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Activision Blocks Rock Band PS3 Update, Harmonix Responds

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Rock Band for the Xbox 360 supports the Guitar Hero III wireless Les Paul controller. Sadly the PS3 version of Rock Band does not support the Les Paul, but it is not for a lack of trying. Harmonix created a software patch that enables PS3 owners to use their Guitar Hero III guitars, and it has been approved by Sony. However, this patch will not make it to gamer's hands because of "Activision's continued objection."

This is just bad form on the part of Activision. Adding insult to injury, you cannot buy extra guitar controllers for Rock Band (or Guitar Hero III, for that matter) until after the holidays – neither company is selling stand-alone controllers until then. This leaves PS3 owners out in the cold, even though they may have a guitar for Rock Band and for Guitar Hero III. On the flip side, Guitar Hero III does not support the Rock Band Fender Stratocaster on the Xbox 360 or PS3.

Lets hope that Activision sees that they are hurting both games — and in the end, gamers — and allows the PS3 patch to be released.

Full statement from Harmonix and MTV Games:

As we have said in the past, Harmonix and MTV Games believe in an open standard philosophy of hardware and game compatibility. We think that there should be interoperability between music instrument controllers across all music games. This is clearly in the best interest of consumers, game developers and console manufacturers and will only help to grow the music game genre as well as inspire innovation and creativity.

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 compatibility patch was submitted, approved and had been scheduled for release by Sony on Tuesday, December 4. Unfortunately, Activision objected to the release of the compatibility patch. The patch remains with Sony, but we have been told that it will unfortunately not be released due to Activision's continued objection.

As is the case with the Microsoft Xbox360, we believe that Sony PLAYSTATION 3 users should be able to use the peripheral of their choice with Rock Band. We sincerely hope that Activision will reverse its decision and allow release of the compatibility patch and further, that Activision will allow Guitar Hero III to support Rock Band guitar controllers as well. 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.

We believe that when consumers have choice, everyone wins. Harmonix and MTV Games hope that Activision and others in the industry will also adopt this philosophy.

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