Rock Band Released as Bundle-Only for Christmas

Rock Band Released as Bundle-Only for Christmas

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Harmonix has confirmed that its upcoming super-karaoke game Rock Band will be available for the Christmas season only as a bundle.

Speaking with theBBPS.com at the PlayStation Holiday Press Preview Event in Toronto, a Harmonix representative said, "When Rock Band ships this November it will only be available in one flavor, bundled. Done. Confirmed."

According to the rep, the decision was made based primarily on retail-level factors. "Firstly, the components in the bundle are not cheap and thus creating a bundle and three other separate packages (guitar, drums and vocals) would increase costs, which could lead to less bundles available at ship," he said. "Lastly, although retail partners are confident the title will be successful they are appreciative of the fact that they won't have to display four reasonably-sized packages in each of their stores."

The individual game components will be released separately, with the "general goal" being early 2008, he said. The Rock Band Special Edition bundle will sell for $159.99 on the PlayStation 2 and $169.99 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and is set for release on November 23.

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So if you want a wireless guitar for the 360 or if you already have a compatible guitar, you're screwed. Ho ho ho.

This is called the Impatience Tax, and you will pay it if you have been a long time fan of Harmonix guitar games, already own a guitar or a mic, but want to play Rock Band before next year.

That's also, for those keeping score, more than twice what Guitar Hero cost as a bundle. Personally, I think this is retail suicide. They must be going for the full-on rock band experience, hubris, amphetamines and all.

Russ Pitts:
Personally, I think this is retail suicide. They must be going for the full-on rock band experience, hubris, amphetamines and all.

Given their launch day, I'm wondering if the bundle and the price are a secondary cover for the fact that they don't think they can produce enough peripherals to meet demand. They release it on Black Friday, announce unprecedented demand, and spend the rest of the year pretending that they're the Wii.

I think the eventually-announced release date of the individual components will be a big factor in the bundle's success or failure over Christmas. If it's a near-miss (say, if they announce it's coming in the last week of January, first week of February, that kind of thing), it'll probably put a real damper on sales, whereas if they leave it vague, I expect they'll do alright. Personally, I wouldn't say another word about anything except the bundle until after Christmas at this point. They've committed themselves to that path, they might as well go all the way with it.

I expect we're looking at a March 31, 2008 launch date. It gives them four months of bundle-riffic sales while still enabling them to put down "Q1 availability" for the individual SKUs.

I don't care if they don't want to sell the separate peripherals this Christmas. I just want to pay $60 for the friggin' game.

Justin Fletcher:
I expect we're looking at a March 31, 2008 launch date. It gives them four months of bundle-riffic sales while still enabling them to put down "Q1 availability" for the individual SKUs.

I don't care if they don't want to sell the separate peripherals this Christmas. I just want to pay $60 for the friggin' game.

I agree with you. I want to get 2 Wireless Guitars, Drum Set, and the Microphone, as well as the game. Oh well, I got other games to keep me busy until 2008.

Looks like Harmonix hasn't completely lost their minds. Next Gen is reporting the game will be sold by itself in addition to the bundles.

Christmas is un-canceled!

 

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