Rock Band 2 is Xbox 360 timed exclusive – On Wii, PS3, PS2 months later

June 30, 2008

Rock Band 2 is Xbox 360 timed exclusive - On Wii, PS3, PS2 months laterGames consoles can often live and die by the exclusive games available for them, and while Rock Band 2 is set to be released on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Playstation 2 and Wii before year’s end, the Microsoft machine has managed to secure timed exclusivity which will means months between the release on the Xbox 360 and the other consoles.

The first Rock Band has been a huge success, and the newly announced sequel which has been unveiled by MTV Games and Harmonix looks set to repeat, and build upon that success. The game is also set to compete with Guitar Hero World Tour, the next instalment in the Guitar Hero franchise that was announced in May.

So what is different in the new game? Most of the juicy details are being saved until the E3 conference in a few weeks time, but what was announced today basically amounts to ‘more of the same, only bigger and better’.

According to the MTV Games press release, the new game will be fully compatible with everything from the original. That means all of the instruments will work, and more importantly, all of the downloaded content. There have so far been over 200 songs released in addition to the music already on the retail disc, and with 15 million downloads already, it is a good move to make them compatible rather than forcing loyal gamers to download or buy for a second time.

MTV Games also promise more music, more online modes, and more features, which are all pretty much standard for a sequel of this kind. There will also be new designs of both the guitar and drum peripherals, though I suspect most people will be happy to use the instruments from the first game.

All that is left to talk about is the timed exclusivity for the Xbox 360, which must be pretty galling for all PS3 Rock Band freaks out there. The game will be out on the Xbox 360 in September, with PS3, Wii, and PS2 versions said to be following a few months afterwards.

This should really have been expected as the precedent had already been set with the original Rock Band in Europe. As we discussed in April, Harmonix and MTV decided to screw European gamers over royally, by first delaying the release of Rock Band for several months after the US got hold of the game, and then rubbing salt in the wound by declaring the game to be a timed exclusive on the Xbox 360.

The game has been out for the Microsoft console in Europe since May 23rd, but still is nowhere to be seen on the Playstation 3, or any of the other consoles it was promised for. Which is ludicrous.

None of the companies involved, EA, MTV Games, Harmonix and Microsoft, have yet discussed the deal which has taken place, or the sum of money paid by the latter to ensure the timed exclusivity deals, but its likely to be a huge figure. When looked at in combination with the rumoured price cut for the Xbox 360, this could certainly help shift a few Xbox 360 consoles.

25 Responses to “Rock Band 2 is Xbox 360 timed exclusive – On Wii, PS3, PS2 months later”

  1. Bourne:

    meh, no major loss

  2. kev:

    if they go into black friday with this as an exlcusive, it’s not gonna fair well for sony’s holiday plans that’s for certain…..

  3. kev:

    bourne – given the colossal amounts of money being made from the first one, i’d say your “no major loss” comment is sour grapes.

  4. Arvis:


    “Sour Grapes” is right. Rock Band 1 was a big system seller for PS3, and this exclusivity is a great way for MS to ensure stable sales for the 360 into the holiday season (supporting releases like Gears 2, etc.).
    However, I don’t see EA letting their new biggest franchise stay exclusive into December. I may be wrong, but I predict they’ll release the other console versions just BEFORE Black Friday. That would be very “EA” of them.


  5. Bourne:

    no kevin i mean that in a personal way, im sure there are many sony fans which would want it. But personally i dont care for it. waste of time personally, why not pick up a real guitar and play in my opinion.

  6. kev:

    arvis – we’ll see. you could be right, but paying for a timed exclusive to only lose it going into the holidays wouldn’t be a good use of money, imo.

  7. kev:

    bourne – i COMPLETELY agree. As a Martin HD28 owner, i cannot imagine my life had i played guitar hero instead of learning how to really play. oh well..not everyone has talent so i think these games are for the “air guitar” heroes.

    i’m out for a few days, fellas… have a great 4th of july..(if you guys celebrate)

  8. Royzy:

    I agree with you guys too, I’d rather just play a real guitar.

    No comment on the black friday thing – I don’t have a clue what EA does or why they do it half the time. I’m not a fan especially.

    Kev, have a nice time and see you back here when you return.

  9. Sk8man:

    Real musicians FTW!!!!!!

  10. Mark:

    This is bullshit! Asia/Pacific PAL regions haven’t even got a solid release date for the first Rock Band yet – and a second one looks like it will be out before we even get a look in. WTF is going on??

