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PlayStation (Games) Entertainment Games

Sony To Set Compatibility Standards For PS3 Music Games 89

Michael Shorrock, Sony's director of third-party relations, announced on the Playstation blog that he's been working with the major music game developers (i.e. Rock Band's Harmonix, Guitar Hero's Activision, and others) to ensure basic compatibility for peripherals between the games. Joystiq has a compatibility matrix that shows which devices work with which games. "...Rock Band 2's guitar and drum set will work with Guitar Hero: World Tour and with Rock Revolution. Conversely, Rock Revolution's drum set will work with both Guitar Hero: World Tour and Rock Band 2. In addition, Guitar Hero: World Tour and Rock Band 2 will both support the SingStar microphones. We're still working hard to ensure compatibility between the Guitar Hero and Rock Band titles currently on the market, and we hope to have an announcement on that shortly." Update: 8/20 17:38 by SS: Reader TheWolfkin notes that Microsoft has now made an official announcement to do this as well.
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Sony To Set Compatibility Standards For PS3 Music Games

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  • Sanity Prevails (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bestinshow ( 985111 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @03:06PM (#24662695)

    Holy battlesnakes! That actually makes sense! Thanks Sony!

    • towards Sony is making me feel dirty.
      • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @04:48PM (#24664265)
        It's a pretty obvious gesture after you've seen the frustration it causes people. Still, it is pretty surprising for Sony. Perhaps this is the beginning of a brand new era of Sony not actively annoying their customers.
        • Oh I'm sure (Score:1, Troll)

          by goldcd ( 587052 )
          they've got another proprietary memory stick standard in them, an entire division trying to foist ATRAC on me in some other guise and get SonicStage back onto my PC.
        • by SenseiLeNoir ( 699164 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @07:34PM (#24666235)

          You would be surprised, if you actually looked at the PS3, and even the PSP with recent firmware you would be suprised at how "open" these so called closed systems are.

          Take the PS3. It was hammered on launch, for being too little too late, and too costly. Now, with recent firmware updates, and its overall better hardware design (no Red Ring of Death), has now made it a decent games system, a phenomenal Blu Ray, and upscaling DVD/DivX/Xvid/media player. Anandtech has revised its original 6 out of 10 score to now 9 out of 10, with high praise.

          Connectivity? Standard WiFi, Ethernet, USB and Bluetooth are all there. Even the controllers use bluetooth, no proprietary wireless standard. You can even connect the PSP wirelessly via stanard WiFi or internet.

          Running out of ports/sockets? No worries, they are just standard USB 2.0 ports and you can use a normal USB hub to expand them. No need to any proprietry crap to extend the number of ports on the unit. The controllers charge from the USB ports using normal USB A to Mini USB cables. (you can use standard USB chargers too, like a Motorola V3i, or Blackberry charger)

          Need a Keyboard or Mouse? No problem, just either attach a USB one, or get a bog standard Bluetooth one.

          Need a universal media player? You got that! BlueRay, DVD, VCD, DivX/Xvid (its actually DivX certified), AAC, MP3, and a growing list of media support. It also acts as a standard DNLA client, so can pick up media from other computers, and DNLA media servers via the network. I have got it to work with Nero Home server, Windows Media Player, TVarsity (FOSS), and even a Nokia N95.

          You want to run Linux on a PS3? no problem, it works, support is built to boot other operating systems (under a hypervisor). Sony officially supports Yellow Dog Linux for PS3, but there are versions of Ubuntu, Fedora, and others. There is work in porting Myth onto the PS3.

          You want additional Hard Drive Space? No problem, just replace the built in hard drive with a larger standard SATA 2.5inch drive. The manual event explains how to do it.

          Proprietary Memory Cards? No way! It uses standard USB Storage Devices. No need for proprietary Memory Cards. Backups can be done to normal USB Drives. Those lucky ones who got an earlier 60/80gb PS3, have built in Card Readers too (CF, SD, MemoryStick). The PS3s that don't have memory card readers, you can easily attach a USB version.

          Home Brew? Didnt i say it runs Linux? In fact there is a YouTube video of some masochists, booting Linux on their PS3, then running Windows XP in VM Ware, crazy, considering there is not a LOT of memory there!

