Tuesday 28 April 2009

Tired of Waiting for (RB) Two

Back on the 15th of April when I posted up a quick Plastic Rock Roundup, the Wii version of Rock Band 2 was scheduled for release in the UK on April 24th. Have I, then, been rocking out this last weekend, extending index and little fingers while sticking my tongue out to the maximum extent permissible under regional law and scaring neighbourhood pets with my vocal renditions of Pinball Wizard? No, no I haven’t, as shortly after that post the release date on game.co.uk shifted back three weeks to May 15th, and in the last few days it’s been delayed another couple of weeks, May 29th being the current release date (though that may just be a placeholder if the database behind the website can’t cope with inserting “when hell freezes over” into a datetime() field).

In other Harmonix news, there’s been a press release about a Limited Edition Premium Bundle for The Beatles: Rock Band. I must confess to being more than slightly tempted by the prospect of a H√∂fner Bass controller and Beatles-inspired drums (and surely part of the “additional special contents” must be four Beatles wigs to really get into the spirit of the thing), and if the announcement is to be believed the release is notable for its international parity; not only is the game “available simultaneously worldwide in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other territories for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Wii™ home videogame console from Nintendo on 09/09/2009”, but the recommended prices of (US) $249.99, (EU) €199.00 and (UK) £179.00 for the Premium Bundle seem to be, at today’s exchange rates, broadly comparable give or take the odd tenner, as opposed to the previous UK pricing structure of “Take the dollar price, and stick a pound sign in front of it. Then multiply it by 1.5. And stick an extra zero on the end.” The only slight fly(ing beetle) in the ointment is the whole Rock Band 2 release business, which doesn’t engender tremendous confidence that closer to the projected release date we won’t get an announcement that they’ve decided to push the UK Wii release date back ever so slightly, to instead coincide with the 100th anniversary of the death of Paul McCartney.

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