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 herbertfkj

"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." Heard THAT Activision and RedOctane? Where have you buried your heads into when people are complaining about GH3 guitar problems?? << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for redskinStu

How do they know some of these Yahoos aren't just drumming too hard? Come on, you know the kind of guys I mean...

Avatar image for frostbach_basic

"even if you do have a PS3, its still PS3 news, dont bring a 360 in this, we dont need a fanboy war here." Sadly, I think every board is turned into a fanboy war...

Avatar image for roelrdzjr

DAMN IM SO MADD THE SOWN STRUM DOESN'T WORK!!!!!! (at least im building forearm muscle, instead of wrist muscle?)

Avatar image for Gigler

With all of the money that EA has profited as a result of selling us gamers substandard products made in China, why are we not being given a way to request the new and improved guitar hero controller? EA should step up and replace your crap controller. Thank god for Rock Band!

Avatar image for uklegendkiller

What do you expect from a EA produced game it has the flashy look's but you know deep down there's always going to be something wrong...Now they can add something else to their C.V, cheaply produced plastic controllers that break far to easily. For the price they are asking it should be better made than that, there's no excuse really. I'll wait for the kinks to be ironed out before i splash out on this i think

Avatar image for chimeraNZ

It doesn't come out in NZ until January sometime, let's hope they've sorted all these teething problems out by then as I love Guitar Hero and I'm really looking forward to getting into Rock Band as are the rest of my family...

Avatar image for XanderZane

Rock Band as been a BOMB so far anyways. It only sold 78K on the XBox 360 and only 34K on the PS3. Meantime GH3 has sold well over 500K on Wii, PS2 and XBox360. Rock Band cost way to much and after seeing how cheap the instruments seem to be, I can't see many gamers forking over the dough to play this game. Maybe once the price drops below $100 people will give it a try, but for now, I think most people will pass on it.

Avatar image for illisium

I feel this issue could have been avoided if the instruments had been contracted out to the classical Greek god Vulcan, to be forged in the depths of Mt. Olympus itself. Also, they should have been made of mithril and encrusted with seven ancient gems of ultimate power, to provide for maximum rocking potential. These instruments are mass produced plastic crap, and there's a limit to what Harmonix can provide in that regard.

Avatar image for deactivated-57d90c9edb9a1

Harmonix seems very compasionat (dont kno how 2 spell it!) about its customers. So I'll probably still buy it, since they'll send u a replacement!!! that's awesome!!! ps. Hey Cowman.......F*CK YOU!!!!

Avatar image for l337fool

Wow sub par PS3 third party support.... ummm what else is new. Sucks to be 3rd.

Avatar image for vass86

why is it always the ps3?

Avatar image for reactionsok

damn i want this game - hopefully its cheaper next year.

Avatar image for FinalFighter911

boo you ultrazone keep faith in Harmonix and you'll see they will put out on out. Rock has whole downloadable albums you can get online increase the number of songs they had to above GH3 plus once the whole band bundles stop being sold the game alone will cost much less. ultrazone you are a trader to the creator!

Avatar image for ultrazone

Harmonix, what happened? you gave us Guitar Hero. With lots and lots of tracks and a controller that worked well and was durable. Now, you water down your set lists and include songs nobody really loves and make us pay for what should be there in the first place. you give us faulty controllers. all at a 170 dollar price tag. I'm disappointed. Glad I didn't get the first run of Rock Band bundles, lol.

Avatar image for Cowman

Hahahahahahahaa the ps3 follies again! good work EA! you broke something again :)

Avatar image for dante8

W00t for GH 3 and PS3 owners, this is good news, now if only they could get the guitars to work on the original PS2 versions of GH 1 and 2, i so badly want to play the originals on PS3, and side note, please dont comment on you being glad you have a 360, this is more so for us PS3 owners and not you so much, so why are you here in PS3 News? and even if you do have a PS3, its still PS3 news, dont bring a 360 in this, we dont need a fanboy war here.

Avatar image for weisguy119

This is how it's done, Activision. Take notes and get us a fix for the Wii GH3 mono sound issue.

Avatar image for OfficialBed

that's good that they will send replacements right away

Avatar image for gaminfool

PS 3 needs to get on the ball and get acheivment type points. The ONLY reason I have a PS3 is so I can have a Blu-ray player under $500. And to play PS2 games. Though I may get Uncharted. But the PS3 is falling on its face. The Wii can still bite me.

Avatar image for ctg867

The issue is stupid. EA and Activision have to suck it up and let their instruments be compatible like any standalone controller. Get over it. If I want to play one game with one type of controller, let me. If I want to play Rock Band with a damn DDR mat, then so help me God I should be able to. Also, all this crap about all these broken instruments is just pathetic. Come on guys, get your crap together. All the instruments should work out of the box, be sturdy, and not break in a week or two. Don't tell me to not play as hard. Also, they should all be wireless in the box from the start. There should be absolutely no wired instruments, unless I want to plug a USB cable into it to charge it (which it should come with). Or if I choose into a USB hub (which shouldn't break either, the 360 ones have, and should come with it).

