For Those About to Rock
When you consider backward compatibility, a lot of times it’s just nice to know the option is there. Like “I know I’m probably never playing the Deadliest Warrior fighting game again but at least I know I can if I want to.”
Rock Band is kind of different. A lot of people have generations full of paid-for songs and closets full of plastic peripherals. It’s the sort of game you definitely want to bring with you into the next generation because, if you couldn’t, it’s good enough to keep the old systems hooked up to keep playing.
The good news is that won’t be necessary. Harmonix has published a post that explains Rock Band 4 is pretty much completely compatible with PS5 and Xbox Series X. Hardware, DLC, saves — all of it. There’s a weird limitation where PS5 detects the DualSense’s controller microphone as the default mic; to combat that, you’ll need to change your PS5 settings at the system level before using a USB mic.
Otherwise, Harmonix says that everything should work on next-gen consoles. If it ever worked with Rock Band 4 (including electronic drum kits and legacy wireless adapters), it’ll still work on PS5 and Xbox Series X. There’s even a note about how the DLC transfer stuff is much cleaner this time. It was, infamously, a trainwreck redownloading all your old DLC for use in Rock Band 4.
Speaking of old DLC, let’s wrap this up with a PSA. The license to export Rock Band 3‘s songs into Rock Band 4 will expire on December 1. So, the next month-and-a-half serve as last call to export those –but you need the Rock Band 3 disc. After that, they’re lost to Father Time (unless you feel like hooking up your old console just to play that game).
Rock Band 4 and Next-Gen Consoles [Harmonix]