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Guitar Hero Downloadable Content Announced, Expensive

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the need-my-rocking-to-be-more-affordable dept.

XBox (Games) 133

Ars Technica's Opposable Thumbs blog has the word on the first three downloadable content packs for Guitar Hero II on the 360. The good news is that song selections include tracks like 'Ace of Spades', 'Killer Queen', and 'Bark at the Moon'. The bad news is that buying just three songs is 500 points. "The price of around $2 per song isn't outrageous, but it isn't generous either. I'd also prefer they allow you to buy each song alone, instead of being forced into the bundles. It's also worth noting that if you bought every song in the original Guitar Hero at this rate, you'd pay $97.92. Not exactly a compelling deal."

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133 comments

Worth it... (1)

Alcibaides (1042922) | about 7 years ago | (#18690169)

For the addicts out there, totally worth it.

Re:Worth it... (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | about 7 years ago | (#18690423)

Nah, not when I can use my pre-existing, legally-purchased track of those songs, using a "really great fingering arrangement" (I don't know GH's term for "stepchart") that my friend suggested, at no additional cost, by playing Frets on Fire.

Re:Worth it... (2, Insightful)

nullChris (222844) | about 7 years ago | (#18690487)

Frets on Fire is great for what it is, but it isn't quite the same. When you screw up on Frets on Fire, the part you are supposed to be playing keeps right on playing. Assuming you have a guitar controller rigged up, you can't use the tremolo bar for anything. To some this may seem minor, but to others, that's a big part of how the game draws you in.

Re:Worth it... (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | about 7 years ago | (#18690539)

Why haven't the FoF programmers been able to match that functionality (the tremelo bar and halting music at failure)?

Re:Worth it... (2, Informative)

nullChris (222844) | about 7 years ago | (#18690617)

Guitar hero does not use a regular copy of the song. Most of the songs are re-recorded by Harmonix, and the song is split up into a track for the guitar part(s), and "the rest". So when a screw up occurs, the guitar track is stopped, while the rest of it keeps on playing. FoF allows audio files to be brought in, but these files do not have the instruments split into different tracks. It's already mixed.

Re:Worth it... (2, Interesting)

zrobotics (760688) | about 7 years ago | (#18690637)

I think the real question is "Why did the GH developers decide that the thing that really gets the crowd goin' is pounding the tremolo bar like an insane man? Is there a precedent for this in real life?"

Re:Worth it... (1)

shotgunsaint (968677) | about 7 years ago | (#18690893)

Absolutely... have you seen rednecks go crazy for Zakk Wylde live? It's inexplicable.

Re:Worth it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18693715)

Inexplicable? Not really. He is a dynamic, driven, and talented guitar player. It's no surprise he was Ozzy's second best guitar player, bested only by the incredibly studious and talented Randy Rhoads.

  You'd know this if you didn't spend all your time pulling your pud to the prospect of a tears for qu___s reunion tour someday.

Re:Worth it... (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | about 7 years ago | (#18691453)

FoF supports halting the music. But it only works if you have two-track audio. Otherwise it's all or nothing. Check out some of the indy tracks out there for it, or the ones that come with it, they halt the foreground guitar without halting the accompaniment.

Re:Worth it... (1)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | about 7 years ago | (#18693461)

Basically you need separate tracks for the guitar and everything else. There are a number of indy music songs available for FoF, but most of the fan-made songs don't have separate guitar tracks to work with. FoF also has an "Import" function that can import the songs from a copy of GH1 or GH2 and have the separate guitar tracks. (Or you can search for "Frets of Fire" on Pirate Bay and download them.)

FoF stores the songs audio as guitar.ogg and music.ogg in the song's directory. When you're playing correctly, it plays both tracks. When you screw up, it just plays music.ogg.

Suppose someone was wanting to take a song from their CD collection and make a FoF song. Obviously, the CD doesn't have separate tracks for guitar and everything else. What most people making songs end up doing is just putting 2 copies of the same file as the 2 .ogg files. When you screw up, the music keeps playing, guitar and all, but much quieter. I have downloaded a few fan-made songs that only had the guitar.ogg file. This means that the song cuts out completely when you screw up - very distracting. Of course this is easily fixed by copying the file myself.

