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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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