An Odd Selection of Songs
Beatles Rock Band introduced a new generation to Beatlemania. Beatles fans may find the selection of the band’s music disappointing. The initial release includes lesser known hits and B-tracks and also includes I am the Walrus, a less than stellar song from the Beatles drug period. Help and Let it Be are strangely absent.
On October 9th, EMI, MTV and Apple Corps released new downloadable tracks for the Wii. The content can be bought as individual tracks playable in solo or group modes or as “albums” that reflect a certain period of Beatles music. (These “albums” add to the storyline content of Beatles Rock Band.)
Guitar Fun, the Wii version of Frets on Fire, does not use the same file format that Rock Band uses, but you can download Beatles tracks and use Guitar Fun to play downloaded music.The download tracks for Guitar Fun method of obtaining new content may be popular with some individual players. The Recording Industry and Artist’s Association may send some very rude letters and actual subpoenas to anyone who does this.
The Xbox Live and PS3 Internet connection options let players download tracks from their front end programs, but Rock Band music cannot be purchased from the Wii shopping channel.
New Wii Content
Although Harmonix promised the first tracks for the Wii would be available by October 9 of 2009, they are not available at the time of writing. A blogger on 1up.com states that cost prevents Harmonix from adding new content readily.
How many tracks are available will depend on cost. The statement seems odd because Harmonix can easily produce content for other Rock Band games. Copyright issues have little to do with this, however. The game maintains a very solid sixties theme throughout and tries to make the backgrounds match the appropriate period of Beatles music.
Possible Reasons for the Delay
Owners of the Wii game were promised new songs available for download by October 9. Delays are common among video game publishers, and most Blizzard fans know not to take the release dates of that company seriously.
The delays for the new downloadable content may be disappointing, but there seems to be a good reason for them. Harmonix wishes to maintain the look and mood of the game throughout. Previous editions of Rock Band did not need to worry about this, as they usually did not focus on the work of a single band. (And, as the Nintendo Magazine noted, this game does not come with any songs that are not by the Beatles. Any one who owns a copy of the game can confirm this.)
Cost Per Song
The Wii version of the game does not use the same method used by the Xbox 360 or PS3 versions. The Wii handles memory slightly differently. MTV, Apple Corps, and EMI did not forget the Wii owner. The game includes a store option. Users can access the store from the main menu of the game.
The cost per track and the cost per album is not yet available, because neither new songs nor new albums have been released for the Wii. (The Xbox and PS3 versions might have new content available at the time of writing.) Harmonix has not yet released the cost per track or the cost per album.
How to Access Downloaded Music
EMI may or may not give away an occasional track for free. A sequel may expand the number of Beatles songs a person can play on the Wii. Owners of the Nintendo version must make due with the songs that come with the game or spend money to play them from within the game.
Individual songs are accessed via the quick play option from the main menu.