          Its a very good system, and I bought it without any question, and am still pretty amazed at what it can do, certainly for its price.

          Oh, and I recently bought a Sony 40Inch Bravia 1080p LCD, for £650 with 5 year warranty from Costco. This is actually cheaper than a similar Samsung (and i feel better performing).

          Maybe they are only changing in some markets, but lets see.

          • by Raenex ( 947668 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @07:41PM (#24666305)

            Home Brew? Didnt i say it runs Linux?

            You don't get full access to the hardware. I agree on your other points, it's a nice system.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              Yes the two main things you dont have access to are the GPU (which i cannot fully understand), and parts of the Blu Ray handling, not surprising as they dont want Linux Access to help facilitate piracy do they? :)

              • by bentcd ( 690786 )

                Yes the two main things you dont have access to are the GPU (which i cannot fully understand) . .

                Presumably because they don't want to see a thriving market for unlicensed games with high-quality graphics, which could easily happen if, say, Linux had full access to the GPU.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by amorsen ( 7485 )

            In fact there is a YouTube video of some masochists, booting Linux on their PS3, then running Windows XP in VM Ware, crazy, considering there is not a LOT of memory there!

            Those would be fakes then. PS3 is a PPC-based system. VMWare doesn't run on PPC. You could do it in Qemu, but it would be so slow that there would be no point.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            AnandTech gave the PS3 a 9 out of 10!? What the heck? We have never reviewed the Playstation 3. Here's what we've written on the PS3:

            An article when Sony introduced the PS3 []
            An article discussing the internal technology of the PS3 (and 360) []
            And an article covering it (and the Wii) at E3 2006 []

            We have never reviewed the PS3, in fact we don't even use point scores. I'm not sure if you have us confused with someone else or are trying to attach our name to the PS3, but in either case I'd like to make it clear

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by The-Bus ( 138060 )

            Their XviD/etc. video playback is still not entirely awesome, although I haven't checked since the last update. The PS3's wireless connection keeps dropping out, making streaming sometimes a chore; the Wii doesn't have this problem. Some files that the 360 could play, the PS3 couldn't.

            I finally used the memory card slot the other day. I took out the SDHC card in my HD camera and put it into the slot. The card came up on video and the AVCHD video from my Canon camera played back without a problem.

            The only th

            • by donaldm ( 919619 )

              The only thing the PS3 lacks as a great BD player is analog outs for audio. You're stuck with HDMI (great if your TV or receiver has it) or you have to use optical, which can downmix the audio depending on the format it is in.

              You are wrong on this, it is very easy to configure the PS3 to output in composite (ie. video - standard definition plus L/R stereo - ok but!) or component (ie, L/R stereo - ok but! plus 3 video cables - upto 1080p) or you could use optical sound (on a good sound system it's fantastic) or you could use HDMI. Of course if you really want you can mix your outputs.

              I normally use HDMI for my video although I have tried component which also looks and sounds great. Since my sound system has HDMI switching I don

              • by The-Bus ( 138060 )

                Sorry, I meant 6-channel analog outputs: left and right fronts, left and right rears, center, and subwoofer.

                Optical is better than your regular red/white analog jacks, but it's not better than HDMI. Optical cables are limited in the bitrate of information they can pass through, so they downmix audio to a lower bitrate. This "downmix" is still DTS quality so it probably doesn't affect 95% of people.

          • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

            1. No games I really must have.
            2. For a game system I find it expensive.
            3. I don't care about blue ray and I can get an UP converting DVD player that handles Divix for under $50.
            4. Linux is crippled on it. You can not use all the hardware so it is at best a toy.
            5. Sony. Rootkit DRM loving Sony. The only company that seems to out Evil Microsoft.

            I still may end up getting one because my wife Loves Singstar. The hard drive swaping is nice but the lack of games that interest me keeps me from buying it. I

          • Home Brew? Didnt i say it runs Linux? In fact there is a YouTube video of some masochists, booting Linux on their PS3, then running Windows XP in VM Ware, crazy, considering there is not a LOT of memory there!

