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Broken "Rock Band" guitarists promised free game

The general consensus is that Rock Band delivers on promises of being the most ambitious music game to date. Those lucky enough to have a Rock Band bundle are able to simulate the feeling of playing in a real quartet, that is, until the included Fender Stratocaster stops working.

Despite Harmonix’s experience in shipping three games bundled with guitar peripherals, early Rock Band adopters quickly found out that the hardware wasn’t up to the same standards as the game.

“As sometimes happens when new products first go into manufacturing, we discovered an imperfection with the strum bar in an early production run of guitars that were shipped at launch,” wrote Harmonix in its forums. “We want to inform you that we have since identified and fixed the issue in all subsequent production runs of the guitars.”

Those with guitar issues were directed to EA, Rock Band’s publisher, for the hardware replacement program.

The developer also wrote, “Harmonix is dedicated to creating 100% customer satisfaction and to those of you who've encountered any hardware issues, we are sorry for the hassle.”

The apology and assurance of satisfaction from Harmonix appears to extend beyond just the developer level. Users who have registered for a replacement guitar are reporting emails from EA telling them that they will be offering a yet unnamed EA game for free as compensation for “unacceptably long delay [of replacement guitars] due to a late shipment from our manufacturer.”

Details on the game and how it will be delivered are to “follow shortly.”



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RE: Second guitar
By CKDragon on 12/3/2007 1:52:18 PM , Rating: 2
You cannot use PS2/3 Guitar Hero guitars in the PS3 version of Rock Band. As of right now, buying two copies of Rock Band, buying from eBay, or using Murst's method are the most common ways PS3 users are getting 2nd guitars.

I am getting a replacement guitar for my 360 sent to me right now. At the time that they sent it out, they placed a $125 hold on my credit card. As soon as I send back the old one, that hold will be released. Some PS3 users are opting to keep the guitar and pay the $125 without sending back the "defective" one. Personally, I'd buy an entire bundle at $170 before I did that.


RE: Second guitar
By SirLucius on 12/3/2007 2:24:49 PM , Rating: 2
Any idea why the PS3 Guitar Hero controllers don't work with the PS3 Rock Band? I thought the guitars for the PS3 and 360 versions were pretty much the same. Actually, any idea when they'll start releasing individual controllers for Rock Band/Guitar Hero III? It's kinda stupid that I have to buy two copies of two expensive games in order to get more than one controller.


RE: Second guitar
By Murst on 12/3/2007 3:32:30 PM , Rating: 2
I stopped by EB games yesterday and asked about PS3 Rockband guitars.. they said February at the earliest.

Also, I looked at the GH3 guitar, and it looks different than the Rockband guitar. The rockband guitar has buttons in 2 places of the neck (or whatever its called). The buttons closer to the strum bar actually do serve a slightly different purpose, since you can use those buttons during a solo without having to hit the strum bar.


RE: Second guitar
By SirLucius on 12/3/2007 3:47:36 PM , Rating: 2
February? Ew.

I thought the buttons at the base of the neck were the same as the ones higher up. Do you have to use them for soloing? (If you hadn't already guessed I haven't picked up Rock Band yet).


RE: Second guitar
By Murst on 12/3/2007 3:55:31 PM , Rating: 2
You don't have to use them during a solo. But if you use the ones far away, you have to hit the strum bar.

The ones closer to the strum bar make the solos much easier (although I wouldn't call some of the solos easy, even with those).


RE: Second guitar
By CKDragon on 12/3/2007 3:39:27 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know exactly why they don't work, but Harmonix reps have posted on the RockBand.com announcements that they apologize for the incompatibilities but they use an "open controller standard" and that they are willing to work with any other game guitar manufacturers so that all guitars work with all games.

Of course, I'd bet that Activision would give a response that would similarly blame EA/Harmonix, so maybe it's just stubbornness?

As to why the compatibility differences between GH & RB on the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, I have no solid information. I'd wager it has something to do with how the wireless PS3 GH3 controllers do not use Sony's Bluetooth but rather require a dongle for wireless while Rock Band's guitars use the regular Bluetooth like the regular PS3 controllers. Still, that seems like something that SHOULD be easily overcome with a little communication.


RE: Second guitar
By Murst on 12/3/2007 3:43:36 PM , Rating: 2
Rockband guitars do not use bluetooth. They use a dongle.

They also use 3 batteries per nite of playing...


RE: Second guitar
By glennpratt on 12/4/2007 10:44:48 AM , Rating: 2
Get rechargeable batteries.


RE: Second guitar
By SirLucius on 12/3/2007 3:51:24 PM , Rating: 2
It seems like both companies would want as much compatibility as possible. They'd generate a lot of crossover that way.

Hopefully they'll get the crossover problem fixed on the PS3 soon. I've already got Guitar Hero and it would be nice if the GH controller would be compatible with Rock Band and vice versa. I can justify dropping more money to pick up Rock Band if I know that I'm essentially getting an extra controller for both games in the process.


