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.