Harmonix: Activision Blocks Rock Band Guitar Compatibility Patch

Harmonix has notified Shacknews that the promised guitar compatibility patch for the PlayStation 3 edition of Rock Band has been blocked by Guitar Hero publisher Activision and will not be released.

"Two weeks ago, Harmonix created a software patch for the Sony PLAYSTATION 3 version of Rock Band that allowed for guitar compatibility and support for third party peripherals, including enabling use of Activision's Guitar Hero III controller with Rock Band," the company told Shacknews.

"Unfortunately, Activision objected to the release of the compatibility patch," the statement continues. "The patch remains with Sony, but we have been told that it will unfortunately not be released due to Activision's continued objection."

Though Activision's wireless PlayStation 3 Guitar Hero III controller will not function with Rock Band, the Xbox 360 edition of the peripheral is fully compatible with the Xbox 360 edition of Rock Band, as is the wired Guitar Hero II Xbox 360 controller.

Some prefer using the Activision-produced controller over the official Rock Band Stratocaster, which is known to have some imperfections, while others merely want another guitar so their friends can play along.

The blockage puts PlayStation 3 rockers in a tight spot, as the official Rock Band guitar controller is not yet available outside of the $170 Rock Band Special Edition bundle. While the Guitar Hero III guitar is not sold outside of the $100 game-controller bundle, it represents the more affordable solution for PS3 owners seeking the full Rock Band experience of two guitars, a drum kit, and a microphone--especially as some own both games.

When questioned, the company was unsure regarding Guitar Hero controller compatibility in the PlayStation 2 version of Rock Band, which is slated to release on December 18.

Though Charles Huang, the co-founder and VP of the now-Activision owned RedOctane, previously expressed that the company had little motivation to support the Rock Band guitars in Guitar Hero III, it remains unclear exactly what Activision hopes to gain by actively seeking to limit the use of its peripherals.

"As is the case with the Microsoft Xbox 360, we believe that Sony PLAYSTATION 3 users should be able to use the peripheral of their choice with Rock Band," stated Harmonix. "We welcome all third party developers who wish to support our controllers and will provide any required support in order for them to do so."