            1. There is no PowerPC hosted VMware
            2. There is no Windows XP for PowerPC

            It has to be QEMU running x86 on powerpc or the video is fake. QEMU is impressive, but it's no where near native speed. And Windows games have a lot of difficulty with the videocard that QEMU emulates.

            Running Windows on a PS3 is a toy, in the future try not to present it as anything else.

            • I was mistaken to use the term VMWARE, and did originally mean to just say "Virtual MAchine", that was part tiredness, part typo. Bt I have followed up, on that, as someone much earlier than you also pointed it out. If you read my follow up, yes i said i was mistaken in assuming it was VMWARE, and I understod it as QEMU, I also posted some videos on you tube of both XP and Vista running on the PS3

              I NEVER implied that Running Windows XP on the PS3 is anything more than a toy (I said there are some masochists

      • towards Sony is making me feel dirty.

        Don't worry, Microsoft just announced they are doing this too.

        "For the record, we also do that, so consider this an official announcement. All the instruments from Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero: World Tour, and Rock Revolution will be cross-compatible." []
    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
      You really shouldn't take the battlesnakes' names in vain.
    • Now if only they could make these peripherals work across platforms. Aren't they all USB and bluetooth anyway?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        ironically only Sony's "Own" PS3 uses normal BlueTooth and USB for its connectivity (see my above post). The XBOX 360uses a proprietary Wireless Standard, and stuff. The Wii uses Bluetooth I believe, but it has some weird wired connectors.

        Actually I have a beef with Guitar Hero, why the HELL does it use a weird USB propritry wireless dongle on the PS3, when they could have just made a bluetooth guitar? Maybe scared that people will use it on other games, or with a PC?

        Just a waste of a USB socket, and a wast

  • Can you please make it compatible with my wallet?

    • by powerlord ( 28156 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @03:46PM (#24663409) Journal

      Can you please make it compatible with my wallet?

      Isn't that what they are doing?

      By trying to make the game makers "play nice" and getting instruments cross-game compatible, buying an instrument for one game means you only need to buy a game to play the second game, instead of needing to pay for a new instrument as well.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Or you can buy both games without instruments, and since there's a standard on how the instruments work, you can buy third party instruments that are cheaper and work with both games.
  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @03:10PM (#24662757) Homepage

    Right now, it's a complete crap shoot.

    The guitar which came with Rock Band for the Wii is a piece of crap, but it can't use my Guitar Hero guitars. For reasons completely unknown to me, the USB guitars from RB for the XBox don't even work with the USB hub that comes with RB on the Wii.

    How is it even possible that a USB guitar isn't compatible across those two platforms unless RB only has support for the wireless guitar they issued for the Wii?

    The idea of having to buy a whole separate set of instruments for GH4 drives me nutty.

    It really would be good for someone to enforce some standardization so the consumer doesn't end up getting gouged.


    • by PrescriptionWarning ( 932687 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @03:18PM (#24662923)
      today's word is Proprietary
    • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @03:37PM (#24663251)

      For reasons completely unknown to me, the USB guitars from RB for the XBox don't even work with the USB hub that comes with RB on the Wii.

      You can blame Micro$oft for that one - their "not-quite-USB" controllers utilize a so-called "security" signing system that prevents so-called "unauthorized" peripherals from working, and M$ are being assholes about letting any but a few companies that have paid a butt-ton for near-monopoly access to the platform make anything.

      For another example: M$ completely refuses to allow X-Arcade sticks [] to work, despite numerous attempts by the makers to PAY for the privilege of making an adapter.

      And that pisses me off. I'd LOVE to play certain Live Arcade titles with a real arcade stick, for crying out loud.

      • Please explain why some folks around here can't reverse-engineer this and release some keys? I mean, being USB-based removes a whole ton of time-consuming factors. It ought to be simple. But then, I'm not a cryptography expert, and I could be overlooking something obvious.

        • by Moryath ( 553296 )

          For a home-brew setup, it's possible.

