Everyone knows the old saying about things being like 'Christmas come early', but this year things got turned on their heads. Just a few weeks ago, after several years of inactivity, the Rock Band Music Store suddenly sprang back to life with a new batch of songs - which due to an unfortunate scheduling conflict, ended up feeling more like Christmas come slightly late, (or perhaps just very, very, very early for next year). Before then, the digital store, which let you download additional songs to expand your music library on the plastic guitar strumming, multiplayer friendly, rhythmic button mashing game, was last updated in April 2013 - almost two years ago - making its sudden resurrection even more unusual. But what did such a sudden revival mean for the much missed rhythm action game?
Of course, we took this as being a sign a new Rock Band game was in the works.
And while some may have brushed us off as being a bit overeager and hopeful, it seems the old adage about there being no smoke without fire was true. A few days ago, a survey popped up on the internet, asking Rock Band fans their opinions on previous titles, and what they'd like to see in a new instalment.
Asking everything from which Rock Band game was your favourite, to which (still working) instruments you own, to which consoles you own (interestingly, they also mention the Wii U - an important choice, seeing as Rock Band was rather popular on the Wii) and how many downloadable songs you purchased, what's particularly interesting is the questions they ask regarding compatibility.
Compatibility is likely to be the elephant in the room for many Rock Band fans, given the game's reliance on plastic instrument peripherals - not to mention the over 130 million extra songs sold since the series began. The problem being, all the instruments, and all the extra songs only work with the "last generation" of consoles (the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii) - and with two out of three having no easy backwards compatibility, the prospect of being able to take your Rock Band library with you when you upgrade seemed somewhat bleak.
However, the fact Harmonix are specifically asking questions about old instruments suggests they may have something special up their sleeves. Could Rock Band 4 come with an adapter to let you use your old instruments? Will you be able to download all the songs again on the new machines thanks to some licensing wizardry? Only time will tell. Given the likely time frame before Rock Band 4 - if we work on the assumption of a reveal at this summer's E3 and a potential launch in October/November (you heard it here first!) - an Xbox 360/PS3/Wii version seems somewhat unlikely too.
So, why not head over to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7Z2SHPN and take the survey for yourselves (if you haven't already)? Rock Band was a hugely important game for us, as we're sure it was for many of you - so you shouldn't miss out on your chance to have your say on the series' future. We'll see you back here in June too, for the low-down on the Rock Band 4 announcement - assuming our crystal balls were right!