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Harmonix Alleges Activision Blocking Compatibility Patch

Harmonix Alleges Activision Blocking Compatibility Patch

December 13, 2007 | By Christian Nutt

December 13, 2007 | By Christian Nutt
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Rock Band developer Harmonix Music Systems has released a statement accusing Activision of blocking a patch which would allow Guitar Hero guitar peripherals from working with the PlayStation 3 version of Rock Band, as the developer intends.

The statement reads, in part, "Harmonix and MTV Games... 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."

According to Harmonix, the company developed a patch to enable compatibility with Activsion and Red Octane's Guitar Hero III guitar for the PS3, which was approved by Sony and tentatively scheduled for release on December 4 -- until Activision "objected to the compatibility patch's release... We have been told that it will unfortunately not be released due to Activision's continued objection."

Harmonix originally created the Guitar Hero franchise, developing the Guitar Hero, GHII and Guitar Hero Rocks the '80s before being acquired by MTV Games. MTV recently released Rock Band on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 with distribution support from Electronic Arts.

While the PS3 version's box contains the legend that it works with most guitar peripherals, it is not compatible with Guitar Hero III's guitar on PS3 -- the only other guitar available for the system. The Xbox 360 version of Rock Band works with both the GHII and GHIII guitars. It is not currently possible to buy a separate Rock Band guitar on any platform -- it is only included in a full bundle which also includes the game, microphone and drum peripherals.

Gamasutra has yet to receive an official comment from Activision or peripheral maker RedOctane, and will update this story should either company respond to the allegation.

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