"Addicts" already own these songs! (1)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | about 7 years ago | (#18690837)

Anyone who falls into the category of a Guitar Hero addict already owns all of these songs on Guitar Hero 1 for PS2.

But if that's a good deal to you, I'm also willing to sell you your own car. I'm also having a sale on that shirt and pants you're wearing. Totally worth it.

Re:"Addicts" already own these songs! (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about 7 years ago | (#18692293)

Except, of course, for those of us who a) sold our PS2 versions, and b) want the GH1 songs with the improved engine and cooperative capabilities of GH2. Let alone the better graphics, leaderboarding, and all that sort of stuff on the Xbox 360 version.

Re:"Addicts" already own these songs! (1)

Quastor (797378) | about 7 years ago | (#18692819)

Anyone who falls into the category of a Guitar Hero addict already owns all of these songs on Guitar Hero 1 for PS2.

Except for the fact that by purchasing these songs from the XBL marketplace, you get access to:

  1. Online Leaderboards
  2. Multiplayer/Co-op tracks
  3. The improved (read: easier) Hammer On's and Pull Off's
  4. The ability to switch between GH1 and GH2 tracks without switching disks.

While I think everyone would love for these tracks to be sold individually and for cheaper, I still think the advantages of the DLC version over the original is well worth the price.

Re:Worth it... (1)

Mostly Monkey (454505) | about 7 years ago | (#18692035)

I wonder if these songs are already on the disk and only unlockable through purchasing them (the key)? Imagine the justifiable outrage if that is the case. They pulled this crap with Return to Castle Wolfenstein on the original xbox but at least those were free "downloads".

Re:Worth it... (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about 7 years ago | (#18692247)

The downloads are about 10 megs each, which is about right for three songs in DD5.1. Unlike, say, the DDR Universe song downloads, which are 108 KB each, and are pretty obviously just unlock codes for content already on the disc.

Beats iTunes (5, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | about 7 years ago | (#18690255)

Considering there's more than just a song, there's the data needed to sync the game to the music.

Oh wait, Xbox

YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES HOW DARE YOU!!!!!!!!

Fuckin stuff doesnt even have FAIRPLAY on it TO PROTECT ME FROM EVIL

Wait until Guitar Hero comes out for Apple TV. APPLE "GETS IT"

Re:Beats iTunes (2, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | about 7 years ago | (#18690453)

Considering there's more than just a song, there's the data needed to sync the game to the music.

That's little more than transcription. It's a bit of work, considering it needs balancing and testing, but hardly the same level that goes into writing, performing recording and marketting. Not that this has any effect on the end price at all.

and do you really think this is going to be sold completely without any form of copy protection?

Re:Beats iTunes (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | about 7 years ago | (#18692661)

Considering there's more than just a song, there's the data needed to sync the game to the music.

SMPTE is a pain in the ass, but it's fairly lightweight and is well known enough that it should "just work" even on a system that isn't designed for it (like a game console - or any device without a hardware SMPTE clock). It would surprise me if GH used SMPTE, though, since it's not the sort of issue you think about until you get spanked by it in QA. Plus, programmers (especially game programmers) tend to like to "roll their own" and would often rather use their own nasty hack rather than a decent standard.

For those about to rock, we salute you.

Led Zeppelin? (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | about 7 years ago | (#18690289)

When are we going to get some Led Zeppelin?

I'm sure it will be very expensive, but it would be quite thrilling to play "The Rain Song" and "Battle of Evermore." I can't wait!

Re:Led Zeppelin? (2, Informative)

SMQ (241278) | about 7 years ago | (#18690593)

Probably never. Page and Plant have always been extremely reluctant to license Led Zeppelin songs. If you've seen the extras on the School of Rock DVD, you know that Jack Black had to literally beg to be allowed to use about 20 seconds of The Immigrant Song. You won't find Led Zeppelin on iTunes or any other (legal) online music service either.

Re:Led Zeppelin? (3, Interesting)

chill (34294) | about 7 years ago | (#18690761)

"Never" in this context means "When Robert Plant and Jimmy Page die and the next generation greed of the people whose only connection to the music is a check, kicks in."

