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Red Octane has no intention of playing nicely with Rock Band

For fans of rock music rhythm games, the last quarter of 2007 is exceptional thanks to release of Rock Band and Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Not so exceptional, however, is the situation surrounding the inter-compatibility of similar accessory hardware.

Despite Rock Band and Guitar Hero guitars both having the same characteristics of five colored fret buttons, a strum bar and whammy bar, compatibility of the hardware across games is rather spotty. The Guitar Hero III Les Paul accessory for the Xbox 360 works with Rock Band, but the Les Paul for the PlayStation 3 version of the game does not interface with Rock Band.

Rock Band developer Harmonix responded to this issue on its official forums, saying only, “Many of you have contacted us about the PS3 edition of Rock Band -- from issues with guitar compatibility to frustration that stand-alone guitars and drums for Rock Band have not yet hit stores,” but offering no other resolution except, “We promise to keep you updated and, in the meantime, we thank you for your patience.”

On the flip side, the Stratocaster guitar accessory that ships with Rock Band bundles does not work with either platform’s Guitar Hero III game. While Harmonix may be looking into ways of introducing the Guitar Hero III PS3 hardware into the Rock Band game, Red Octane has publicly expressed little interest in supporting Rock Band’s hardware in Guitar Hero III.

“I don't think we're too interested in having their guitars work on our game, because they're having a lot of issues with their guitars,” said Red Octane's co-founder and VP of business development, Charles Huang, to 1UP. “From our standpoint, to be quite honest, if you know a competitor's product has issues, there's not a whole lot of motivation to make these problematic controllers work with your game. Why would you want to cause yourself the headache?”

Huang’s comments reference the widespread reports of faulty Stratocaster strum bars that shipped in the initial shipment of Rock Band. Both Harmonix and EA have shown commitment to replacing hardware for all those affected, in addition to throwing in a free EA game.

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The main reason....
By daftrok on 12/8/2007 3:40:35 AM , Rating: 2
The Rock Band guitar SUCKS compared to the Guitar Hero guitar. But frankly I find this ridiculous that they at least won't have SOME form of compatibility. That's like making a steering wheel for a racing game that doesn't work with any other racing game but one. Come on, Rock Band. People are already spending 150 bucks for your game, you might as well make it work with other games.

RE: The main reason....
By DangerIsGo on 12/8/2007 4:04:12 AM , Rating: 2
People are already spending 150 bucks for your game, you might as well make it work with other games.

No. Not at all. They are competitors. Why should either side have to play nice? We're lucky that the xbox's les paul works on Rock Band in the first place. Obviously, its somewhat of a disappointment, but Red Octane doesn't HAVE to do anything about it. And the whole BS that Huang said about the Rock Band guitars having problems which is why they wont support it in GH III is just a cover for "we're competitors and we don't want to support their guitars".

RE: The main reason....
By BladeVenom on 12/8/2007 9:11:47 AM , Rating: 4
The console makers should demand compatibility from the game developers.

RE: The main reason....
By Silverel on 12/8/07, Rating: 0
RE: The main reason....
By BladeVenom on 12/8/2007 11:59:36 AM , Rating: 2
That's what I mean. I didn't mean cross console compatibility, although that would be nice. If a company is licensed by Microsoft to make a controller and game then that controller should work with any Xbox game that could use it.

RE: The main reason....
By therealnickdanger on 12/10/2007 8:57:09 AM , Rating: 2
Ever tried using the DDR pad to play Halo? It's hilarious.

Aren't there a couple different features in RB that the GH2/3 controllers don't have buttons for?

RE: The main reason....
By jtemplin on 12/8/2007 2:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
Just because there is direct competition you think there is no room for standards? What about the atx standard for computer cases? Should every company have a proprietary standard? Obviously they are under no obligation to, which is basically your point...but

I think standards are a good thing and in most cases they HELP competition, because then there is an even playing field.

RE: The main reason....
By Bremen7000 on 12/8/2007 7:11:50 PM , Rating: 2
Companies aren't interested in competition, so why would they be interested in standards that help it?

RE: The main reason....
By orochi on 12/8/2007 2:09:49 PM , Rating: 3
It's not Rock Band who's not making it compatible. It's GH's side of the game. Red Octane has been trying to shut out competitor's guitars ever since GH2 on the PS2. TAC had to release a passthru port just so their older guitars, that work just fine playing GH1, to work in GH2. If it's Rock Band's fault, the Les Paul/Xplorer wouldn't work at all in Rock Band. Harmonix has come out and said that they're for a open standard on these controllers.

RE: The main reason....
By Ryanman on 12/9/2007 5:43:52 PM , Rating: 1
This is all RO and GH3, in my opinion. Harmonix has done everything that a good company should do, in order of compatibility and support. The second the franchise sold out to Neversoft, I knew stuff like this would happen

RE: The main reason....
By Spartan Niner on 12/8/2007 5:14:15 PM , Rating: 2
Real-life skills people, real-life skills... ;)

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
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