Nintendo Wii Will Rock, but for How Much?
According to rumors surfacing this past weekend, a Wii version of the much-anticipated EA and Harmonix game "Rock Band" may be in the works. Already announced for the more powerful Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, the primary draw to Rock Band has been its promised online play, making a transfer to the online multiplayer-less Wii a little complicated. Despite this, focus group sources are sure Nintendo will have its piece of the "Cherry Pie", with only the game's price left for speculation.
Rock Band was announced shortly after Guitar Hero II made its applauded Xbox 360 debut, and immediately captured the imaginations of gamers (who probably should be spending their time with real instruments). Although Guitar Hero has proven an immense success on both the PlayStation 2 and Microsoft's console, Rock Band will reportedly give players the ability to take on different roles, including vocals and percussion.
So, what's the difference between all three versions?
Beyond the graphics (which don't much matter while scrambling to plug an orange button), the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 both have established and really established online communities, respectively. Although Nintendo has had some success with downloads (Virtual Console) and web browsing (Opera), it has yet to blossom online. There's no multiplayer community to speak of, and no indication it's right around the corner.
That's where it gets a bit sticky. Focus groups first lobbed readers a $200 price tag, which received no fanfare, whatsoever. Estimates then dropped from $175 to $150, with more and more gamers jumping on board the idea.
And yet, the onus remains on Nintendo. In order to ensure the Wii rendition of Rock Band doesn't go all "Steel Battalion" (a failed Xbox mech-fest featuring a $200 controller), the company will need to accelerate its reported plans to get the little white console online.