There was much rejoicing when Harmonix announced that all the money we dumped into to DLC for previous Rock Band games would not be wasted, as it would all be accessible in Rock Band 4. There was even more rejoicing when Harmonix said they were working to make previous instruments compatible with the new consoles. The details of that are now available and while they have successfully made most instruments backwards compatible, you’ll have to pay for the feature if you own an Xbox One.
A legacy adapter will be required to make Xbox 360 instruments work with the Xbox One, which will boost the price of the standalone game from $59.99 to $79.99. The PS4 version of the game will still be $59.99 as no adapter is required. The Xbox One uses a different wireless connection for controllers than the 360 did, and since guitar and drum controllers were natively connected to the 360, the adapter is necessary. The PS3 already required a USB adapter to make wireless instruments work, so essentially now both consoles require the adapter but if you played Rockband on PlayStation previously, you already own the adapter.
The one place where PlayStation Rock Band players do have a competitive advantage over Xbox players is in the area of wired instruments. Wired guitars will work on PS4, even the original wired controller for the PS2 version of Rock Band will be compatible while no wired controllers will work for the Xbox One, adapter or no. Wired USB microphones will work for both systems.
While spending an additional $20 will be annoying to Xbox players it’s still considerably cheaper than buying new instruments. The game with a guitar will retail at $129.99. Which put the guitar at $70 by itself. The full band bundle with game, guitar, drums and mic will come it at $249.99. The Xbox legacy adapter will be available separately, but no price point was set. Check out the useful chart over at Polygon, to verify if your instruments will work. Rock Band 4 and all it’s various parts and pieces will hit shelves October 6.