Re:Led Zeppelin? (1)

Andre_PC (893877) | about 7 years ago | (#18691819)

Sorry to ask you, but why they are always so reluctant about it? Do you know any page with background info on this? Thanks.

Re:Led Zeppelin? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 7 years ago | (#18691987)

"Sorry to ask you, but why they are always so reluctant about it? Do you know any page with background info on this? Thanks."

Go look near the bottom of the page [wikipedia.org] here under the part of Post Led Zeppelin 2000's. There is a brief snippet:

Led Zeppelin have always been very protective of its catalogue of songs, and have seldom allowed them to be licensed for films or commercials. In recent years, this position has softened somewhat, and their songs can be heard in movies such as School of Rock, and Shrek the Third. However Led Zeppelin have remained one of the few bands to not allow the sale of their music on online music stores."

I was really surprised they let the R&R song be used for the Cadillac commercials...and I did notice that there are not even any album covers for their albums to be had from the iTunes store.

Re:Led Zeppelin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18692151)

The Cadillac commercials were originally supposed to use the Doors song "Break on Through". The slogan is still there in the commercial. The Doors decided they didn't want to license their songs to commercials though. Unfortunately, that has changed recently and The Doors have become addicted to money. Nothing is sacred any more.

Re:Led Zeppelin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18693567)

Nothing is sacred any more.
Apparently money is.

Re:Led Zeppelin? (2, Insightful)

AuNuma1 (689600) | about 7 years ago | (#18692243)

I'm still waiting for some Floyd...that would so rock.

Re:Led Zeppelin? (1)

toolie (22684) | about 7 years ago | (#18692947)

"Hey You" is on the first pack mentioned in TFA. Of course, I still need "Comfortably Numb", "Us and Them", oh screw it... everything from "Pulse" would be a good start at making me happy.

I figured Slashdot would understand this. (4, Interesting)

kinglink (195330) | about 7 years ago | (#18690299)

First off let's assume that Microsoft and RIAA takes around 1 dollar (aka Itunes) for the covers of these songs (which is sort of a double dip for RIAA since they can get you for the licensing and likely the music talent also) and Microsoft gets money for distributing the data (They take a good chunk off the top). Then you need the Harmonix group to separate the guitar tracks from the vocals, and the second guitar tracks from the vocals (why this has to be a live recording rather then using an MP3 from Itunes). Then finally you have to make a note chart for all four difficulties as well as a note chart for co-op. Test them to make sure they aren't too hard or easy. And then publish them.

Personally I think this price is fair. It's a touch high, but knowing the RIAA thought pattern I'm sure it's more than reasonable from their first suggestion.

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (4, Interesting)

MeanMF (631837) | about 7 years ago | (#18690367)

They don't have to separate the guitar tracks from the vocals because these are not original recordings..None of them are even performed by the original bands - they're all covers done specifically for the game. Plus these songs were already done for the PS2 version of Guitar Hero so it's not like they had to re-record or do new new charts for any of them.

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (1)

nullChris (222844) | about 7 years ago | (#18690569)

Incorrect, a couple of the tracks are master tracks: "Possum Kingdom" by Toadies, and "Dead!" by My Chemical Romance.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_hero_ii [wikipedia.org]

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (3, Informative)

MeanMF (631837) | about 7 years ago | (#18690613)

Both of those songs were included in the original game.. ALL of the songs in the downloadable content packs are covers.

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (1)

Shenkerian (577120) | about 7 years ago | (#18690591)

If these tracks are enabled for cooperative multiplayer (I've seen no confirmation one way or the other), then each of these tracks probably required a nontrivial amount of reworking. I for one would rather have cooperative multiplayer for these tracks than single player.

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (1)

trdrstv (986999) | about 7 years ago | (#18692501)

They don't have to separate the guitar tracks from the vocals because these are not original recordings..None of them are even performed by the original bands - they're all covers done specifically for the game. Plus these songs were already done for the PS2 version of Guitar Hero so it's not like they had to re-record or do new new charts for any of them.

