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

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.