Rock Band Wii Arrives June 22, Will Not Offer Downloadable Songs or Online Play

By Chris Faylor and Nick Breckon, Mar 24, 2008 12:01pm PDT Despite pending litigation, MTV-owned developer Harmonix has announced that its music-based multi-instrument title Rock Band will hit the Wii on June 22 in North America.

The Wii version will come with a total of 63 songs, five of which are bonus songs. A full list of the 63 tracks was not provided, though the initial 58 are expected to mirror the 45 main songs and 13 bonus tracks of the previously-released PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 editions.

A Special Edition bundle--containing a wireless guitar, drum kit, and microphone--will sell for $169.99. Stand alone instruments and software will also be available at release, allowing Special Edition buyers to pick up the extra guitar needed for a four-person band.

The Wii edition of Rock Band will not include online multiplayer or support for downloadable content, a Harmonix representative confirmed to Shacknews.

Such online functionality was a highly-touted feature of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 releases, having sold over six million song downloads since the two versions debuted last November.

As for the ever-complex issue of guitar compatibility, a post by Harmonix's Sean Baptiste on the game's official forums suggested that Rock Band Wii may not be compatible with the guitar controller released for the Wii version of Vicarious Vision and Neversoft's Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.

Bapiste noted that the Rock Band Wii instruments are stand-alone controllers that do not require a Wii Remote to be plugged in. The Guitar Hero III controller mandates that a Wii Remote be inserted into the guitar-shaped controller shell.

The Wii port of Rock Band is being co-developed by Pi Studios. Pi previously worked with Harmonix on the PlayStation 2 edition of the game, which lacked the character customization, world tour mode, and online functionality of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions.

While a representative has already confirmed that Rock Band Wii will not feature downloadable content or online play, Bapiste implied that the Wii edition may also lack the character customization and world tour modes.

"The feature set is a lot closer to the PS2 version of Rock Band," he wrote. "We've decided to focus on getting the core gameplay on to the Wii and focus on making that awesome."

As with past Rock Band releases, publisher Electronic Arts will handle the game's distribution. The company had previously revealed the existence of the Wii edition, though it did not specify a release timeframe at the time.

"The Wii's success among casual and core gamers of all ages makes it an ideal match for the cross-generational appeal of the music featured in Rock Band," vice president of MTV's games division Bob Picunko explained today.

"The social interaction and addictive nature of the Rock Band experience is a perfect fit for the Wii and will undoubtedly be fun for the entire family," added Nintendo licensing VP Steve Singer.

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30 Threads | 103 Comments
  • yea well i think the biggest bumber is no world tour... all we do when i go over to my friends house is play world tour, i know u can play songs on quickplay but its not the same.. like it makes setlists and crap.. the second biggest bummer is u cant use ur gh3 controller, well i have a gh3 controller and i was looking forward to buying the package because then i could have all four intrements.. but then i found out u cant use ur gh3 controllers so ill have to spend like $210 dollars for all 4 intrements. and dlc would be cool, but ive never used it so i could live without it. and custimizing ur character would be cool but i dont reall care who is playing on stage but it would be cool to show off your pimp guy.
    and lastly online play. i dont know much about it for xbox 360 or ps3. like can u only play with one instrement or can you have multiple? but kind of a bummer that they wont have anything for wii

  • Hmm I think they can care less about the Wii in general. I think they are going to lose a lot of money on this project considering every kid out there now knows they can get a PS2 and rock band NOW if they really wanted. Plus all the guitar heros are for PS2 as well so now kids can have the whole set. I'm mostly mad that there isnt any character customization that was my BIGGEST WOOHOO for this game. DLC and online play is a real let down too. This is why i'm mostly a computer person cuz most of the time games are shortened and made crappier game play for us and if it is cha ching! MOD IT! But right now i'm building my new computer then i'm goin to just goin to get an xbox 360 and then get rock band. I think thats what harmonix wants anyways that way both companies make out in the end even the already rich up his butt bill gates. So all said and done this product is WORTHLESS for the WII. I wonder what they would do if no one bought this game...I would think they would suit it to our wants and not just our needs. PEACE!

  • Oh crap.

    No PS3, no 360, (heck, no PS2).

    And I don't have a Wii (yet.)

    I had a great plan. I wanted RockBand (for the drums, hence no GH3) and I could see myself owning a Wii. I was going to get the RockBand/Wii bundle that wouldn't probably come out.

    But the reaction to the no DLC bombshell (expected) makes me think I might not want to follow through with that plan.

    It comes with 60 songs. That seems like a lot. However, the Downloadable tracks add incredible variety to the genre's covered. I'd hate to be stuck with crap I hate when songs/groups I like are SO close to being available.

    However, I also should be honest. I'd never BUY a new track. I'm so incredibly cheep I don't even send text messages since they charge $.05 for each.