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Why is Rock Band's guitar so broken?

Nov 27, 2007

Our Rock Band guitar is broken. Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth. But it seems we're not the only band suffering this anguish, as the high number of gamers reporting the exact same problem painfully illustrates. But why is the guitar breaking in the first place?

Here's the problem - after a weekend of seriously dedicated play, our guitar has stopped 'registering' the down strums on the strum-bar, making it effectively useless. Surprisingly, the drum kit is fine, despitebeing on the receiving end of one hell of a pounding now we've finally got to grips with 'hard'.

Harmonix says it's a software issue, issuing a patch when the first breakages started being reported. The gamers say it's a hardware problem, with one forumite going deep into the guitar itself and reporting what appears to be a clear manufacturing error. Meanwhile, EA is offering a returns policythat's getting good reports from complainants.

We got in touch with EA Europe for ourselves, and here's what it had to say about the matter:

"Rock Band is a new platform featuring advanced technology both in the game software and with the peripherals. Despite our extensive product testing and quality control procedures there is a small percentage of expected failure consistent with other products of this nature.

"In the event a player has issues with their equipment we will repair or replace it at no charge to the consumer. It is our goal to have a high level of quality and 100% customer satisfaction."

It seems clear from this statement that, yes, it is a hardware issue - otherwise we'd expect to be told of upcoming 'fixes' or patches. So will Harmonix release a newly manufacturedguitar? Since gamers won't even be able to purchase extra peripherals (thus enabling a second strummer to join the action) until next year, we'd wouldn't recommend holding your breath.