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Rock Band Euro price won't 'magically' drop


In a post on the official Rock Band forums Harmonix product development manager Greg LoPiccolo told gamers that wishing the European price of Rock Band would drop won't do any good. "We're not gouging you, primarily because doing so doesn't serve our interests," LoPiccolo said. "You may conclude that Rock Band isn't worth the price charged, and that is your prerogative. But it's not magically going to get cheaper because you wish it to be so."

LoPiccolo's comments come days after EA and Harmonix announced plans to release Rock Band exclusively on the Xbox 360 on May 23 in Europe, with other console versions hitting in the summer, at a shocking $360 US for the game and the three main peripherals (game sold separately, Instrument Pack includes wired guitar, drum kit and microphone).

"We're not making a killing on Rock Band in Europe. We are incredibly sensitive to pricing issues. We are painfully aware that the higher the price we charge, the less copies we'll sell." LoPiccolo went on to blame shipping costs throughout the region as a primary factor in the price of Rock Band, but did not detail how the pricing structure breaks down for legal reasons.

While the price point is still quite shocking, we're reminded of the delay Canadians saw when Rock Band released a month later than their American neighbors which was blamed for shipping and package localization reasons -- yet there was no change in price. Like what LoPiccolo says or not, his comments are the straightest answer we've seen regarding the issue. So, to our loyal European X3F Army members we ask, do the comments made by LoPiccolo change your mind regarding your May purchase plans?

UK Rock Band in May, timed Xbox 360 exclusive


Today EA, MTV and Harmonix have confirmed the UK release of Rock Band is set for May 23. News of a release date has been expected for quite some time; however, in an unexpected coup Harmonix has announced the popular music rhythm game will be a timed exclusive for everyone's favorite HD-platform.

In a press release early this morning Harmonix confirmed the Xbox 360 version Rock Band will hit the UK in "an exclusive launch window of May 23," while other platforms will see the title released later this summer. However, the news may not be as peachy as UK gamers would like.

The game will be sold separately from an "Instrument Edition," which is only includes the drum set, guitar and microphone peripherals, priced at GBP 129.99 (EUR 169). When factoring in the price of the software the package will cost gamers roughly $360 US. Additionally, UK gamers will have the option of purchasing wireless guitars separately for GBP 59.99 (EUR 79.99), while the standard drum kit will go for GBP 69.99 (EUR 89.99).

The UK version of Rock Band will include all 58 tracks found in the North American release, as well as feature nine new tracks spanning German, French and UK hits.

Considering the popularity of the game Stateside, Microsoft has definitely stolen one of the biggest releases out from under Sony's nose -- in a heavily pro-Sony market. While the exclusivity may boost the sales of the Xbox 360 in the region we wonder how UK gamers will feel swallowing the steep price to get their rock on.

[Via Joystiq]

Tales of Vesperia Xbox 360 exclusive, for now


There are very few franchises in the role-playing genre that have maintained a top level of quality throughout it's lifespan, the Tales series is one of them. Widely regarded as one of the finest second-tier role-playing games (here in the West), the Tales series dates back to the Super Famicom so a new installment was to be expected. Namco Bandi recently revealed Tales of Vesperia, the latest in the franchise, is exclusive to the Xbox 360 - for now.

The tenth in the series hitting the X360 echoes a strong backing for the western-made console by Namco Bandai, who have previously released Beautiful Katamari, Ace Combat 6 and Eternal Sonata on the Microsoft platform. While the title is currently an Xbox 360 exclusive everyone, including the game's director Yoshito Higuchi, expects the title to find it's way onto the PlayStation 3 eventually. During an interview with Play Magazine Higuchi was very direct when asked if the title would ever breathe life on Sony's platform. "Yes, I won't deny the possibility," Higuchi told Play. "But we're not thinking about it yet-there are so many other things to concentrate on first."

[Thanks, Steve. Via Deeko]

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