Rock Band Goes Gold, PS2 Version Slightly Delayed

Rock Band, the much-hyped multi-instrument supergroup simulator from Harmonix, has gone gold and will be arriving on PlayStation 2 a bit later than expected.

The $159.99 PlayStation 2 Rock Band bundle, which packs a wired microphone, guitar, and drum kit and was originally expected on December 10, is now slated to arrive December 18.

The $169.99 PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 bundles officially hit stores November 20. The game will also be available separately for $59.99. All three versions are slated to rock Europe in Q1 2008. nope

Individual instruments will not be available for purchase at launch. However, Rock Band is compatible with the Xbox 360's wired X-Plorer guitar, which came with Guitar Hero II, along with other unspecified third-party peripherals. Harmonix notes the Rock Band PlayStation 3 wireless guitar can be used with the PlayStation 2 edition.

Though reports of the game being spotted in stores began circulating last week, Harmonix claimed that retailers were inadvertently selling "hobbled" demo units, which do not include the final game code or all of its accessories.

"Rock Band is a true symbol of Harmonix's vision, dedication and passion for music and after two years of development, we are thrilled that Rock Band is finally ready to get in the hands of rock fans everywhere," said Alex Rigopolous, CEO of Harmonix. "We have a small army filling our warehouses with final product.

"Now, our focus is putting together an amazing selection of downloadable music content for players," he added, "so players can continue to further customize their Rock Band experience post launch."

Rock Band ships with 58 tracks, with new songs to be released weekly via the online Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Store. The game is being positioned as a music delivery platform as an alternative to flooding retailers with multiple iterations of the title. An advisory committee was formed to select new music for the title, chaired by Steven "Little Steven" Van Zant.

Publisher EA recently commented that it does not expect to be able to meet the demand for Rock Band. "We won't be able to put up enough inventory to meet the demand of this fiscal or calendar year," EA CEO John Riccitiello claimed last week. Riccitiello maintained that "a lot of inventory" will be available when the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions launch, but suggested additional units would be difficult to attain "unless you know someone at one of our retailers."