Harmonix cops to Rock Band problems

Developer says it's working to make non-Rock Band PS3 controllers compatible and pledges to replace faulty hardware.


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A rock band without turmoil is hardly a rock band at all. It's appropriate, then, that Harmonix is experiencing some issues with the launch of its multidisciplinary rhythm game Rock Band.

First and foremost, PlayStation 3 Guitar Hero III controllers had originally been expected to work with Rock Band, but that turned out not to be the case. This might have been a mild inconvenience for those who purchased the $170 Rock Band bundle that includes drums, a microphone, and a guitar. It was a much bigger deal for buyers of the $60 stand-alone version of the game, since individual Rock Band instruments won't be sold separately until next year.

However, Harmonix today told would-be rock stars steeling themselves for many-a "Silent Night" that it is working to fix compatibility issues with PS3 guitar controllers. But given Harmonix's split from Activision-owned Guitar Hero publisher RedOctane, the GHIII controller--which is the only other PS3 guitar peripheral on the market--is never mentioned by name.

"Some 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," a Harmonix representative said. "Please know that these issues have our full attention. We are listening and we read everything that is posted on our forums. We are committed to providing the best play experience possible and working hard to ensure that we solve these problems as soon as possible. We promise to keep you updated and, in the meantime, we thank you for your patience."

There's also no guarantee that those who went with the bundle will be spared Rock Band-related headaches. After numerous reports of broken strum bars on the Fender Stratocaster guitar controller, Harmonix also acknowledged that there were some issues with the first batch of the guitars.

"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," the representative said. "We want to inform you that we have since identified and fixed the issue in all subsequent production runs of the guitars."

As for reports of other Rock Band hardware failures--such as snapping drum-kit pedals--Harmonix and publisher MTV Games pledged to stand by all the game's hardware. "If you are experiencing a problem with your guitar or any of your other Rock Band instruments, simply visit the customer support website and we will send a replacement immediately."

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Avatar image for colebob

They actually sent my replacement really fast, it only took 2 days. The only problem is the star power doesn't work, and I don' t know if I should even bother sending it in again (if that's even an option) Great game, but the quality of the hardware was disappointing at best.

Avatar image for vonderheezy

Hey, at least they're sending me an EA game free for the wait after they took so long with replacing my broken guitar.

Avatar image for Smokenem

XBOX 360, Bought at launch. Strum bar broke the first night. Kick Pedal snapped within the week. Yellow Drum pad not working as of last night. For those with real bass pedals, you can easily make your own kick by wiring a reed switch to a 3.5 mm jack, taping the switch under the pedal and putting a magnet on the bottom of the kick pedal. Works like a charm and you can kick as hard as you like.

Avatar image for motokofan

lol and by "we will send a replacement immediately" they mean in a couple weeks even though you use the 2-day air mail. Ordered for a replacement on 11/24 and I am yet to see a new guitar. At least they SAY they fixed the problem. Sadly some people are getting problems with their replaced guitars. OH NO!

Avatar image for knightboat

My drums are too loud. FIX! >_

Avatar image for ThickFreak

Don't go to any CNet websites on Monday, including GameSpot!! Get back Jeff!!!

Avatar image for lemec78


Avatar image for UnknownPerson55

For everyone that has a 2-day air guitar replacement: I work for a shipping company (the one that starts with a u and ends in an s; not allowed to say it on here) and would like to tell you that the 2 day in 2 day air doesnt include saturday and sunday. If you dont receive your guitar or whatever in two business days, then contact the shipping warhouse that the box came from if you really want to cause a problem. Waste of time though, theyll probably just give you $5 off your next shipment. This from a company that make $4billion profit each year; ahhh, i wish they would pay me more...

Avatar image for dragonbattousai

Glad I'm not the only one wondering where my "2-Day Air" Guitar Replacement is. I hope they aren't trying to gip us waiting to ship them on the last week of the 28 day express deal.

Avatar image for Dan2002sk8er

I've been waiting on my PS3 guitar for about a week now. I hope there is a patch for the GHIII controller to work when I get my new Guitar I can Play 4 player. I've played 3 player and it works great but 4 player would be way cooler. P.S. what freezing issue does the PS3 have. the only time it freezes is when I play Assassins creed I rented it for 360 to see if it was just the game and it was Assassins creed freezes equally on both platforms. at least that is the only freezing problem I've ever had on either console. My Wii has never frozen and there is now Wii Assassins Creed so I don't think I have to worry.

Avatar image for faceman420

still waitin on my 360 replacement controller...... 2 day delivery my arse

Avatar image for MasterChief725

typical EA, making PS3 owners (in this case) buy more of their crud

Avatar image for rav44

Go Foo Fighters.

Avatar image for ChickenHounk911

My Rock Band works perfectly! I am having a blast...

Avatar image for GreenC4T

Wow. In a way it's good that I didn't get it at launch. Hopefully by the time I buy it all issues are under control.