Avatar image for dante8

W00t thats excellent news for GH buyers, and side note, dont come in here and say your glad you got a 360, this is excellent news for PS3 owners with GH 1 and 2, and pointless for you 360 fans and braggers to read, so the least you could do is not comment on your 360 console.

Avatar image for dante8

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for SpareJesus

I bought GH3 because I'm a fan of Guitar Hero. I'll be buying Rock Band because I think Harmonix know what they're doing better than Red Octane and Neversoft (whom seem to just be cashing in on the GH franchise with Activision). Makes me glad it hasn't been released here in Europe yet; hopefully the issues with the hardware will be sorted by the time it arrives in the UK.

Avatar image for Land-0-Funk

thats why I bought the 360 version of GH3..after I found out the PS3 guitar was incompatible with the PS2 software I knew it probably wouldn't work with Rock band either so I immediately repaced it..if they had just figured all this out before release I would have bought everything for PS3

Avatar image for cathodic

don't game developers sometimes cheap out on the ps3 versions of games like assassins creed i herd the ps3 version has problems and there is some other game made for the ps3 that is not developed by the big developer like the xbox 360 version but they payed a small company to get it on the ps3

Avatar image for Stammalamma

YESSS!!! I was worried Harmonix would ignore us PS3 buyers. THANK YOU!!!

Avatar image for KingSigy

Thank God Harmonix cares about their customers. It's not like another company I can think of, *cough* EA *cough*

Avatar image for Vulpis

To hodayathink re:andrewhateme --granted, this probably what he meant, but this *isn't* Sony's fault, but it *is* Yet Another Reason to not buy PS3.

Avatar image for Pacrone

Just one Question: Does PS2 GH 1,2 and Rocks the 80s work with the Rock Band Guitar for PS3?

Avatar image for liam72

Hope they fix everything for ps2 version. It's already enough frustrating to have no extra content available, hardware issues would suck hard.

Avatar image for shabulia

Glad I got mine on the 360. I'm having a ball with it!

Avatar image for mad_tyger

Yeah, my guitar was broken right out of the box, totally sucks because I'm still waiting to get a replacement! At least they are going to replace it though.

Avatar image for rtehrani

another_drew; i live in oklahoma and its kinda the same here. rock band is selling pretty well here but i was at walmart the other day and they had at least 15 in stock. but im about 75% redneck, lol. i dont care too much about the game, or guitar hero for that matter. its fun for partys...but i wouldnt play them as a single player game.

Avatar image for Brambler

Wish those damn GH3 guitars would work for the PS3. The Rock Band guitar just doesnt strum as nice

Avatar image for T070Y

the goo thing is that i dont have a ps3

Avatar image for another_drew

to Zevicus man all i find is the bundle, My local Wal-Mart has, literally, pallettes of it. But then again I live in Arkansas, where all we country-bumpkins care about is "wrastlin" and "big trucks." well besides me. im 100% not redneck lol

Avatar image for usedtype

Well, this sucks. Still, kudos to Harmonix to fess up to the problems and working to correct them.

Avatar image for jpfondeur

GH3 on wii plays in MONO !?!?!?!???

Avatar image for dmish82


Avatar image for Zaradis

Man if only activision would send out a report about the Wii GH3 playing in mono sound...

Avatar image for 8smokes

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for lakai0rdie

Too bad the replacement I received earlier was DOA when my first one lasted me about a day. Now I have two broken guitars!

Avatar image for diablobasher

Fad? I dont think so somehow, music games have been around since Parappa The Rappa and even well before that, and they will be around long after Guitar Hero dies out and we all all anticipating Lute Hero and Super Piano Teach 6

Avatar image for Rouge_Hunter

I bought mine at Target and the drum pedal snapped, but hey replaced it pretty quickly with no problems. Pretty good customer service if you ask me.

Avatar image for hodayathink

@andrewhateme: Please explain to me how this is Sony's fault?

Avatar image for Generic_Dude

Good work... my only issue is that I wish I could play the drums without buying the whole package. I have two GH guitars and a 360 headset. I'm not paying an addition 110 for the drum set... I realize it's being sold separately next year, but in the meantime, I should be able to play with a standard Xbox controller, if not a guitar or dance pad or something.

Avatar image for andrewhateme

With all the hits the PS3 is taking, i cant wait until it gets knocked out!!

Avatar image for ScottEFresh

The music game fad can't end soon enough.

Avatar image for yourbeliefs

Ahhh.. once again.. never buy new technology until the kinks are cleared up..