Why We're Going To Spend Thousands Of Dollars To Play Rock Band

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 12.06% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

So Rock Band 4 was announced. Those of you are new here do not know the impending fury.
Those of you who are long-time readers remember my seething obsession with Rock Band. Think I promoted my book Flex a lot? My Rock Band tweedlings made the Flex Book Tour look like a passing reference on Facebook. I played Rock Band endlessly, debated which songs were better, got the top-of-the-line drum kit.  I even started a Rock Band related webcomic, which I promise you I will tell you how it ends just as soon as I can dig up the old story bible that Cat Valente and I were working off of.
So when Rock Band 4 was announced after the series was long thought dead, Gini and I cheered.
Then the problems started.
See, I waffled for months on whether to get an XBox One or a PlayStation 4. “What if I bought the wrong system?” I thought.  “What if I ally with the wrong side of the Console Wars?”  And eventually, I bought a PlayStation 4 as a reward for selling Flex, and…
…it turns out that the new Rock Band will allow you to import your old songs… but not cross-platform.
Which is to say that, according to the last count, I have purchased 967 songs for Rock Band 3 on my XBox 360.  Figuring roughly $1.75 a song, that’s… way too much fucking money, really.  But if we were to buy Rock Band 4 for the PlayStation 4, we would have to abandon all of those delicious, delightful songs, starting over with the bare minimum of starter songs.
Gini said, “We have to buy an XBox One, then.”
This is why I love her.  She never questioned our mutual obsession.
So that’s a $400 purchase we have to make to play the new Rock Band.
…but wait!  As it turns out, we purchased our new television set in 2002.  This was before the advent, or even the invention, of this thing called “HDMI.”  Which is the only way XBox One connects to a television, I’m told.  The same is true of the PlayStation 4, and we did get a converter box to downgrade its signal for older televisions, but the screen is wavery and fuzzy and you can’t read small text.  (This is one reason I haven’t played a lot of PS4 games; I literally can’t read the tutorials.)  Also, we’re out of slots on the television, so we’d have to manually swap out our Xbox One, our PS4, and our Xbox 360.
“So,” I told Gini, “We’ll have to purchase a new television to do this properly.”
“You realize we’re idiots,” she said.
“Yes!” I responded brightly. “And the new television probably won’t work with the antiquated stereo system we have, either!  So we’ll need to upgrade that!”
“Also, we’ll probably need to get a new Logitech all-in-one remote control, because the old one we have doesn’t work with the PS4.  But that, I promise you, is the end of the expenditures.”
“Except actually purchasing Rock Band 4.”
“Oh, yes. And that.”
“And the new instruments.”
“…those too!” I agreed happily.
“So we’ll be eating macaroni and cheese out of a box,” Gini concluded. “With no other entertainments but this copy of Rock Band.”
“Correction,” I added.  “We’ll be ROCKING that macaroni and cheese.”
In conclusion, please buy as many copies of Flex (and its impending sequel The Flux) as you can, because Gini and I are shallow gits who desperately need to get our pseudo-rock-star fantasies enabled. Thank you.


  1. Carmel J.
    Apr 17, 2015

    I will proudly state that I preordered Flux when I ordered Flex. And I am even more glad now, as I approve of Gini’s solution. 😉
    If you want to space the purchases out, you could consider a system selector box. They make ones that use HDMI, though I don’t know how well that will play with your converter. If it works though, you’d have the option for that many more HDMI ports on your new TV.
    And yes, I’d love to know how the Rock Band webcomic was going to end! 🙂

  2. @kagevortex
    Apr 18, 2015

    The Monster Penis System is dead, long live the Monster Penis System!

  3. Robyn
    Apr 20, 2015

    This sounds sadly familiar to my last May, when the boy decided he needed to upgrade his system for… maybe Destiny? And then we had to buy a new TV. But at least he got about $36 for trading in over a hundred games from the old system(s) he had that he wasn’t going to use anymore.

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