Ok, these songs were covers but some were master recordings. Also of note, these songs were done for GH1 which had a very primitive co-op compared to GHII. So at the very least there is reworking involved at every difficulty to include a seperation of Lead, and Bass guitar.

At these rates you can get the 'Best version' of those songs at a reasonable price. I can buy the (IMHO better) GHI soundtrack peice meal (& skip songs I don't like) and have it on GHII which is a better game (especially in multiplayer). Or if you simply don't think it's a reasonable price... by all means save your money.

I understand Harmonix's position (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | about 7 years ago | (#18690391)

but that doesn't change my wallet's position. Oh well, in 50 years $2 songs will be a steal at double the price, right? And we'll be paying those prices for the same classic songs!

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (1)

cowscows (103644) | about 7 years ago | (#18690489)

I agree. You can't compare this to the iTMS or any other online music store and then complain about the price. They're not just distributing someone else's music, they're putting a good amount of work into it, and offering a final product of which the music is just a single part.

Think about it in terms of how much enjoyment you'll get from a new GH song. An hour's worth? Is that worth $2 to you?

It would be nice if they'd let you buy just one song at a time though. The bundling is unnecessary, and just makes the perceived price look a little higher.

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (2, Interesting)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | about 7 years ago | (#18690691)

Then you need the Harmonix group to separate the guitar tracks from the vocals, and the second guitar tracks from the vocals (why this has to be a live recording rather then using an MP3 from Itunes). Then finally you have to make a note chart for all four difficulties as well as a note chart for co-op. Test them to make sure they aren't too hard or easy.

Your point would be much more valid if they hadn't already done all of that... 18 months ago. These are all recycled Guitar Hero 1 songs. Most GH fans can play them right now, without spending any extra money, by popping the disc in their PS2.

If Red Octane and Harmonix had recorded some new content, exclusive to Xbox Live Marketplace, that would be exciting, and totally worth it. But they didn't. As it stands, this is just a lazy and obvious cash-grab attempt.

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (1)

nullChris (222844) | about 7 years ago | (#18690989)

Most GH fans, except for those that don't own the PS2 GH1, or a PS2 for that matter. This is on Xbox Live's Marketplace, and I really doubt these packs are aimed at those who have GH1 and a PS2.

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (1)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | about 7 years ago | (#18691123)

Most GH fans that own the PS2 GH1 is most GH fans. Xbox Live Marketplace is targeting the remainder. And within that remainder, those willing to part with more than $2 per song. I hope they enjoy selling to 8 people.

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (1)

toolie (22684) | about 7 years ago | (#18691103)

Your point would be much more valid if they hadn't already done all of that... 18 months ago. These are all recycled Guitar Hero 1 songs.

Can you tell me where to get GH1 with co-op mode?

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (1)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | about 7 years ago | (#18691247)

Well at this rate, you'll be able to download it from Marketplace for $97.92.

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (1)

MooseMuffin (799896) | about 7 years ago | (#18691213)

They had to do all of this for the 48 licensed songs that were included on the retail game. And that only cost $90 and included a guitar controller that retails for $50-$60. That comes to $1.88 per song, including guitar controller and retail packaging. This is $2.08 per song with no guitar or packaging. They are way off the mark on price.

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (1)

Ren.Tamek (898017) | about 7 years ago | (#18691317)

Actually, this is a good point - the largest proportion is almost certainly going to the RIAA, and considering Microsoft's recent spat with Epic about Gears of war content which Epic had originally wanted to give away for free, we can suppose that a large portion of the remaining is going to Microsoft. Harmonix, the people who modified the original content to be a pretty fun game are getting the rest of the money, and the bands which wrote the tunes, having pre-sold their tunes to record companies, are getting nothing. ... isn't that the opposite of how much time and effort has gone into creating each track? Aren't we paying people in reverse?!

78 Cents Per Track (1)

Otis2222222 (581406) | about 7 years ago | (#18691727)

The Guitar Hero II software program launched for $49.99. Let's forget for a moment that the guitar was a separate $30 item since the subject at hand is the cost of the software and music. The program came packed with 40 mainstream songs and 24 "B-List" titles by less popular bands. So there is a licensing cost for those 64 songs. Let's not forget, though, that they also had to go to the trouble of developing the game itself, the models, the menus, graphics, etc..

