Frequency and its sequel Amplitude for the PS2 were Harmonix‘s, Guitar Hero creators and current developers of Rock Band, first foray into console gaming. The games pioneered the modern rhythm gaming craze. In fact, the biggest difference between Rock Band and the early games are the controller. Harmonix tested the waters by releasing games that could be played with the standard PS2 controller. The games were really excellent. Granted, the PS2 controller wasn’t perfect for them, but they could have been improved with a small controller similar in size to the PS2 controller but with a different layout. Harmonix instead skipped straight into controllers shaped like instruments completing the metaphor.
That’s all well and good, but Sony recently announced a portable version of Rock Band for the PSP! Instead of some type of special controller for the portable console, the game will control with the standard PSP controlset. This gets me really excited. I was a big fan of Frequency and Amplitude, and I think it is a bit silly that Harmonix had to bundle a guitar shaped controller with what was essentially the next Frequency game to get the average gamer’s attention. If Harmonix can achieve bigger success with this spiritual sequel by exploiting the Rock Band brand, so be it! This may be the release that forces me to buy a PSP.