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Sony: The Great Uniter

Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero: World Tour, and Rock Revolution will all have some form of interoperability... on the PS3, anyway.

Pretty interesting update over at the PlayStation Blog this morning from Michael Shorrock, Director of Third-Party Relations. While we've all been anticipating a huge mess of incompatibility when it comes to this year's world-ending flood of new plastic instruments and the music games that require them, Sony has been quietly plotting. Scheming, even.

Actually, they've stepped in to act as an intermediary between Activision, Harmonix, and Konami to give those guys a neutral party to communicate with and, ideally, work out all those pesky compatibility issues. The end result? All that stuff will play at least reasonably well together.

So that means you'll be able to get at least a basic level of gameplay out of Guitar Hero: World Tour, Rock Band 2, and Rock Revolution using any of the equipment from those games. On top of that, Guitar Hero and Rock Band 2 will work with SingStar microphones.

This seems like it's a great development for the people out there who are trying to decide which game to get and the people who have already realized that their homes can't handle two sets of video game drums, let alone three. The other winner in this has to be Konami. With Rock Revolution playing the back to the twin titans of the genre, I can't imagine too many people are seriously considering it and its collection of covers over a pair of games that feature the actual artists.

But when you remove the hardware requirement from the equation, Rock Revolution suddenly becomes a far more attractive proposition. Now you're just buying what might as well be a song pack to use with instruments you already own. And if you're looking for a quick fix of new material to tide you over between downloadable content releases, maybe Rock Revolution will suddenly make some sense. If I were Konami I'd scrap my weird-looking drum controller and focus solely on selling software to people in this exact scenario.

This also puts a little heat on Microsoft to step up and make sure the same thing is happening on the Xbox 360 (though it sounds like at least some of the instruments will already be cross-compatible this time). It sounds like most of the touchy-feely negotiation work is done already... so they'll just need to sweep through and make sure everything is at least somewhat interoperable.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
38 Comments
Posted by Jeff
Pretty interesting update over at the PlayStation Blog this morning from Michael Shorrock, Director of Third-Party Relations. While we've all been anticipating a huge mess of incompatibility when it comes to this year's world-ending flood of new plastic instruments and the music games that require them, Sony has been quietly plotting. Scheming, even.

Actually, they've stepped in to act as an intermediary between Activision, Harmonix, and Konami to give those guys a neutral party to communicate with and, ideally, work out all those pesky compatibility issues. The end result? All that stuff will play at least reasonably well together.

So that means you'll be able to get at least a basic level of gameplay out of Guitar Hero: World Tour, Rock Band 2, and Rock Revolution using any of the equipment from those games. On top of that, Guitar Hero and Rock Band 2 will work with SingStar microphones.

This seems like it's a great development for the people out there who are trying to decide which game to get and the people who have already realized that their homes can't handle two sets of video game drums, let alone three. The other winner in this has to be Konami. With Rock Revolution playing the back to the twin titans of the genre, I can't imagine too many people are seriously considering it and its collection of covers over a pair of games that feature the actual artists.

But when you remove the hardware requirement from the equation, Rock Revolution suddenly becomes a far more attractive proposition. Now you're just buying what might as well be a song pack to use with instruments you already own. And if you're looking for a quick fix of new material to tide you over between downloadable content releases, maybe Rock Revolution will suddenly make some sense. If I were Konami I'd scrap my weird-looking drum controller and focus solely on selling software to people in this exact scenario.

This also puts a little heat on Microsoft to step up and make sure the same thing is happening on the Xbox 360 (though it sounds like at least some of the instruments will already be cross-compatible this time). It sounds like most of the touchy-feely negotiation work is done already... so they'll just need to sweep through and make sure everything is at least somewhat interoperable.
Staff
Posted by jyurakyumihawk

Pity the penniless players.

Posted by spiceninja

This is great news. Now I can just buy the World Tour bundle and get Rock Band 2 on it's own without all the instruments.

Posted by TheWesman

I can see the day coming.  That day that all plastic instrument controllers will be treated as equal.  Even the hideous ones that Konami is making.  And maybe, just maybe on that day.  All musical pretenders will be able to play together, no matter WHAT Rock simulator they're using.

It will be a beautiful day then, my friends.

"Until all are one." - Optimus Prime.

Posted by Mourne

It was already confirmed that Guitar Hero & Rock Band instruments will be compatible on the 360, so we'll all be OK.

Posted by Cube

That's pretty cool.

