Harmonix’s virtual reality game is a music "spatializer"

Harmonix reckons it’s time for the music visualizer to go about a big change. That’s probably about right. For an electronic art that’s almost as old as videogames it’s a wonder how it’s managed to remain so close to its roots in abstract shape-making. Did you know that the first commercial electronic music visualizer was created by the same guy who developed the home version of Pong, way back in 1976? The two mediums have always been intertwined. And so, as videogames make what seems to be a firm leap into virtual reality, Harmonix wants to bring music visualization into this…


Harmonix envisions a 1990s futurescape in A City Sleeps

I envision a short-hair-era Angelina Jolie gliding in on a hoverboard, clad in Chemical Brothers-orange cargo pants, to deliver this idea to the minds of Harmonix Studios. Their surprise announcement of A City Sleeps is a gnarly throwback to all things ’90s: Treasure-style shooters, a character named Poe, an Aeon Flux ink style, the notion of electronic music as a sci-fi savior. There’s nothing coy or winking about their evocation of the Wipeout era, which is what sells it, or, really, any other “retro” styled thing.  Due out this October, the game has you entering the dreams of a city’s inhabitants to…


Harmonix featured alongside Björk and a bunch of cool electronic artists at digital art show

Videogames in museums are nothing new, but usually exhibits with games are exclusively about games and separate from the other art, as if games are relegated to the kid’s table because of the fear they’d make inappropriate fart noises in front of the grown-ups.  But the Digital Revolution exhibit, opening tomorrow and at the Barbican Centre in London, has games rubbing shoulders with other electronic artists as peers. The work of game designers such as Dance Central and Guitar Hero creators Harmonix will be featured alongside a lot of other cool practitioners in the art space, including works by digital…


Harmonix is making a rhythmic FPS with plenty of dubstep

Rock Band developer Harmonix has been venturing out into new territory since the music-instrument-game craze fizzled, jettisoning a wall of plastic guitars at your local Best Buy. Announced yesterday, Chroma is the most unbridled departure yet: a rhythm-game and an FPS with a Tron-like battle arena and dubstep. Yes, that is a sentence you just read.  “How the fuck does that work?” you may rightly ask. Well, guns and characters are dedicated to different music genres, say hip-hop or free jazz. They shoot sequences of musical notes, presumably based on which buttons you press. Ultimately it comes down to killing…


Rock Band will stop updating their songlist in April. Where do music games go from here?

Last week saw an announcement posted to’s community forum by developer Aaron Trites, revealing that weekly updates of new tracks will finally end on April 2nd. For fans of Rock Band, the music game that introduced plastic drum kits to millions of homes across the globe, this is a bittersweet end to a five-year run of note highways and power chords. To those who dabbled and moved on, you might not have even realized new songs were still trickling out. Regardless, this once dominant genre unto itself is officially unplugging from that great amp server in the sky. As…