Later this year, the decade-long feud between Rock Band and Guitar Hero will be reignited when the two music rhythm game rivals both release reboots. While Guitar Hero Live may pack a pretty hefty punch with its swish new Guitar Hero TV gameplay mode, Rock Band 4 has a mighty counter up its sleeve in the form of its backward compatible instrument support.
When the game was announced earlier this year, developer Harmonix and co-publisher Mad Catz revealed that they were working to make sure that ‘most’ plastic instruments will be supported, even if those instruments are Guitar Hero branded. That decision could save lots of people lots of money and now, they’ve formally announced how that will work.
Rock Band 4 Instrument Compatibility
That above compatibility chart is pretty comprehensive, though some have pointed out that Rock Band‘s wired drum controller will be compatible with Rock Band 4 but the wired guitar controller hasn’t been listed. Perhaps someone at Harmonix forgot to add it; we’ll update this post should they offer a clarification.
As for what you’ll need to get these old instruments going, Rock Band 4 players on PS4 are in luck as the game “supports most legacy Rock Band and third party wireless guitars and drums with no additional hardware” so if you’ve got the controllers in that table, you only need to pay $59.99/£49.99 for the game and you can play. Rock Band 4 players on Xbox One don’t have it as easy, though, as they’ll need to get the Legacy Game Controller Adapter to use those old instruments and the Rock Band 4/Legacy Game Controller Adapter bundle costs $79.99/£69.99.
So if you’re on Xbox One you have to pay $20/£20 more than your PS4 counterparts. That’s incredibly unfortunate (and will no doubt reignite the console rivalry) but it’s still a lot cheaper than the $249.99/£219.99 that you’d need to buy the full set of Rock Band 4 band-in-a-box instruments, so this is an offer that shouldn’t be sniffed at.
Rock Band 4 will be released on October 6, 2015 on PS4 and Xbox One.