          For a company that did that? SUICIDE. Micro$oft would blow them out of the water with lawsuits - and no, it doesn't matter whether they were "legal" to reverse engineer it (which is doubtful given the Digital Milloonium Crap Act and the fact that M$ lies about it being a "security" feature), it matters that M$ would tie up their business in the courts and bankrupt them in legal fees and lawyer costs.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ckthorp ( 1255134 )
            Actually, Lexmark lost the case that has allowed toner cartridge manufacturers to produce aftermarket ID chips for toner refills. The same reverse engineering for compatibility precedent likely holds in this case too, though it will be expensive to convince M$ of that fact...
            • by Moryath ( 553296 )

              The problem is that in order to do this, you have to get through M$'s shyster squad.

              Unless it were Sony somehow deciding to bankroll this type of challenge, there's no way. Nobody has the money to deal with all the tons of legal filings and paperwork M$ would throw at them. And the remaining companies (the ones who couldn't afford to pay the butt-ton of money to M$ to get in on the ground floor of the xbox$360) don't have that kind of cash.

              Remember, X-Arcade are kind of a "little engine that could" company

              • So the solution is to open source the X-Arcade button-to-USB microcontroller firmware. Then some enterprising folks could just make an unofficial firmware patch to their USB controller to make it go for anyone who felt like it.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                Why would Sony bankroll this? They themselves use standard USB controllers on the PS3 and probably dont give a shit about a few pissed off XBOX users, who may just go out and buy a PS3 instead

          • Really? Then do explain why HDFury still exists - it's the same basic precedent (removing the protections on an electronic device to electronic device communication) but noone's suing them...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) *

        I recently sold my X360 due to all the noise it makes, however there's several other reasons I'm glad I've stuck with my PS3. (although I'm sure I'll be labelled the PS3 fanboy, surprise surprise)

        Free wifi built in
        Non proprietary hard disk, substantially cheaper to change over.
        Free online service (slowly improving too)
        No stupid timed demo releases (Xbox Live Gold vs Silver)
        The standard 'official' MS headset had worse sound quality than a 4'rd party cheapo bluetooth headset on my PS3 (I was surprised too)

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I have some more plus points about the PS3 in a post I wrote above (linux, standards, etc).

          I disagree with the PS3's bluetooth remote being a flaw. I understand that it makes it harder to integrate with a universal remote. But i very much believe that universal remotes have buttons for the PS buttons.

          but it has its advantages, like no need for line of sight, which i think outweigh any disadvantages.

          I am not surprised that the PS3 bashing have reduced. When it came out, it was a fantastically engineered devi

          • MS are on the other hand already muttering about a Xbox 720 :)

            I am not entirely sure you're right about this, Microsoft totally soiled their name with the Xbox 1 when they dropped it like a sack of dead babies (admitedly, I do know why they did it and financially, they had to) however consumers are tired of buying overpriced consoles to get overpriced games.

            The 10 year lifecycle rumours for the PS3 also partially extend to the 360 as far as I know, I've got no doubt they are researching new machines already but I think you'll find we won't see them on shelves for at l

            • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )

              I think this whole 10 year lifetime stuff is just empty promises anyway, they all promise it until they release their next console, then only the biggest sellers survive. Sony had the biggest seller two times in a row and of course kept those around for longer but I doubt they'd do the same for the PS3 unless it magically gets the biggest sales numbers. Of course if any of them scrambles to get to the next generation the big question would be what to add. Sure, Nintendo could catch up on the system power fo

          • by Moryath ( 553296 )

            Owning both, I'm really disappointed with the PS3 - mostly because the game library STILL sucks (well, that and the buy-online game selection has its issues).

            I have my issues with the 360 as well, but I deal with it. A solid library of games, PLUS all my XBLA titles (including the fantastic original Prince of Persia release with the updated graphics), PLUS my Rock Band that works with the GH controllers... sorry, but Sony's PS3 sits there a fantastically overpriced upscaling DVD player and very little else.

            • Owning both, I'm really disappointed with the PS3 - mostly because the game library STILL sucks (well, that and the buy-online game selection has its issues).