Avatar image for foolwestcoast33


Avatar image for jackanderson

RaiKageRyu? You're an idiot or a fanboy. I'm glad Harmonix is busy working to fix said problem but this does not concern me because it's not out in the UK yet.

Avatar image for RaiKageRyu

Simple solution, Stop developing for the PS3.

Avatar image for leapfrog91

"This is disappointing. I feel bad for PS3 owners (myself included). I haven't bought Rock Band yet. Now I'm glad I waited. The PS3 version of many multi-platform games seems to have a little trouble. I guess you can only blame the developers. It's not like the PS3 lacks the power." Wow, that's nice. Blame the developers for Sony's POS developer support.

Avatar image for syrik22

I bought the bundle pack and my guitar that came with the bundle is having issues with the strum bar. It sucks a bunch. But they are fixing it with no questions. Too bad they make me put a down payment $125 to have them ship me a new guitar before shipping another out. I don't have that because I just bought the whole bundle. So I have to go a week or two without a guitar now. On the plus side, the drums work perfect and are so much more fun than playing the guitar anyway, at least for me =D

Avatar image for lamplan

Another weak take not really committing to anything by harmonix. Abuse of customers should be no business' practice. Shame on you.

Avatar image for greater_bird

Really, how hard would it have been to just test the game with a GHIII controller? I honestly think they probably *did*, and knew about the compatibility problems before the game shipped (but not early enough to actually change the shipping, so they just stayed quiet about it, and started work on fixing it for when the players noticed).

Avatar image for Dominic0904

thank god, now when i get GHIII i don't have to worry about it not working with rock band, now i can stop worrying when the UK release comes i wouldn't have to go back to get new guitar every few days :D

Avatar image for HokiePorter

That is awesome, I'm going to get the game because I really like playing with the X360 Guitar so as long as they are compatible then here I come Rockband

Avatar image for polsci1503

I know they spent a great deal of time making sure the equipment was going to hold up (I saw an interview on Gamehead about it), sounds like it is a manufacturers issue instead and not a development snafu. I guess it turned out better to wait a bit and let them work out these issues.

Avatar image for blooky

The amazing part is upon release they were saying it worked....makes you wonder if anybody had the brains to actaully do a little testing to back up that claim. My guess would be no.

Avatar image for Burniz

Yeah HokiePorter the GH3 guitar is compatible with Rock Band!!!!

Avatar image for HokiePorter

Is the GHIII guitar for the 360 going to be compatible with Rockband? If so I'd definitely buy the game.

Avatar image for freezepopbryan

Really, I am a huge fan of Rock Band - and Harmonix, in general. I'm rokking the PS3 version, and my strum bar did break a little - but they 2-day shipped me a new one. I think that's awesome customer service and great backing for the product. I'm 100% satisfied, even if my GH3 guitar doesn't work on my PS3 version. Harmonix has labeled it as a problem and are going to fix it. So really, I don't see anything wrong about the whole situation. I'm in love with Rock Band. Even if the price tag is $180 - it comes with 3 freaking instruments. I think it's an awesome value. Then again, I am just a noob with a PS3, or so it would seem.

Avatar image for deadkingdg

southernzombie At least they are admittin there is a problem and are actually willing to attempt to fix it, while sony says the ps3 freezing issue is an intended feature....what a load of crap Yeah, because all my PS3 games freezes on me... NOT. Assassin's Creed and Oblivion are the only games to have freezed on me, and I heard the same about the X360 and PC version(Oblivion)

Avatar image for yournotloggedin

With Microsoft after taking the bull by the horns with the T.R.O.D. issue it really shows that consumers arent as compliant as before. More feedback is getting back to the devs these days so theres more pressure to fix a game and its perhirerals. Im what would be called an old school gamer now and even if you go back 10 years if a game/hardware came out broken it just stayed that way. No dev forums then. These devs are finally waking up to the idea if you listen to consumers and take care of them youll get brand loyalty in return and make a fortune. maybe not this time round when you spend the money to fix whats broken but for the next one and the next one after that. Thats how devs think not what there making money on now but what will they will be making money on next year or in 5 years. Youre turn sony europe.

Avatar image for southernzombie

At least they are admittin there is a problem and are actually willing to attempt to fix it, while sony says the ps3 freezing issue is an intended feature....what a load of crap

Avatar image for bacchus2

I guess this is a small bonus for having to wait until next year for the games release in Oz, when these issues will have been ironed out. While these things are unfortunate, it would appear they genuinely want to fix up any problems for those experiencing the issues.

Avatar image for s0njas0n

i haven't had any problems with mine yet, and i hope it stays that way, at least they are addressing the issue.

Avatar image for SonicTheMonkey

Hmm, this makes me wonder if I should buy it now with some potential hardware problems, or wait 'till around xmas time when these issues should (hopefully) be fixed...

