Rock Band VR will let fans play to virtual crowds on Oculus Rift in 2016

Harmonix and Oculus announced Rock Band VR, a virtual reality adaptation of Harmonix’ Rock Band music game series, during the 2015 Game Awards Thursday night.

The announcement comes after Oculus CEO Palmer Luckey teased he would make a “special announcement” during the ceremony earlier this week. Oculus announced they were working with Harmonix on an undisclosed project at E3 in June.

The game was revealed with a short, introductory video, which showed that the game operates from a first-person perspective with players standing on stage facing with virtual bandmates on playing to their audience on a floating Rock Band-style guitar with color-coded button flashing, presumably to match players’ button presses. Unlike past Rock Band games, there was no river of notes gliding down screen. There’s no word yet as to whether the game will support the other instruments, such as vocals and drums, which have been playable in past installments.

The video also featured a short appearance from DragonForce, a band Rock Band fans may know best for their song “Through the Fire and Flames,” one of the most difficult songs to play in the series.

After the reveal, Luckey had some short remarks about the experience of developing and playing Rock Band in the virtual world.

“We’ve been working with Harmonix on Rock Band VR for a really long time and I’ve played a lot of hours of it,” Luckey said, “and it’s really amazing to feel like you’re standing on stage looking out a crowd cheering for you. [holds for applause] And looking over; seeing your drummer on left, seeing a guitarist on your right wailing out on a guitar solo, and looking out at the crowd and feeling like you really are a rock star.”

The consumer version of the Oculus Rift is currently set to launch in the first quarter of 2016. Rock Band VR will come to the platform some time next year.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Amazon rejoins the fight against HIV/AIDS with a (Red) second-gen Echo

Now you can rock out to U2 and give to a good cause by buying Amazon's red Echo, a limited edition of the smart speaker that also donates money to the humanitarian organization Project (Red), founded by Bono.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

The best HTC Vive games available today

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Gaming

Get an Xbox One S or PlayStation 4 for just $200 at GameStop starting Sunday

GameStop is currently running an early Black Friday sale that offers an Xbox One S or a PlayStation 4 slim model for just $200 apiece. Both consoles come with a free game, and other games are also on sale.
Gaming

Original ‘Diablo’ developer calls out Blizzard for disrespecting its employees

In a Twitch rant, an original creator of Diablo has said that Blizzard is more interested in caring for its shareholders and the elite one percent of the company than looking after its workers.
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Gaming

PlayStation 5 release date in 2020 confirmed? PSVR 2 also on the way

A Redditor who correctly claimed that Sony will be skipping E3 2019 revealed several details about the PlayStation 5 and the PSVR 2. The PlayStation 5 release date will be in 2020, while the PSVR 2 will ditch the breaker box.
Gaming

Triple nuke strike crashes ‘Fallout 76’ server, leaves unanswered questions

The group of Fallout 76 players who summoned the Scorchbeast Queen by dropping a nuke on a fissure site took the next step, launching three nukes on a single target. They did not find out what happens next, as the game's server crashed.
Deals

All the best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for November 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles as well as bundles that feature games like Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Gaming

Twitch viewers aren’t tuning in to watch ‘Fallout 76’ gameplay

Fallout 76 has experienced a sharp decline in viewership not just when compared to the numbers for Fallout 4, but also compared to the game's B.E.T.A. period last month. Sales also appear to be lower than they were with Fallout 4.