Posted by Sestren

Wow, this is good news. Actually, it wouldn't make sense at all if this didn't come to pass. How could people be expected to buy multiple sets of fake instruments? That was lunacy. This is the only option that makes sense unless these companies expected players to choose one franchise only, thereby causing Harmonix, et al. to lose money. So I suppose it was inevitable in the end?

Posted by dexterslu

thank the rock gods.

Posted by JohnDudebro

I'm pretty sure Microsoft is doing the same thing. Rock Band and Guitar Hero are compatible over there. They just haven't come out and announced it the same way.f

Posted by Ontheocho

Finally; common sense prevails

Posted by The_Icon

Awesome news.

Posted by sociald1077

This is what the console makers should have had in place a year ago when the shit hit the fan between rock band and GH.

Posted by deaux

I wonder just how 'basic' that functionality will be.  Good news though.
NB: Typo in the last line "...everything it at least..."

Posted by Erdie

It's one of those things that's hard to imagine any other way.  These plastic accessory-based games need to play nice together.

Posted by MetalGearSunny

Wait a minute...will the old Rock Band controllers work with GH:WT and Rock Revolution?

Posted by imayellowfellow

wow who wouldve thunk sony actually doing something to save us money!!

jk i love my playstation

Posted by Diabolo

It's a good deal for the customers AND the publishers because more compatibility means more games sold and then, maybe more microtransactions. And Konami is indeed gonna see the benefits of this deal.

Good to see that Sony stepped up to make it happen...
Posted by GalvanizedNails

wow, thats awesome news! sadly no ps3 for me though :( Hopefully Microsoft does something similar, since theres no way ill buy more than one set of instruments

Posted by TheGTAvaccine

Yeah Konami needs to ditch those weird drums, and do a software only iteration.

Posted by aurahack

Shouldn't this be the same case on 360 as well?

I'm pretty sure I remember hearing about Microsoft forcing a universal control system across controllers both first-party and third-party. Maybe I'm just imagining this. Whatever the case is, as a PS3 owner, this is great news :D

I mean, not that I'd get the GH bundle anyways. I'm going to get the Ion Rocker set, if this is true, then I'm set for World Tour as far as peripherals are concerned. 
Posted by Arrers

That's good news for the consumer, and I hope that it does put pressure on Microsoft for this sort of thing.On the other hand it might ont work, as I'm pretty sure most online play on Ps3 are free and microsoft hasn't made online play on xbox live free.

Oh well we live in hope.

Posted by Kohe321

Wow! Great job sony!

Posted by Kontrapunkt

Sony for Victory!!!

Posted by Shinedown220

Really cool news. I'm glad Sony is starting to improve third party relationships. Hopefully they get the old instruments to work aswell.

Posted by Spiritof

Sony is like the Dr. Phil (good) of rhythm game counselors.

Posted by Shocker

still won't make me get Rock Revolution..
Posted by MisterMouse

Cool idea hope it works out...

Posted by nail1080

Why does this say only PS3? The same news applies to xbox 360

Posted by calf_exercises

that is totally awesome, now I will be able to get both GH and RB. This is the best news I have herd all day

Posted by RHCPfan24

Good news.  Hopefully the Xbox 360 will have the same. 

Posted by albedos_shadow

I swear to god, if Microsoft doesn't do this...

Posted by Aaron_G

I am so glad that we will be able to use what ever instrument we want with these games.

Posted by kennybaese

Now the Wii instruments just need to work together and I'd be happy. But somehow I don't see that one happening...

Posted by Paradigmer

Finally a world where plastic instruments can live in harmony!

Posted by Yossarian

If this means that my stuff from the first Rock Band will work across the board, it makes it far more likely that I will be picking up the Guitar Hero games as well.  As far as I can tell, everybody wins?

Posted by lawb

Yes, this is great news. The best thing to do would be to get GH: WT and buy the Rock Band 2 and RR game discs without all the extras. Thats 1UP for the PS3 at this time.

Posted by ocdog45

this just means more rhythm games are coming out since developers don't have to sell hardware.

Posted by Latentk

Man, enough with the MS business. The ONLY reason this is a big deal is because Sony stood in the middle while Activision and Harmonix bitched and moaned towards each other regarding GH3 and RB controller compatibility. MS never had problems with this issue, while PS3 users were left out. Why you are even posting on a thread explicitly relating to Sony is beyond me, troll more noobs.

With that said, this is awesome news! I was looking to buy just a stand alone RB2 guitar and game or ask for it for around Christmas time. Great news Sony!