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Rock Band 2 Wii: Actually the Real Deal

Believe it or not, you won't be missing out on anything (much) if you pick up this year's Rock Band on the Nintendo platform.

Did you play Rock Band on the Wii? Wait, that's a trick question! No you didn't! What you played was a pale shadow of the full Rock Band experience, just the core four-man-band play without any of the delicious trimmings that rounded out the full experience on the 360 and PS3. No character creation. No downloadable songs. Heck, the animations running behind the songs while you played were just static videos. It was an underwhelming package.

Online play on the Wii! Madness!
None of that is true with Rock Band 2 on the Wii. Harmonix, flush with proceeds and new staff members, has nobly opted to atone for its past transgression with this sequel. Let me just sum it up: The game has everything on the Wii that it does on the big-boy systems. The one exception is the tattoo editor in the character creator: You can't edit your own, so you're stuck with a selection of premade tattoos to slap on your rock people. But Harmonix's Alex Navarro swears up and down that you're not missing out on anything else at all if you snag the game on the Wii. (And if he's fibbing, we know where he lives.) Even the full online-playable world tour is in there. Not a bad upgrade over last year's game.

Oh yeah, all the Battle of the Bands playlists will show up on the Wii too, and those will be synced with the challenges on the other consoles as well.

To me, downloadable content was the big question with the Wii version, so here are the facts on that.

  • When the game ships, 50 downloadable songs will be available. 20 of those will be the free tracks also offered to 360 and PS3 owners, while the other 30 will be a sort of "greatest hits" of the previously released material.
  • After release, the Wii game will receive all the same weekly DLC releases as the other consoles.
  • Other previously released tracks will also be made available periodically along with the new stuff, with the goal being to eventually get all the existing DLC out on the Wii.
  • There won't be any track packs or full albums on the Wii--you'll have to buy each song separately. You'll pay with standard Wii Shop points, but you can only purchase songs in-game.
  • In terms of storage, DLC will first go into your Wii's internal memory, and when that's full, you can start putting more on SD cards.

Lastly, all the hardware is up to speed with the units released for the other systems, including the new light and sound sensors used for calibration.

There's no firm date for Rock Band 2 Wii yet, but Harmonix says to expect it "before the holidays."

Brad Shoemaker on Google+
27 Comments
Posted by Brad

Did you play Rock Band on the Wii? Wait, that's a trick question! No you didn't! What you played was a pale shadow of the full Rock Band experience, just the core four-man-band play without any of the delicious trimmings that rounded out the full experience on the 360 and PS3. No character creation. No downloadable songs. Heck, the animations running behind the songs while you played were just static videos. It was an underwhelming package.

Online play on the Wii! Madness!
None of that is true with Rock Band 2 on the Wii. Harmonix, flush with proceeds and new staff members, has nobly opted to atone for its past transgression with this sequel. Let me just sum it up: The game has everything on the Wii that it does on the big-boy systems. The one exception is the tattoo editor in the character creator: You can't edit your own, so you're stuck with a selection of premade tattoos to slap on your rock people. But Harmonix's Alex Navarro swears up and down that you're not missing out on anything else at all if you snag the game on the Wii. (And if he's fibbing, we know where he lives.) Even the full online-playable world tour is in there. Not a bad upgrade over last year's game.

Oh yeah, all the Battle of the Bands playlists will show up on the Wii too, and those will be synced with the challenges on the other consoles as well.

To me, downloadable content was the big question with the Wii version, so here are the facts on that.

  • When the game ships, 50 downloadable songs will be available. 20 of those will be the free tracks also offered to 360 and PS3 owners, while the other 30 will be a sort of "greatest hits" of the previously released material.
  • After release, the Wii game will receive all the same weekly DLC releases as the other consoles.
  • Other previously released tracks will also be made available periodically along with the new stuff, with the goal being to eventually get all the existing DLC out on the Wii.
  • There won't be any track packs or full albums on the Wii--you'll have to buy each song separately. You'll pay with standard Wii Shop points, but you can only purchase songs in-game.
  • In terms of storage, DLC will first go into your Wii's internal memory, and when that's full, you can start putting more on SD cards.

