Hey! Harmonix? Harmooooonix!! Hey, over here! Over here a second! Come on man, it’s us…. the rest of the world. You remember us, right? All those crazy accents, the weird food, the better cars? Yeah those ones. Well, we’d mightily appreciate a copy of that there game you’re selling… That’s it, Rock Band. Pretty please?
But apparently Harmonix ain’t selling. While Rock Band’s debut outside North America is no longer expected until around September time, the developer is merrily gearing up for the Wii version’s release on June 22nd.
The Wii bundle is set to cost $169.99 and will award you with a wireless guitar and five bonus songs. Unfortunately though, the rest of the details reveal a mere shell of the full Xbox 360 / PS3 version of the game. You won’t be getting online play, downloadable songs, customizable characters, realtime 3D backgrounds, world tour mode OR compatibility with GH3 Wii controllers.
A few of those we can live without admittedly – anyone who is able to observe the fine details of the backdrop while hitting the right notes is without doubt an multi-eyed, multi-limbed arachnoid monstrosity and should be chased away before they enslave us all. The lack of compatibility with GH3 Wii controllers isn’t surprising due to the recent kerfuffle, and there will be standalone instruments available from day one anyway. That means you can set up a full band with guitars and bass without forking out $239.98.
The lack of online play and downloadable songs is more worrying though. Perhaps it is just another example of a publisher rushing a Wii port out solely for the purpose of milking its cash-laden teat. Or, more worringly, are we beginning to see the first failings of the Wii’s design? Although the much-loved motion-sensing console has the capacity for both online gaming and content downloads, this cut down version of the game – which compares closer to the PS2 version of the game than the ‘proper’ next-gen ones – will completely overlook it.
If this is due to technical reasons rather than developer malaise, then it doesn’t bode well for the future of the Wii. Sure it’ll no doubt hold on to that all-important user base for a long time yet, but that could stand to be completely drowned in shovelware as the more forward-thinking, exciting games development shifts focus to the more technically capable consoles.
Rock Band (via GameSpot)