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E3 News: Rocking The World Again With Rock Band 2

Harmonix, MTV Games and distributor Electronic Arts revealed at E3 Media & Business Summit new features for the next evolution of the groundbreaking music platform, ROCK BAND 2.

With the original ROCK BAND title providing millions of players with a new way to interact with the music and artists they love, ROCK BAND 2 builds upon its core band foundation to offer an unparalleled, deeper, dynamic gameplay experience.

ROCK BAND 2 raises the bar in music gaming innovation with new features to rock the world:

-- Local and global online modes to connect the entire Rock Band community-- World Tour mode, now online, simplifies the best of gameplay from the original Rock Band by fusing Solo Tour and Band World Tour modes and cranks it up a notch with an all new collection of opportunity gigs, challenges, cities, venues and hirable staff-- Tour Challenges that offer rockers a chance to play through mini-campaigns focused on the best songs by instrument, decade, genre, artist, album and more-- Battle of the Bands mode challenges players to go head to head against other bands in constantly refreshed contests created by Harmonix (Internet connection required)-- Quickplay makes it easier than ever to get in and jam without hassle while allowing for new prefab characters or customized characters that can play on any instrument plus lets you make your own set lists and organize your song lists in a variety of categories (genre, era, etc.)-- Customizable Set Lists keep the music rolling and your band rocking in Quickplay mode-- Drum Trainer mode gives players the fundamentals of different beats and fills, translating gameplay into real drumming skills-- Character Creator completes your look with all new choices in clothing, accessories, tattoos, hairstyles, instruments and more to keep your unique rock avatar playing the full rock part-- Backwards compatibility with all ROCK BAND downloadable music content released to date-- Disc Export Feature gives owners of the original ROCK BAND the ability to export most of the Rock Band disc tracks and upgrade them into ROCK BAND 2 gameplay -- the first time ever in videogame history,

ROCK BAND 2 features the largest music catalogue of any music-based videogame to date including:

-- The ROCK BAND 2 soundtrack will feature 100 songs -- with 80 songs on disc plus an additional 20 bonus tracks which will be made available for free download this fall.-- Blend of classic, developing and emerging rock acts including Pearl Jam, Metallica, Allman Brothers, Motorhead, Devo, Jane's Addiction, Megadeth, Paramore and Modest Mouse.-- ROCK BAND 2 is the first and only video game to feature the music of AC/DC. It includes their epic rock anthem, LET THERE BE ROCK-- After 14 years since Guns N' Roses last official music release, Axl Rose selects ROCK BAND 2 to debut official new track, SHACKLER'S REVENGE from the highly-anticipated album CHINESE DEMOCRACY-- For the first time ever, music from American music icon, Bob Dylan, is featured in a video game with TANGLED UP IN BLUE-- With ongoing weekly DLC releases including individual tracks, track packs and full albums, the ROCK BAND music library will feature more than 500 songs by year's end.

From the solid officially licensed ROCK BAND 2 instruments to the expanded third party options, ROCK BAND 2 introduces new and improved choices that promise to deliver unsurpassed realism. In addition, Harmonix and MTV Games have become the first companies to officially support third party instruments and accessories in a music videogame.

Achieve ultimate stardom with the upgraded functionality and smooth new look of the official ROCK BAND 2 instruments.

-- Fender Stratocaster Controller takes on a new authentic look plus adds a reinforced strum bar, quieter buttons, wireless functionality and a built in calibration tool that automatically sets your AV setup to an ideal setting for maximum rock.-- Drum set goes wireless while also featuring quieter, velocity sensitive drum pads and a metal reinforced pedal.-- Microphone showcases authentic styling and weight.

Kick up the intensity with officially licensed third party instruments from Mad Catz:

-- Fender Telecaster Controller features soft buttons with lower action to help you shred faster than ever.-- Fender Bass Controller, the first bass guitar controller ever, takes the shape of the Fender P-Bass with extended length, tuning pegs and a split strum bar to replicate finger-bass style picking.-- Full-sized Squire Stratocaster Guitar Controller multiplies the authentic guitar experience by featuring a controller built into an actual Squire Stratocaster body.-- Cymbal Expansion Pack is a straightforward but amazing upgrade to the ROCK BAND 2 drum set featuring add-on cymbals.

Take ROCK BAND 2 instrument authenticity to a whole new level with a high-end peripheral from ION:

-- ION Drum Rocker, a real electronic drum kit that functions as a game controller, brings the ROCK BAND fantasy to life featuring a simple substitution that takes the drum kit from a controller to a real instrument.

ROCK BAND 2 will make its debut on Xbox 360 this September and have an exclusive launch window in North America. ROCK BAND 2 will be available for additional platforms later this year. ROCK BAND 2 will be available for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2 and Wii later this year.

ROCK BAND will ship with an exclusive launch window on the Xbox 360 in Italy, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland and Benelux July 24, and on other platforms this fall.

The ROCK BAND online music store recently surpassed 16 million paid downloads since the game's launch in late November 2007. With more than 200 tracks available to date via disc and download purchase (complete list of tracks at http://www.rockband.com/dlc), the massive ROCK BAND Music Store allows players to preview and purchase downloadable individual music tracks, packs and albums from the vast selection of offerings available as they build their own custom ROCK BAND library.

ROCK BAND 2 is rated "T" for Teen (lyrics, suggestive themes) by the ESRB.

For more information on ROCK BAND and Harmonix Music Systems visit www.rockband.com and www.harmonixmusic.com.

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