Hallelujah: Sony ensures peripheral cross-compatibility between music games

Ever since E3, potential buyers of Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour on the PS3 (a group that includes yours truly) have been wondering if they’re going to get the same privilege as 360 owners: that is, the cross-game compatibility of instrument peripherals. During a not-E3 press conference, Activision confirmed that, at least on the Xbox 360, Guitar Hero World Tour can be played with Rock Band instruments.

However, PS3 owners haven’t been afforded the same courtesy. You see, Microsoft implemented rather draconian standards for Xbox 360 peripherals, demanding that they be built to a unified specification. You can look at that as a bad thing, but all 360 controllers have to “talk to” each other — and no such requirement is in place on the PS3, which is why third-party wireless peripherals need USB dongles. It’s a much more free system, but as you can see, it has its drawbacks.

According to the PlayStation.Blog, Sony has been working diligently with Neversoft/Activision, Harmonix, and Konami, in order to guarantee that the peripherals for the upcoming music games from those companies will work with each other. I’m happy to report that they’ve succeeded on that front, and here are the details: the guitars and drums for Guitar Hero World Tour will work with Rock Band 2 and Rock Revolution; RB 2’s drums and guitars will work with GH WT and RR; the drums for RR (aside: curiously, Konami hasn’t announced a guitar peripheral for that game yet) will work with RB 2 and GH WT; and finally, RB 2 and GH WT will support the SingStar microphones.

Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on whether those games will feature legacy peripheral support (e.g., will GH WT work with the drums and guitars from RB, like on the 360?). But take heart, PS3-owning music gamers: “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.”

[Via PlayStation.Blog — thanks, Joe!]

Samit Sarkar