  11. morpheusx:

    I think this is a good move for MS if they have it locked up for the holidays, I still say that this is more of it being another example of EA screwing over Sony. Perhaps EA has it out for Sony.

  12. DHeraSa:

    @ Arvis: Since when is Rock Band a system seller? I have been working a in a store where they also sell video game and systems, and I have yet to see someone go and buy a PS3 and a Rock Band set all together.

    I have started to think that people look dumb playing those guitars on video games. If you spent the time you spend in those fake guitars playing a REAL guitar, you would get good at it.

    Just imagine that some people play 4 hours or more per day. Imagine practicing that with a real guitar?

    My favorite game are Basketball game, but I also know how to play REAL basket.

  13. DHeraSa:

    All of you guitar hero fans or rock band, check this South Park Episode :guitar quer o.

    And see what I mean.

  14. winner:

    What makes me laugh are the knob jockeys who take Rock Band/Guitar hero seriously as if they’re playing a real guitar. I have an image burned into my memory of a guy in Kmart playing guitar hero on the demo Xbox they had instore. He was doing all sorts of poses, at one point he was down on his knees.

    Made me feel like dragging him to the carpark and beating the shit out of him.

  15. deranged:

    its a bummer rock band 1 didnt let u create characters on the wii version… does anyone know if it will let u make characters on rock band 2 for wii?

  16. William Birkin:

    This is so lame, Microsoft is probably paying a shit ton of money to keep this thing exclusive but I really doubt they paid enough to keep it exclusive until after Christmas (oops, the “holidays”). And even if they did this is a total waste, VERY few are going to go out and buy a 360 because of this, most people are just gonna wait till it comes out on Wii or Playstation 3. My bet is this is gonna be a huge seller on Wii because it totally fits the family oriented feel of the Wii. Microsoft is just a bunch of idiots, this won’t move consoles and just make them look like a bunch of ass holes. I just wish they would stop doing this shit. However if this come out after black friday the real loser is going to be EA.

  17. OH:

    @ winner,

    LMAO!!!! So true… so true. Thanks for the laugh, you put it perfectly! :D

  18. darkwhitehair:

    xD.. funniest thing ever winner…

    I like these kinda games… never played guitar hero or rock band… but I sooo want to try…
    Dont use the “Play a real guitar instead of playing guitar hero” argument… its so old… and cliched and stupid…
    you want us ALL to be headbanging “rockerz” ??
    some people have that musical creative gene… most others dont… guitar hero is a game.. take it like a game…

    If you killed some actual hookers in NYC and killed some cops… you wouldnt have to play GTA 4.. youd be the real Niko Bellic…
    If you praticed killing some real arabs.. and germans… youd be a real marine.. and wouldnt have to waste time playing call of duty..

    see how riddiculous that sounds?? thats how stupid you sound when you ask people to play real guitars instead of playing guitar hero…

  19. Wylie:

    Good point darkwhitehair. Also with all the downloadable content from the first one, is anyone in that big of a rush for #2. I mean we have plenty of songs to practice, play, and perfect before it comes out on PS3 or Wii. Not a big deal to me, I’m waiting for Guitar Hero World Tour anyway.

  20. DHeraSa:

    @Darkwitehair. How can you compare being a rocker with being a killer? Being a rocker you can get rich and that wont get you to jail.

    Being a killer will. So dont make that type of comparison.

  21. DHeraSa:

    @ Darkwhitehair: You are comparing being a real guitar player with being a Nico belli, a killer? Oh America, home of the ‘smart’

  22. CAD:

    Well boyz, there is that Microsoft Love I’ve been talking about which Sony never shows to it’s customers. Thank You Microsoft, I Love U Too.

  23. darkwhitehair:

    dear DHeraSa… I am not American… please do not make that comparison :P

    It was sarcasm Hera… get over it… so people… stop crucifying Guitar Hero and Rock Band… atleast not till I play it..

    If only they could make a cheaper pirated version of those games….

  24. Arvis:


    How is MS showing “love” to their customers via timed exclusivity of one game? If it weren’t a timed exclusive, wouldn’t you still get the game at the same time? So it really doesn’t benefit you personally at all, it just gives the MS game division more security going into the holiday season. Smart move, but it doesn’t affect existing 360 owners at all.


  25. Ivan_PSP:

    I hate Rock Band that game is garbage mad boring.

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