We’ve had an email from someone who wants to know if it’s possible to use a Guitar Hero guitar with Rock Band for the Wii. The bad news is that you can’t, which is a shame because we know you can with the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
If cross-compatibility is critical then the most suitable 3rd party controller we’ve looked at is the $69.99 ezJam Wireless Guitar which works across the board with all titles. Although build quality isn’t up the same standard as the official controllers it isn’t let down by features – strum, tremolo and whammy bars are all covered along with a tilt sensor to take advantage of features found in later versions of Rock Band and Guitar Hero. If you are after something less ‘Nintendo white’ and a little more ‘rock’ with the same compatibility as the ezJam then the glam styled Rock Thunder might be more suitable with a quieter strumming action than the ezJam.
There have been a number of third party Wii guitar controllers released so we thought we’d compare each instrument and draw up this Wii instrument compatibility matrix which lists each Wii instrument and which titles they are compatible with:-
|CONTROLLER AND PRICE||COMPATIBLE TITLES|
|Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock||Guitar Hero Aerosmith||Rock Band||Rock Band 2||Guitar Hero World Tour||Guitar Hero Metallica||Guitar Hero Smash Hits|
|Guitar Hero 3 Les Paul||$59.99||Yes||Yes||–||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Guitar Hero World Tour Guitar||$59.99||Yes||Yes||–||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Rock Band Guitar||$59.99||–||–||Yes||Yes||–||–||–|
|Rock Band 2 Guitar||$52.99||–||–||Yes||Yes||–||–||–|
|ezJam Wireless Guitar||$69.99||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Wii Shred Ax Guitar||$25.99||Yes||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|Frontman Wireless Guitar||$36.95||Yes||–||–||Yes||Yes||–||–|
|Rock Thunder Guitar||$50.00||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Gene Simmons Axe Guitar||$66.96||Yes||–||–||Yes||–||–||–|
|Wii Rock Icon Guitar||$39.99||Yes||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|Dazzle Wireless Guitar Hero Controller||$39.99||Yes||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|Intec Universal Wireless Guitar||$69.99||Yes||–||Yes||–||–||–||–|
|Wii Guitar Evolution Wireless Guitar||$49.99||Yes||–||Yes||Yes||–||–||–|
|Xtreme Wireless Guitar Controller||$47.99||Yes||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|Guitar Hero World Tour Drums||$79.99||–||–||–||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Rock Band Drums||$99.99||–||–||Yes||Yes||–||–||–|
|Rock Band 2 Drums||$89.99||–||–||Yes||Yes||–||–||–|
If it wasn’t for lack of compatibility with the original Rock Band for the Wii we wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the $59.99 Guitar Hero World Tour Guitar as the axe of choice – these guitars are exceptionally well built compared to every other guitar controller we’ve played and guaranteed to work with all Guitar Hero titles along with Rock Band 2. If you have your heart set on playing tracks from the original Rock Band with there is a workaround. Using the $29.99 Rock Band 2 you can transfer the 55 songs from the original Rock Band disc over to a suitably sized Wii compatible SD card. You’ll then be able to use Rock Band 2 to play your mega library of tracks from the original Rock Band, Rock Band 2 plus any of the 800+ downloadable songs you may have acquired along the way. We’re hoping that Harmonix will implement a similar export key system for transferring tracks from Beatles Rock Band and Lego Rock Band.
Whilst researching these guitar controllers we came across a must for any serious guitar collector wanting to keep their controllers tidy in the living room – there is a $13.99 Dual Guitar Holder which doubles as a mic stand and a Triple Tree Guitar Stand which holds up to 3 guitars for $29.99.
We’ve also found a specially designed storage box for holding Rock Band accessories – once your kit is tucked up inside your visitors won’t know you are a secret plastic rocker. Amazon have shaved around 20% off so if you are in the market for some new furniture and want somewhere to hide a pair of guitars, a set of drums and a mic then have something to put your feet up on after a heavy rocking session then this is a great space saving idea.
For those of you wanting to play a Wii music game without the need for instruments then we recommend a look at Disneys multiplayer Ultimate Band which uses strumming and drumming actions on the Wiimote and Nunchuck to play – watch our review of Ultimate Band to see what you think.
Buy from Amazon.com:
- Guitar Hero 3 Les Paul – $59.99
- Guitar Hero World Tour Guitar – $59.99
- Guitar Hero World Tour Drums – $79.99
- Rock Band Guitar – $59.99
- Rock Band 2 Guitar – $52.99
- Rock Band Drums – $99.99
- Rock Band 2 Drums – $89.99
- ezJam Wireless Guitar – $69.99
- Wii Shred Ax Guitar – $25.99
- Frontman Wireless Guitar – $36.95
- Rock Thunder Guitar – $50.00
- Gene Simmons Axe Guitar – $66.96
- Wii Rock Icon Guitar – $39.99
- Dazzle Wireless Guitar Hero Controller – $39.99
- Intec Universal Wireless Guitar – $69.99
- Wii Guitar Evolution Wireless Guitar – $49.99
- Xtreme Wireless Guitar Controller – $47.99
- Cohesion BandBox Gaming Storage and Furniture Ottoman – $119.99
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