              Owning both, I'm really disapointed with the 360.
              Mostly because the good games on the system are either, also on PC or also on PS3, there's few 360 ONLY exclusives, infact the PS3 has many good games which have come to neither system.
              Furthermore it's been out for less time.
              Oh and the ones I do pick up, I don't need to pay a fee to play them online!
              (Well, I no longer own both, I sold one of them because it was so frustratingly loud, I found myself genuinely not using the system due to the noise, no I'm not j

        • by Khyber ( 864651 )

          "PS3 is far from flawless (bluetooth only remote? jesus!) "

          Wrong. When plugged in the controller goes into USB mode. Also, most any other controller works just fine with the PS3, including my first-gen USB wireless keyboard/mouse combo (One of Compaqs first models) and my Thrustmaster Firestorm joystick.

          • This was more from a universal remote perspective, 99% of universal remotes don't speak to bluetooth devices.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Considering both the PS3, and the Wii use standard Bluetooth, why the HELL are they even using USB wireless dongles in the first place?

      • To reduce the type of hardware they produce. The Rock Band guitar works on both the PS2 and PS3. With the number of PS2 systems still selling, it's more economical.
  • and yet... (Score:5, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @03:10PM (#24662759)
    And yet none of them will be compatible with my Samba Di Amigo maracas.... *sniff*
  • to own more plastic, game based instruments than i own real guitars, basses and amps. Granted, these games are fun...but it's getting a little out of control. I hope Nintendo and MicroSoft follow in the footsteps of Sony.
  • Won't that require either a Playstation button on the Wiimote, or a dedicated peripheral that doesn't use the Wiimote for the Wii version?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cblack ( 4342 )

      The compatibility they are talking about is just within PS3 games and peripherals. That is, Rock Band 2 instruments working with Guitar Hero: World Tour games and vice versa. It also appears that Rock Band 1 instruments will work with GH: WT as well as RB2.

  • Guitar Hero 3 on the PS3 is a disaster. The only official guitar you can use is the wireless one that came with the game, and the USB wireless dongle seems to introduce some random lag and note drops (should've used the built-in Bluetooth). But you can't use the wireless GH3 guitar to play GH1, GH2, or GH80s on the PS3. And you can't use the wired or wireless old GH guitars on the PS3 without a third party adapter that doesn't completely work.

    (I just bought what appears to be the best of the third party

    • Regarding the inability to use older GH guitars on the PS3, you cant really blame Sony. It was the right thing for Sony to switch to Bluetooth, and USB in in the PS3.

      I also cant believe that Activision screwed up with the stupid dongle on GH3, when the PS3 has built in Bluetooth.

      • by jonwil ( 467024 )

        More than likely Activision did not want to spend the $$$ it would have taken to get the Guitar Hero guitar certified by the Bluetooth standards body.

  • by Mr_eX9 ( 800448 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:53PM (#24665815) Homepage
    My understanding is that a console is supposed to be a standard in the first place...Sony, MS, and Nintendo all screwed by allowing the Rock Band/Guitar Hero compatibility problems to exist. MS at least screwed up the least by forcing Activision to use the 360's controller standards, resulting in the GH guitars working with Rock Band and no wireless dongles. The RB guitar doesn't work with GH2 or 3, though...I suspect it's a software issue.
    • by Tacvek ( 948259 )

      Rock band: World tour is supposed to support all controllers on all platforms (except for possibly the Wii).

      Similarly, the Wold Tour instruments apparently work on all games on all platforms (except for the Wii). (There might be a physical switch for GH series compatibility.) (And obviously drums do not work on guitar only games.)

      It would be nice to see some level of PS3XBOX360 compatibility but that is probably asking too much.

      Of course, I've never even played any of these games, so it does not really matt

  • I've got a question that I've wondered about for a while. Maybe someone on Slashdot can answer it for me. Is it possible to use an XBox 360's Rock Band guitar controller on a PS3? I know it doesn't work the other way around because of the XBox's nonstandard USB system, but I'm hoping that maybe the Playstation just ignores the added junk. Anyone tried this?

  • Given that yes these are the US versions of Japanese games. What about the Beatmania series of games: Beatmania 1-6 Beatmania 2DX v 3-13? Dance Dance revolution US&JP Drum Mania , bucketloads of them Guitar Freaks 1-LOTS Sony?

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler