Harmonix: Activision Blocks Rock Band Guitar Compatibility Patch

By Chris Faylor, Dec 12, 2007 1:43pm PST 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."

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34 Threads | 143 Comments*
  • got to be kidding!!!!!

    Smells like "windows" don't it?
    MS and Activision are in bed on this. (maybe helps ease the HD DVD debacle).

    I have RB, and will have RB 2. i figured i'd also get GH 3, WT, and maybe even aerosmith.
    I'd buy one of their guitars, giving me a full band (bass guitar).

    If they think i'm going to buy all their stuff just to have GH they are crazy. So they've lost 3 games and 1 guitar sell. I know lot's of RB fans that would gladly do the same.

    Racing wheels DO work pretty much across the board. Imagine trying to market a racing game, but then telling your customers it;s wheel won't work with Grand Turismo (maybe the best game ever). Would'nt fly

    Activison loses here, and they ask for it.


    The easiest way to divert attention is to BLAME the company that is doing well.

    Harmonix' unethical decision to go public by releasing unconfirmed, taken out of old discussion contex is outright petty.

    There is much more to this than meets the eye. If SONY is not releasing a patch designed by Harmonix, why wouldn't Harmonix find a way to make this happen? If SONY wants to approve a patch for Harmonix that is valid, then it would have been done. What does Activision have to do with this? Red Octane put out a game to offer the people another option to play once people get tired of playing the same game over and over. Unfortunately, it has not gone well. Faulty controlllers, less than projected sales, now they point fingers because they're crying about being able to release a "patch" for the "people" so that they can use another companys guitars with their product. Waaaah!
    I personally would never limit myself by saying that i will never by another EA title since so many developers work for them and i like many of their games. You aren't hurting Activision by boycotting them, but instead Harmonix has now cause massive hate for all developers and employees affiliated with Activision over a red octane product. So the Call of Duty player ifinity ward, treyarch employees have to suffer because of this?
    Fix your own damm game Harmonix and stop crying about whether or not you can hack another code so you can blame them once their product doesn't work with yours...