Harmonix has been teasing for what feels like pretty much the last nine months that there are new games in the works at the studio, including stuff related to the Rock Band franchise. Of course, whenever asked, studio PR flack and all-around nice guy John Tiberius Drake was usually quick to make it clear that this would not be a full-blown sequel to Rock Band 3, but rather, something else.
That something else turned out to be Rock Band Blitz, an Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network title scheduled for release this summer. The game can probably be most closely compared to Rock Band Unplugged, a PSP title from a few years back that featured on-the-fly instrument switching and was played with buttons, as opposed to plastic instruments you'd plug into your PSP. Because that would just be stupid.
That game had its roots in some early Harmonix music games, namely the beloved PlayStation 2 games Frequency and Amplitude. The look of Rock Band Blitz definitely seems like a hearkening back to the chaotic yet cool visual style of those games.
The most intriguing detail of Rock Band Blitz is that it uses your existing Rock Band music library. The game comes with 25 songs of its own, including the likes of Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl," Quiet Riot's "Bang Your Head," and Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks." Those songs will join whatever Rock Band proper songs you have previously downloaded as playable tracks in the game, and once you have Blitz downloaded, the 25 exclusive songs will work as playable tracks in Rock Band 3.
We have a few screenshots and a trailer for Rock Band Blitz just sitting around, waiting to be posted, but tragically we cannot do so until tomorrow afternoon. So take solace instead from this below clip of the game being announced on X-Play, and marvel at Eric Pope's delicious mutton chops as he plays through a couple of tracks.