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Overcome stage fright: ‘Rock Band VR’ will let you join a virtual band in March

Why it matters to you

Rock Band VR could potentially be great for Oculus Rift owners looking for the next big thing and actual rockers trying to treat their stage fright.

Rock Band VR, a new virtual reality version of Harmonix’s music game series, will launch March 23, with pre-orders available now, the developer announced on Twitter.

The bundle is available on Amazon for $70 and includes a digital copy of Rock Band VR for PC plus a guitar controller. The controller is also compatible with the Xbox One or PS4 versions of Rock Band 4, which is why you have to choose a console platform when you pre-order even though Rock Band VR is a PC game.

Playing Rock Band VR also requires, of course, an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and the Oculus Touch controllers. The Touch controllers mount on the head of the guitar, and Harmonix said last year that the controllers will work with any existing Rock Band guitar peripherals thanks to a special clip accessory packed in with Oculus Touch. Presumably, that also means players will be able to purchase Rock Band VR on its own without a controller at launch, although it’s unknown how much it will cost.

More: Hands On: Rock Band VR

Rock Band VR doesn’t simply copy and paste the series’ old gameplay in first-person, though. The game’s main mode, “performance mode,” is less about hitting the right notes and more about “expressing yourself through fake rocking out.”

From the YouTube description:

“If Rock Band VR’s classic mode is about the pursuit of a note-perfect studio recording, Rock Band VR’s performance mode, illustrated in the above gameplay video, represents the creative freedom of a live concert where no two performances sound exactly the same. In this mode, players experiment with different chords, notes and strum speeds to develop their signature sound and make each performance their own. It’s a completely new kind of music gameplay, it’s perfectly suited to VR, and it’s unlike anything else Harmonix has ever created.”

“Classic mode” will still be present in the game, however, for those who like their Rock Band gameplay as is.