Music games could be coming back in a big way; multiple reports claim that both the Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises are set to return to consoles after a rather lengthy absence.
According to Kotaku, a new Guitar Hero game for PS4 and Xbox One could be announced at E3 in June, and the report claims that the game may bring a more realistic style to the typically cartoony series. Meanwhile, last week Bloomberg reported that a revival of the Rock Band series was in the works, also for the Xbox One and PS4. No details on the game itself were revealed, however, including when it may be officially announced.
The news comes as both series have been on hiatus. The last console version of Guitar Hero was released in 2010, which was the same year that Rock Band 3 launched on the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. While music games haven’t exactly gone away in the interim, the genre of music simulators complete with bulky, plastic instruments died a quick death after several years of prominence. The last Rock Band game to be released, 2012’s Rock Band Blitz, was designed to be used with a controller instead of a fake guitar. It’s unclear whether either the new Guitar Hero or Rock Band are expected to ship with musical peripherals.
Guitar Hero developers Neversoft and RedOctane have been disbanded by publisher Activision in the meantime, while Rock Band studio Harmonix moved on to other music-based projects, including the Kinect-focused series Dance Central. Last year the studio took to Kickstarter to fund development of a sequel to the cult hit Amplitude.
Despite the apparent death of peripheral-based music games, the Rock Band series has shown some signs of life as of late. Last month, 21 months after Harmonix stopped releasing new downloadable songs for Rock Band 3, three new tracks from the Arctic Monkeys, Avenged Sevenfold, and the Foo Fighters were made available in the game, while additional songs from Weezer and Tenacious D were announced last week.
“We’ve missed rocking with all of you,” Harmonix’s Aaron Trites wrote in a blog post announcing the news.