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Monday, March 24, 2008

Rock Band coming to the Wii, BUT ...

... it won't have downloaded content or online play.

Harmonix announced today that the wildly popular music game will be released for the Nintendo Wii on June 22. It will have five "bonus" songs. This supposedly is in lieu of the online play feature and ability to download new songs that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions already have.

A lot of people will be glad to know that Rock Band is getting ported to the Wii. But how long is that going to last when these details about the release become widely known? To exclude the downloadable content feature and online play is an insanely bad move by Harmonix. From a business standpoint, it makes no sense at all! Nintendo Wii is the best-selling video game system on the market today, consistently outpacing both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. Now bear in mind that for those two systems already, Harmonix has sold over 6 million copies of new tracks that have been made available since the game's launch in November.

Obviously, the downloadable content is one of Rock Band's most popular points. Harmonix is courting disaster by consciously stripping it from the Wii edition. They aren't just going to be losing millions of dollars in potential profit from lack of downloaded tracks, but a lot of Wii owners - and I'm one of them - are going to see this move as petty at best, and outright insulting at worst.

Besides, there is no reason at all why the Wii could not support either the downloaded content or online play for Rock Band. It can save tracks to an SD card, and I'm sure that some kind of encryption/encoding scheme is possible that would prevent tracks from being illegally copied. Technically, the online capabilities of Rock Band could certainly be shared with the Wii version. So why aren't they?

The suits at Harmonix had best reconsider, and announce that the downloaded content and online play are going to be in the Wii version too. Or else they're going to wind up with tons of unwanted Rock Band for Wii boxes that'll take up a hella lot more space in a landfill than those E.T. cartridges ever did.


Anonymous said...

I've been waiting for the official word on this but if they won't bother with DLC then it's a big fat NO on buying Rock Band for Wii! I'll just wait for the price drop on Xbox 360 and get Rock Band for that. Thanks for treating me second-rate EA and Harmonix.

Anonymous said...

No DLC for Wii ROCK BAND = No Sale