Lastly, all the hardware is up to speed with the units released for the other systems, including the new light and sound sensors used for calibration.

There's no firm date for Rock Band 2 Wii yet, but Harmonix says to expect it "before the holidays."

Posted by OmegaPirate

Wow- nice , dont have a wii but the more the merrier -anything except wii music 

Posted by LordAndrew

You should punch him in the gut if this turns out to be false.

Posted by OmegaPirate

You should force feed him more of that salt candy 

Posted by skrutop

I'd be interested to see how the game handles it if you have content spread across multiple SD cards.  Would it just grey songs out unless they're on the inserted card?  Would it allow you to choose the song and give you a "please insert SD card" message?  Oh, the possibilities!

Posted by Afroman269

Kudos for Harmonix to fit all this into the Wii version.

Posted by Media_Master

Now, who said that Wii couldn't compete?!!! Developers just need to work around hard enough to make it work .

Posted by Gregomasta

Kudos to harmonix, well done gentlemen you have my support in the future wars of harmo/acti.

Posted by Coldbrand

Glad to see Harmonix picking up for Nintendo's slack. But fortunately I owned the 360 first and therefore don't have to put up with this shit.

Posted by Mac

If the game wasn't releasing two months later than on the rest of the platforms(except the PS2), then I may actually consider getting it. The only reason Harmonix is making half and effort this time is because they realized just how big a market(GH3 sold more copies on the Wii than on any other platform) they lost with the abomination they called Rock Band for the Wii. Clearly, the Wii is still a second-class citizen to Harmonix.

Posted by Irishjohn

They passed on wiimote-designed tattoos!!! Those crazy fools!!

Seriously though, this is great.
Posted by Stevokenevo

great news for me.  have a pc and a wii.  finally get to find out what you maniacs have been shouting about all this time!  cant wait.  :)

Posted by AllThatBacon

Can't trust that Alex Navarro guy!

Posted by Player1

Great news for wii owners. 

Posted by ThomasP

Great news for Wii owner's who have been waiting for a good version of Rock Band. Step up Activision.

I probably won't end up getting it though. Games take away from my learning of the real guitar enough as it is.

Posted by Erdie

Not for me, but that's awesome.

Posted by RHCPfan24

It is great for people who only have a Wii, but I have the superior 360 version so I am fine with that.

Posted by dormantreign
Posted by Marzy

After hearing that Guitar Hero III guitars will be compatible with this, I might get it now. It definitely sounds much better than the original Rock Band for Wii.

Posted by NinjaSquirrel

If guitar hero doesn't have downloadable content on wii, I'm gettin this one

Posted by shades846

both of GH world tour and Rock band have DLC on Wii this time. In fact it seems that Rock band are responding to GH world tours worked on DLC for the Wii.

Posted by happyfatman

"Glad to see Harmonix picking up for Nintendo's slack." - Coldbrand

I don't think Nintendo was entirely to blame for the first Rock Band being less than great on the Wii.  Harmonix made the game, not Nintendo.  Granted, the Wii's limitations may have prevented them from allowing the full experience, but if they can do it now, and I don't think anything has changed since then, I think they could have done it then.  So don't blame Nintendo for Harmonix making a watered-down version of the game for the Wii.  But I digress... this is good news for those Rock Band fans with only a Wii.

Posted by Vigorousjammer

so by "put more on the SD card" does he mean that you'll be able to read songs off of the SD card?

Posted by Andrwmorph

Have fun filling up an SD card with 8 songs.

Posted by OmegaRed

So you can import all songs on the RockBand 1 disc into Rock Band 2 on Wii (for $5)?  Or is that another feature missing in this version.

Posted by headcase

My biggest question now is regarding compatibility of controllers for RB and GH4 on the Wii. I guess we'll know for sure once the games come out (for GH4, a matter of days).

I sort of got a PS3 based on the fact that there was going to be no compatibility on the Wii, though the purchase was warranted for other reasons anyway.
Posted by mostundudelike

From anther Harmonix interview, there's no export of RB1 songs on Wii.

Also, Amazon now says it's shipping December 18...