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Xbox 360 Looking Inferior On Rock Band Bundle

Rock Band, quickly becoming one of the hottest games of the year, is looking more like a sore spot for the Xbox 360. Rock Band’s developer Harmonix’s CEO Alex Rigopulos confirmed months of speculation that, indeed, the 360 bundle of Rock Band will contain a wired guitar, while the PS3 version will, for the exact same price, have a wireless guitar.

Rock Band is the spiritual successor to Guitar Hero, developed by the same people and using the same rhythm-based gameplay on unique, musicalinstrument-shaped controllers. The Xbox 360′s wireless technology is proprietary, and Microsoft has been loath to allow other companies to use it, but the finally folded and allowed Harmonix to license it, at a cost.

As a result, the standalone wireless guitar for Rock Band on the 360 will cost twenty dollars more than the same peripheral on the PS3 ($80 vs $60). What’s worse, the full game experience can only be had by buying the full bundle, containing a guitar, drum set and microphone, which costs $200, but the PS3 version will have a wireless guitar, while identically priced 360 version will not. There will be no bundle with a wireless guitar for the 360.

By itself, the game costs $60, the wired guitar $60, the drums $80 and the microphone $30. The entire standalone set will set you back $230, and adding a wireless guitar will make it $250. Buying the game and a wireless guitar, but none of the other peripherals, would be $140. As you can see, there is no financially sensible way to get Rock Band with a wireless controller and all the other peripherals, which is quite a shame.

What’s the point of all this? One of the hottest games of the year is coming out, and because of licensing issues, gamers on the Xbox 360 will be getting an inferior version compared to PS3 owners. The console war is all about differentiation, exclusives, and hit games, and on such a high profile game, to give 360 gamers an inferior version is a quick way to lose a few fans to the competition. Anyone who has $200 to blow on a single game can afford to go PS3 instead of 360, and that’s not the direction Microsoft should be pushing them.

Microsoft needs to bite the bullet and drop the licensing fee on the bundle, at least for the first few months. Take your $20 cut on the standalone guitar and leave the bigger bundle alone for now, since you are ruining your unit pricing versus the competition. There’s no reason Sony should get to win this battle, not when the fix is so easy.

And Harmonix: Stop being an idiot about this. If you are going to charge $20 more for a wireless standalone guitar, charge $20 more for a wireless bundle. Making gamers buy all the peripherals for $250, when it should be $220, just makes you look like morons who can’t do the math. Suck it and add an SKU.

September 10th, 2007 Posted by | General, Sony, Xbox, Xbox 360 | 2 comments

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  1. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. This is great. lol It does not surprise me in the least. I mean, they even charge you 800MS points just to change your damn gamertag name. it’s all about money for damn Microsoft, everything is proprietary. The Hard Drive, memory cards, wireless technology. People will eventually get tired of it and just say screw you Bill Gates and get a PS3 where you have freedom to upgrade your hard drive and use any kind of flash memory to transfer saves files photos or anything you want, you can use any bluetooth headset you want and you can game online for free. You also get a high def movie player, wi-fi and PS3-PSP interconnectivity. I don’t understand why people complain about the price of the PS3 but are willing to pay MS for ecery little thing. Every single PS3 comes with all this and rechargable wireless control instead of forcing you to buy a play & charge kit.The only thing the PS3 doesn’t come with is a headset but gives you the freedom to use any bluetooth headset you want and you wont be tethered down to play you games and chat.

    Comment by Manny | September 11, 2007

  2. [...] 31 of next year, so at this point your only option is to buy the bundle or use an older guitar, which is annoyingly stupid. The standalones all combine on the 360 for $250, meaning there is no point in even considering the [...]

    Pingback by » Rock Band Bundles Cheaper, 360 Still Screwed&raquoInsideMicrosoft-part of the Blog News Channel | October 1, 2007

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