That means that the total cost of developing the software, licensing the songs, and distributing it to stores was 78 cents per song. And don't forget that includes money to develop and market the game.

How can they not see the disparity here? Anything more than 78 cents per track is too high. Let's throw in 22 cents of Microsoft Tax in there and make it an even One Dollar. That is the price point they should sell these at. Go ahead and bundle them, but charging more than a buck per track is outrageous.

Re:78 Cents Per Track (1)

LordNimon (85072) | about 7 years ago | (#18692153)

Mod the parent up! Everyone needs to realize that the cost for these downloadable tracks is about three times the cost of the tracks that come with the game itself. The price disparity cannot be justified in any way.

Re:78 Cents Per Track (2, Insightful)

kinglink (195330) | about 7 years ago | (#18692533)

Go to a sushi restaurant and buy a set of sushi. Then go and buy each one à la Carte. Why is the set of sushi at a different price? you're getting the same sushi? It's called packaging.

Why is it that I can buy 100 of the same burnable dvds for 1 dollar a disc or less but a single dvd can cost me 2-3 dollars? Because bulk counts too.

Just so you know, in the game industry it works the same way, not just for consumers but you can buy a large amount of label music cheaper than just buying a single song. So there's a slight discount. The consumer bought a pack of 64 songs. Personally I'd have liked to buy 30 of the songs and skip 34 of them, however I'm still paying 50 dollars for them. There's no "choice" involved. These are optional additions and while they cost more, you're buying THESE songs, and choosing which ones to get, don't want to pay 6 dollars for ace of spades and bark at the moon? You don't have to.

Besides the easiest way to avoid this is not buying it. You don't need these tracks but some people want them (I'm in that group) and I'll pay the money for them.

Physical product vs. download (1)

Otis2222222 (581406) | about 7 years ago | (#18693395)

Packaging, eh? The cost to "package" a download is essentially zero. Someone has to put the songs together into the Xbox360 equivalent of a ZIP file and then post them to the Marketplace. It's different when there is a physical product involved (i.e. sushi or single burnable discs). Comparatively, the packaging and distribution costs of a download are a trivial sum.

I'm not sure whether Redoctane or Microsoft deserves the greater share of the blame here. Whoever is responsible is counting on the customer not to have the same attitude you do - namely that there is a non-trivial cost to packaging and distributing a download. I'm not getting equivalent value for my dollar to download the track versus buying an entire game at retail.

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (1)

CyberZen (97536) | about 7 years ago | (#18691769)

Actually, I'd be surprised if the RIAA is getting a penny for most of the content. Remember, most of the tracks are covers. Surely, for the songs by the original artists, there's some RIAA / label negotiaion involved.

For covers, though, we're looking at fees payed to the songwriters, not the performers. The performances probably fall into "work-for-hire" territory. The money for the songwriter goes to ASCAP, not the RIAA. And it won't be near $1 per track sold.

Remember:
RIAA = Labels, copyright holders on the recordings (specific performances).
ASCAP = Songwriters/authors, copyright holders on the music itself.

The RIAA bitches about your downloaded copies of music. ASCAP bitches when the waitress sings "Happy Birthday" w/o the composer gettin' a cut.

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (1)

merreborn (853723) | about 7 years ago | (#18692079)

The RIAA should only be getting 8 cents a track. These are all covers.

http://www.eff.org/share/?f=legal.html [eff.org]

Today, this license allows bands to record (or "cover") another band's song (so long as they've paid the $.08 per copy of the recorded track).

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (1)

hurfy (735314) | about 7 years ago | (#18692831)

But there is SOMEONE performing them, dont they get paid ALSO ??

If that is the people that did the rearrangement so be it, but i bet they have a copyright on their performance. How they get paid for it is the question. Maybe on a per piece basis like others would, or they included it in other costs, or?

How much music is NOT a cover piece? Hell, half of what i hear is a remake from 70-80's or something that was probably a cover of a 60's song....etc

Re:I figured Slashdot would understand this. (1)

merreborn (853723) | about 7 years ago | (#18692935)

But there is SOMEONE performing them, dont they get paid ALSO ??


