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Harmonix hates the PS3, part deux

As if this story wasn�t enough of an insult to PS3 owners who were eager to purchase Rock Band, Harmonix has given us the shaft yet again. According to IGN, the PS3 Rock Band bundle lacks the four-port powered USB hub that is present in the Xbox 360 bundle. Obviously, this immediately leaves 40 GB PS3 owners out in the cold, as that version of the PS3 only features two USB ports � in fact, Nick Chester�s story on the hub, as well as the IGN story I linked to, both seem to feel that the hub has no bearing whatsoever on 20 GB, 60 GB, and 80 GB PS3 owners. I beg to differ, however � I currently am using up half of my 60 GB PS3�s USB ports with a SIXAXIS that�s plugged in and a USB keyboard. I also have the wireless dongle for Guitar Hero III, of course.

(Yes, I know, my shoop skills are awesome)

My two main gripes with Harmonix leaving out the hub on the PS3 version of Rock Band are as follows: (1) convenience � I�m using my damn USB ports for stuff, as I said, and I don�t want to have to keep plugging in and unplugging those things every time I want to play Rock Band; and (2) it�s just highly unfair (and bad business) for Harmonix to include something in the 360 version that they do not provide in the PS3 version � especially without giving PS3 owners a discount. If anything, charge 360 owners $5 more or something. (Some of you may cry foul at that suggestion and say things like, �Well, that would alienate 360 owners.� But Harmonix is doing that to PS3 owners right now, aren�t they?) I mean, I wasn�t aware that USB hubs were free. IGN mentions that Pelican is putting out a hub that�s designed specifically for Rock Band, but as I�m already paying $169.99 + tax for the game, I�d rather not shell out an additional $24.99 for said hub or ANY hub, for that matter (the point�s moot anyway; the item is backordered).

Of course, people who simply buy their own hubs will run into problems as well � because the hub that Harmonix included with the 360 version must be plugged in, I�m assuming that the four peripherals need a powered hub to work. So if a guy who owns the PS3 version of the game walks into Best Buy, picks up a random USB hub, and then brings it home � only to find out that it doesn�t work � he�s going to be more than a little bit upset. All in all, it seems like Harmonix gleans some sadistic pleasure from PS3 owners who buy their game � that is, they laugh while watching them squirm after the purchase, like schadenfreude. It�s a damn shame, too, because I was unbelievably psyched for this game, but my current level of anticipation could be termed �tepid�, at best, instead. I�ve heard some inklings of a possible future patch to allow the Les Paul controller to play nice with the PS3 version of Rock Band, but this is obviously not an issue that can be remedied nearly as easily as that.
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About Samit Sarkarone of us since 7:56 PM on 12.14.2006

Senior Reporter, Polygon at Vox Media

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