our friends, regardless of where they are.