LOS ANGELES — This was the year everyone wanted to rock out at E3. With big releases like Rock Band 2 and Wii Music, and smaller debuts like Lips and Ultimate Band, the stage is set for every single class of gamer imaginable.

Harmonix’s Rock Band 2 was by far the most powerful music gaming release of the convention. It will release on all four major consoles this fall.

The Rock Band 2 guitar

All old Rock Band songs are compatible with the new installment, said Alex Rigopulos, president of Harmonix, at Microsoft’s press conference. While there are 84 songs on the Rock Band 2 disc, over 500 songs will be available for play.

Almost all the Rock Band CD songs can be imported into Rock Band 2 automatically, which means no disc swapping, said Rigopulos.

Some major additions have been made to the Rock Band library. A brand new track from Guns N’ Roses will be added to the collection courtesy of Axle Rose. For the first time, Bob Dylan has licensed his songs to a music video game; in Rock Band’s case, his hit song Tangled Up In Blue. AC/DC will also be exclusively on Rock Band 2.

Twenty bonus tracks will be downloadable in the fall before the release of Rock Band 2.

While Activision withdrew from E3 before the convention, some new information was also released by Microsoft about Guitar Hero: World Tour.

The Guitar Hero franchise has sold more than 5 million copies on the Xbox 360, said Kai Huang, president and founder of Red Octane.

The new game features a new wireless drum kit complete with cymbals and a touch slide guitar. The game has more than 85 songs on the disc, though there will be many more available at the launch of World Tour and beyond.

In addition to new instruments, the game features new modes like an online band career and 8-player battle of the bands.

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About The Author

Terri Schwartz was a Blast Contributing Editor from 2008-2009.

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