Avatar image for Jedilink109

I asked for this game for Christmas and I'm hoping that I can have everything in good working order and all that when I get it hopefully. :P I'm just hoping my set is in great condition. :D I can't wait, this game is a lot of fun. ^_^

Avatar image for rockstar_88

I played Rock Band for the first time today with three other people: that had to be the most fun multiplayer experience I've had since Super Smash Bros. Melee. For some reason, I lost all interest in the lead and bass guitars and now all I want to do is either sing or drum.

Avatar image for DarkS2K

The plastic part under my yellow drum pad snapped and now doesn't work. I wasn't even hitting it hard =\

Avatar image for PseudoFinrod

I am unsure of which version of both GHIII and Rock Band to buy. On one hand, the 360 versions have achievements, as well as a well-integrated social system. On the other hand, the PS3 versions have wireless controllers-which will allow me to pull off some Pete Townshend-type moves when no one is looking :-) I'll have plenty of time to decide while they iron out the kinks, though-the Great Game Avalanche of 2007 has drained me. That, combined with the obligatory Christmas shopping (gotta show my love for those who are important to me), will keep me broke until next year.

Avatar image for ddskater828

so i was about to get rock band this week....should i wait?

Avatar image for Gamemaster1588

roelrdzjr I am suffering the same problem you are. I am so pissed! I was in the middle of a song and suddenly started failing and then afterwards I noticed down strum doesn't work.

Avatar image for ObjectiveTruth

Wow i really feel bad for those with a PS3. I bought 2 GH3controllers for the 360 to play guitar hero and rock band when it came out and its great. I didn't have to buy the package and instead i just bought the game. And plus, i dont need to buy a mic, since i can use the XBL mic instead.

Avatar image for Gamemaster1588

I am one of the people with a broken strum bar. I sent out the order for a newe one on Wednesday last week. Yes, the day AFTER if came out it broke that quick! And the UPS website still says billing information recieved. Not only that but they charged my Debit card $100 instead og $1.25 to make sure it was existent so they can charge me if I don't send back the old guitar. Upon calling them the idiot on the phone said "Oh, well, they must have changed it from $1.25 to $100"....I don't think the left hand knows what the right is doing!

Avatar image for nocoolnamejim

Something like this isn't enough to lower Rock Band to the same criminal 8.5 rating that Gamespot gave Mass Effect for extremely minor technical issues?

Avatar image for blindsided82

Yeah, as for shroomy, talking about the price is kinda null and void, as those that only want to play the guitar only have to buy the standalone game (same price as any), and the Rock Band downloadable song bundles are much better priced than those of GH, especially considering they are programmed for not just the guitar, but the drums and vox. Oh, and the upside that you actually have the choice to download the songs individually if you want. So talking about the Rock Band price being a downside? It's only a downside if you plan on playing it all by your lonesome like you would GH. Otherwise, it's a hell of a deal if you get your strumming, drumming, and singing friends to pitch in like me and mine did. It's fun to be able to switch off too instead of just being stuck with the guitar all the time. Great party game, because let's face it, not everyone wants to strum all the time.

Avatar image for osxgp

This is disappointing. I feel bad for PS3 owners (myself included). I haven't bought Rock Band yet. Now I'm glad I waited. The PS3 version of many multi-platform games seems to have a little trouble. I guess you can only blame the developers. It's not like the PS3 lacks the power.

Avatar image for xboxfreak1

Actually shroom76, were you not paying attention when guitar hero 3 came out. It was riddled with problems. I talked to my local best buy manager where they sold over 50 guitar hero 3's and 22 of them came back broken! Then again it was activision's first time making guitar hero so there were problems. this is the first time harmonix has done an entire band so there will be problems. It just takes time to iron out the kinks. and as far as the drums and singing being somewhat the same as real life, that's what makes it rad and gives you the feeling that youre actually making music versus in real life where most of us can't.

Avatar image for MfumeRising

"My name is "shroom76" and the #1 reason my game is better than yours because it has better name recognition!" Go get 'um tiger! Face it punk, Rock Band is every rhythm game fanatic's fantasy come true (in theory). By the time they drop a couple patches and send out all the new equip, this game will go from great to immortal! Guitar Hero series is still amazing fun but it's essentially the exact game as Guitar Hero OG.

Avatar image for shroom76

this crap is why guitar hero 3 is gonna mow you down rock band. 1. its name alone 2. its price 3. stuff that works so what if its a better game, the drumming and singing are essentially drumming and singing in real life. there is NO POINT in getting rock band

Avatar image for MfumeRising

To all you fanboys rejoicing in this PS3 issue - eat sh**. Fanboys are nothing more than deadbeats who can't afford both systems and have plenty of time to post on boards. Get a life. Rock Band is amazing but also a GIANT headache as my drums are shorting out constantly and my guitar is possibly broken. Not to mention the GH3 bs on which I wasted $100. Yes I have an XBox...my goal was to be completely wireless. So to all you Xbox fanboys: I hope your wired RB guitars knock over whatever pisspoor valuables you have lying around your mom's living room.