How does Rock Band for Wii compare to Xbox 360?
December 29, 2008 10:45 AM   Subscribe

Should I buy an xbox 360 to maximize my Rock Band experience (instead of getting the game for my Wii)?

Because this explanation is so long, I'll get right to the question: Wii owners, how is the Rock Band/Guitar Hero World Tour experience on Wii? Specifically, how is the DLC purchase/storage/loading, wifi, and graphics experience? Have you seen it compared to Xbox 360?

I have a Wii and love Rock Band and its kin. I have no such games now. I asked for nothing but Target gift cards for Christmas, and got several hundred dollars' worth, with the idea that I would buy the Guitar Hero World Tour full band kit ($175) plus the Rock Band 2 game ($50, compatible with GH:WT instruments) for Wii. That would be good rockin', but there are drawbacks, like (1) no Hi-Def output, (2) no Rock Band 1 tracks available, (3) some gimpiness on downloadable content in that Wii won't sell bundles of songs (for example, full albums) but instead you have to buy them song-by-song, (4) storage on Wii – at least for now – limited to SD cards no bigger than 2 gb (without clarity about how well they will work for storing and loading downloaded content), so I'd need to buy a few of those to hold DLC that I may buy. I also recently learned you need 1 Wii remote for every instrument you use, so I'd need to buy 2 more Wii remotes at $80 total to get the kit functional. So the total package cost would be about $350.

With that, I started thinking about xbox 360. A pro bundle with a 60 gb hard drive is $300. With the Rock Band 2 full band kit ($175), that's only $130 more than I would spend for the Wii version, and I get a 60gb xbox 360 out of the deal. That comes with lots of benefits, like (1) eventually I could add Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band 1 game for super-max number of songs, (2) Xbox live, (3) DLC that is cheaper and easier to store, and (4) some future-proofness in that it has a big hard drive and outputs to HD.

I think xbox 360 is the way to go, but feel kind of odd about going out and buying a new system based primarily on the desire for one game.
posted by AgentRocket to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think that the game alone is worth the premium. But, if you have ever considered 360 before, or think you ever will, this seems like a good way to get one, for basically 130 dollars.

You don't mention if you play any other games, but take into consideration all of the ones which you could access. If you have Netflix, you can now watch instantly via your Xbox, which is pretty great also.
posted by papayaninja at 10:56 AM on December 29, 2008

Get a 360. You can rent Rock Band 1 and buy an unlock code through Xbox Live that will allow you to transfer all of the songs but one or two from your rented Rock Band 1 disk and use them while playing Rock Band 2.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:56 AM on December 29, 2008

I haven't looked into any downloadable songs yet, but I got Rock Band for the Wii as a Christmas present, and it seems just the same to me as any of the times I've played Rock Band on someone else's XBox.

As far as HD output goes, do you really need it? It's not like the graphics are the main reason to be playing this game anyway. All the times I've played I've never been able to take my eyes away from the notes I'm supposed to be playing to look at what the "band" on the screen is doing. :) And I know that the Wiimote thing definitely isn't true. I only have one Wiimote, and that's all you need so that the person using the microphone can interact with the game. The rest of the players can interact using the buttons on their instruments.

If you want the Rock Band 1 songs, why not buy Rock Band 1 and then just get the Guitar Hero World Tour disk separately?
posted by MsMolly at 11:00 AM on December 29, 2008

My friends are huge Rock Band fanatics, and part of the draw of Rock Band nights is the tremendous library of songs, all accessible without switching discs, memory cards, or anything else. To the best of my knowledge, you just don't have that on the Wii. I'd go for the 360 if you want the no-hassle party atmosphere.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:25 AM on December 29, 2008

I think the more important question here is, how much gaming other than Rock Band are you going to do? Almost everyone I know who has purchased a Wii ended up selling it after about a year, because the single player experience on it was not up to snuff. It would really suck if you decided the Wii was not the console for you in the long term, after you have spent several hundred dollars in fake instruments which can't transfer over to another console.

If you were thinking about the 360 anyway, than I would strongly suggest it, but if you are not interested in any other gaming other than what the Wii has already and Rock Band, than I don't think you need to switch. The 360 will be more enjoyable for Rock Band, but is it going to be $300 more enjoyable? Probably not, unless you are a real die hard fan.

The 360 has a huge back catalog of games, most of which can be found dirt cheap used, so if you do go that route, it opens up a lot more options in terms of games.

Even though graphics are not a big part of the game, once you play it in high def, it is disappointing to play it in standard def afterwords.

Netflix on the 360 is awesome. If you are a Netflix person, and you ever watch stuff streaming to your computer, you will like the 360's Netflix integration.
posted by markblasco at 11:28 AM on December 29, 2008

The 360 with a hard drive for downloadable songs is going to be a better platform for Rock Band than the Wii. However, the problems that led to bad reviews for Rock Band 1 Wii seem to be corrected in Rock Band 2.

If you have your eye on some other 360 games as well, you might as well go for it.
posted by demiurge at 11:46 AM on December 29, 2008

I'm not sure if this issue was dealt with in Rock Band 2 but in the first Rock Band for the Wii you couldn't create/customize your own characters (XBox and PS3 both allowed customization). That was my favorite part of the game when playing through the story mode solo or group.
posted by simplethings at 11:58 AM on December 29, 2008

One thing worth considering is peripheral compatibility. By that I mean will your Rock Band guitar work with Guitar Hero World Tour, or vice versa. Because depending on the system, a guitar or drum set for one game might not work with the other, meaning that if you want to play both, or even if you want to add Guitar Hero 3 to your repertoire, you might need to have a couple of guitars cluttering up your living room.

This handy chart will tell you which guitar works with which game.

And in respect to your question, it says that the X-Box 360 guitar works with everything whereas the Wii version does not. So given this, plus the storage limitations of the Wii for DLC, I'd recommend an X-Box if the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games are your primary reasons for purchasing a system.
posted by Effigy2000 at 1:18 PM on December 29, 2008

360, 360, 360. I have Rockband 1 & 2 for the 360 and Rockband 1 for the Wii. I find the Wii version much more difficult to play because it seems to be a bit more laggy. I should also mention, I guess, that I use the HD cables for the Wii and I have both systems setup on 1080I tv's before stating that the 360 easily whups the Wii visually on RB2 as well. So yeah.

Also, uh, Fallout 3, Gears of War 2, and Left 4 Dead are all great new games on the 360. Hitman, Dead Rising, Geometry Wars (1 & 2)... all awesome.
posted by Bageena at 2:05 PM on December 29, 2008

Guitar games live and die by their tracklists. Get a 360, get the GH:WT pack plus Rock Band 2, rent Rock Band 1, pay the $5 to download 95% of the tracks to the 360 drive, and enjoy.

Unlike RB1, RB2 will function the same on the Wii but the Wii version lacks either the tattoo or band logo creator or both. Not exactly make or break but you should be aware of it. Personally, I had a lot of fun with the editors.

The DLC seems to be a bit more straightforward on the 360 as well. Don't underestimate this; there are now over 500 songs available for Rock Band and I'm sure you'd find a few tracks you just HAVE to download.

I haven't played the Wii version but I do know someone that has the PS3 and Wii versions of the first Rock Band and they vastly prefer the PS3 version of both the game and the peripherals.
posted by Diskeater at 3:07 PM on December 29, 2008

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