Brandon Boyer

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You can almost hear him straining not to mention when you read back over it now: in January, Harmonix head Alex Rigopulos mentioned in an interview that the studio would love to return to its earliest music game roots, say, with a new version of Amplitude.

And while not precisely a direct connection, with the unveiling of the first trailer for their previously announced portable debut, Rock Band Unplugged, it’s clear that we’re getting something just about as close as it comes.

While they’ve dropped all of the psychotropic futuristic abstractions, it’s like reuniting with an old friend to see that familiar “carpet” of tracks (as above) stretched across Unplugged, now more literally representing the four signature Rock Band instruments.

And while the trailer always jump cuts just at the moment when they might switch lanes, you can see the approaching end of the self-contained “phrases” that, like Amplitude (presumably, anyway!), will then auto-play that instrument and allow you to build up songs in the same way.

Most importantly, though, is the press release’s mention that not only will you be able to buy songs in-game directly from the Rock Band store, but that its first selection of exclusive songs will then later propagate to the console versions, suggesting that this is the start, at least, of the unification of the Rock Band catalog as a true cross-device musical platform.

MTV Games, Harmonix and EA Hit The Road On June 9 With Rock Band Unplugged For The PSP [Harmonix]

Sony announces LittleBigPlanet, Rock Band for PSP – Offworld
Harmonix head Rigopulos on PS3 Amplitude, iPhone plans – Offworld

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