RE: Second guitar
By FITCamaro on 12/3/2007 2:37:38 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting. So the PS3 Guitar Hero controllers won't work with Rock Band but the 360 ones will? On a 360 of course. Not with the PS3. Odd that the PS2 Guitar Hero controllers won't work.


RE: Second guitar
By theapparition on 12/3/2007 2:43:03 PM , Rating: 1
What ever happened to people playing real guitars?


RE: Second guitar
By afkrotch on 12/3/2007 2:58:34 PM , Rating: 3
cause $170 is much cheaper than a real guitar and whatever it'd cost for lessons.


RE: Second guitar
By glenn8 on 12/3/2007 3:01:30 PM , Rating: 2
They went to the same place as people who play real sports or drive real race cars... or cook real food...


RE: Second guitar
By theapparition on 12/3/2007 9:17:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I play real guitars, drive real sports cars in real HPDE events, play football with friends......

Just don't get the whole let's-do-it-fake thing.


RE: Second guitar
By Darkefire on 12/3/2007 9:26:34 PM , Rating: 2
Do you also shoot real aliens, fly real F-14s, and conquer real ancient Roman cities? No? Then I'm betting you'd turn to video games for your fix. And for those of us without real guitars, real race cars, and real talent to play football, those things might as well be fantasy. Hence why we play video games. QED.


RE: Second guitar
By theapparition on 12/4/2007 7:01:56 AM , Rating: 2
When not doing the above, I'm spending time with my family and friends. Don't have much extra time to try and save a fantasy universe. :-)

Seriously, I'm not knocking video games at all. Just that people are somehow losing touch with real world activities. Maybe it me that is just getting too old.

Yes, it takes a long time to play guitar, that's the point. It's a skill that builds character by teaching patience, requiring determination and perserverance. Also teaches hand-eye coordination. Video games certainly offer some of those qualities as well (with the exception of patience!), but one thing they will never offer is the level of creativity offered by learning music. Creativity that spreads into other aspects of the everyday life. It's a difficult measure to quantify, but certainly real. One of the reasons that most educators are so hot to continue band classes in schools.

While GH may be a cool drinking party game, I think that you learn more by making your own music. And there are many other outlets for creative expression. I've found that a video game can give you a quick thrill, but a good book is more imaginative and stays with you far longer.


RE: Second guitar
By glennpratt on 12/4/2007 10:57:41 AM , Rating: 2
First of all, you don't like video games, we get it. You also have some 'cool', expensive hobbies. Great. While I appreciate that, I don't see the advantage to real guitar or real driving. At the end of the day, there all hobbies and bring little value to society. Oh, and you play football with your buddies, wow, so do a lot of video game players I know. Or basketball, or paintball, so what?

BTW, You won't get very good at most games without a level of patience. I'd venture that it's easier to make $500 with a guitar then a video game and yet people do both every day.


RE: Second guitar
By SirLucius on 12/4/2007 4:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
It's true that the guitar is a great instrument that helps you to grow and become more creative, but you have to realize that everyone who plays Guitar Hero may not have an interest in playing the real thing. There are times when I find myself sorta pushing musical topics with people who aren't as interested in music without even realizing it because of how much I love and enjoy music. Guitar Hero is a great way for me to share my interest in music with people who don't share the same level of interest.

Another thing to consider is that Guitar Hero allows you to "play" songs most people will probably never be able to play. Most guitarists can't play a Dragonforce song with the same accuracy and precision as Herman Li (and the other dude). Most people can't put the same emotion and feeling into their playing as Santana. Guitar Hero is a great way for mediocre musicians (of which there are an overwhelming amount) to feel like they're playing at the same level as the pros.

I hope that makes sense. I just got back from getting my wisdom teeth removed and I'm still a little out of things from the medication, so please forgive me if my comments seem like they're out of left field.


RE: Second guitar
By theapparition on 12/5/2007 8:50:47 AM , Rating: 2
Your comments are spot on, I guess I'm the one who's getting too old, LOL.

Yeah, I've been known to play Metallica songs strait through, solo sweeps and all. Definately for the advanced player, not the novice.

I understand games, and enjoy them now and again. My question is does GH help, by exposing people to musical instruments enough to maybe start trying the real thing? Or does it prevent many from even going down that path? Time will tell.


RE: Second guitar
By Murst on 12/3/2007 3:34:46 PM , Rating: 3
There's nothing stopping you from playing a real guitar.

You can also join the army instead of playing CoD.

It all depends on what you want to do. Personally, I prefer the fake stuff.


RE: Second guitar
By SirLucius on 12/3/2007 3:44:23 PM , Rating: 3
I play real guitar. In fact I'm playing right now. I also enjoy playing Guitar Hero. It's a fun way to include non-musician's in my musical interests. Plus it's a great party game. Crack open a bottle of JD and let the fun begin.

Besides which, when was the last time you sat down and played an Eric Johnson, Dragonforce, or Metallica song straight through? They aren't exactly what most would consider easy. Hell, most of the songs in the game would require you be playing for some time before you could play them halfway decently.


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