Posted by Chris Scott Barr on Dec 12, 2007

Breaking News – Activision bars Les Paul compatibility patch for Rock Band

Rock Band PS3

So, as most of you probably know by now, the Les Paul Guitar Hero controller for the PS3 does not work with Rock Band. Thankfully last week Harmonix completed a patch for the PS3 version of the game that allowed this controller to work with Rock Band. The patch was submitted to Sony, but wasn’t made for download. So what happened?

Rumors have been flying around as to what actually became of the patch. The most prominent being that Activision (publishers of Guitar Hero 3) stepped in and barred the patch from being released. Sadly, today that rumor was confirmed. Here is the post from the official Rock Band forums from the Harmonix team:

PS3 Guitar Compatibility – UPDATE 12/12/2007

Hi Everyone,

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 compatibility patch’s release. 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 will also adopt this philosophy.

The Harmonix Team

I’m not one that normally tells people to go out and contact companies to try and reverse their position on something, but this is an exception. I suggest that if you’re a PS3 owner that likes to rock out, contact Activision and kindly ask them to change their ways. Don’t be rude about it, after all, they do have every legal right to bar the patch.
Hopefully they will discover that people will go out and purchase Guitar Hero 3 controllers for the purpose of playing Rock Band. The lack of compatibility won’t stop people from playing the game, so they might as well cash in on it while they can.

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