A few weeks back, we got a press release from EA’s PR company. It was tucked within an attachment titled “Rock Band Verizon iPhone Fact Sheet_V3.docx”. As if seeing “iPhone” behind “Verizon” wasn’t strange enough, the rest of the press release made absolutely no reference to an iPhone release. The folks we talked to denied that an iPhone port existed, and we chalked it up as a really, really strange typo.
Looks like it was more of a Freudian slip.
While wandering the halls of CTIA convention in San Diego today, we spotted a small kiosk dedicated to Rock Band Mobile. Sure enough, no iPhones in sight – just a couple of Verizon handsets. Above the kiosk, however, was an LCD screen endlessly looping through a demo reel of EA Mobile’s portfolio – and therein lied the gold. Right at the end of the reel, it pops up clear as day: Rock Band for iPhone and iPod Touch.
The screen only pops up for about half a second (we actually had to watch the reel loop through three times to get a good shot of it), so we didn’t see much in person that you aren’t in a photo. They’re obviously rolling with the same kinda-grungy, kinda-cartoony look and feel as they have on all of the other platforms. You can see just a smidgen of the game mechanics on the right; the notes flow down the fretboard in the same manner as all of the other games, with 4 guitar pick shaped buttons that I presume are pressed to trigger a note.
The first issue that pops into our head, here: Where does this leave Tapulous, with their Tap Tap Revenge series? Tap Tap Revenge already has a massive following on the platform, but it’s very similar to Rock Band. They’ve just launched Tap Tap Revenge 3, which banks heavily on premium content through In-App Purchase. After the success of the console series, the Rock Band name would likely carry a bit more weight with content/license owners than that of Tapulous/Tap Tap Revenge; are we about to see a content war, or will the two games roll together harmoniously?
Update: Immediately after we posted this, someone filled us in on some of the details: Yes, it’ll have premium content. It’ll also have 4-player multiplayer through Bluetooth.
Update #2: They’ve officially announced it now.