Harmonix employed a handful of studio musicians to record all the covers. On the first game, most of the guitar tracks were recorded by a single guy, named Marcus Henderson. All the studio musicians got their cut a long time ago. Studio musicians in a situation like that don't get royalties, and don't retain copyrights.

Bull. (1, Flamebait)

MBCook (132727) | about 7 years ago | (#18690305)

I really REALLY like Harmonix. For the rest of this comment, I'm going to assume this is MS's doing, as I like Harmonix and think they are nicer to their users than this.

Let's review. I bought Guitar Hero, and loved it. I bought Guitar Hero 2, and loved it. I've been considering buying Guitar Hero 2 for the 360 (I'd have to buy a 360, which I plan to do when there are enough games I like) because of the downloadable content. I really love the game. I'm glad they are releasing songs from the original (come on Ziggy Stardust!). But let's get real.

Cost to buy all the tracks I liked from iTunes: $50 or so (since they didn't release a soundtrack for a music game... shame).

Or I can also get copies of the songs for Guitar Hero 2 for the 360, in groups of 3, at the low low price of OVER DOUBLE WHAT iTUNES CHARGES. Get serious. No go. I would be questioning a $1 price. This is insane. How about you let me stick my LEGAL, PURCHASED copy of the game in the drive and play the songs off it or copy them to the hard drive so I can play them? Sell me a $10 unlocker that lets me do this.

I was thinking of getting GH2 for the 360. I was thinking of maybe paying the $80 again. Forget it. If this is what songs will cost, they can just forget it.

This is an insult. No more, no less.

Re:Bull. (1)

RSquaredW (969317) | about 7 years ago | (#18690511)

The fingering charts don't grow on trees. You mean you want to pay less than the price of the song for the song plus the five fingering charts included (one for each difficulty level, plus co-op).

I'm sure they'd be happy to let you play your LEGAL PURCHASED mp3 in Guitar Hero...but have fun being like the five year old at the arcade who doesn't have any money and "plays" the demo...

Re:Bull. (1)

MBCook (132727) | about 7 years ago | (#18690577)

The fingering charts were already done for the first game. These are not new songs where they had to create this. The data already existed. They want to sell new songs that haven't been in either game for $2... I could understand that better. But I see this as an insult. The song was already recorded, they didn't need to redo that either. These specific tracks should not be this expensive.

Re:Bull. (1)

nullChris (222844) | about 7 years ago | (#18690919)

Well, for those songs, at most half of the fingering charts were already ready. The second player plays the bass part, or the supporting guitar part. The first guitar hero had the player taking whatever the most memorable melody of the song was, whether it be lead guitar, supporting guitar, or bass. GH1's cooperative play merely had player 1 and 2 switching parts in the song, and basically playing the same exact part.

It's possible that they even reworked the existing charts to further separate player 1 and 2. Either way, at best, only part of the fingering charts were already done.

Re:Bull. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18690561)

Your paying for more than a song you realize? There is work involved in putting each song into the game beyond recording iut.

Ourageous? Seems VERY reasonable to me. (4, Insightful)

cblack (4342) | about 7 years ago | (#18690351)

~$2 a song seems VERY reasonable to me. I can understand the complaints when content is in $10 packs, but I think $5 packs is a good price point. And three songs for around $5 is pretty good in my opinion. People always complain about the price of downloadable add-on content. Sometimes it is justified, in this case the whining seems a bit absurd. I pay $5 for lunch, I pay $10 to see a movie, I'd gladly pay $5 for hours of video game entertainment. Don't you people remember arcades? Don't be so damn cheap and whiny.

Re:Ourageous? Seems VERY reasonable to me. (1)

hansamurai (907719) | about 7 years ago | (#18690451)

Keep in mind that MS Points are not on a 100:$1 ratio, I think it's more like 100:$1.20 but I could be wrong. So 500 points is actually $6. But you did say "around $5" so whatever.

I do agree with you that the price seems fair. Most people are not looking to buy every song from Guitar Hero 1 (or new tracks for that matter), they will pick and choose their favorites and then they'll have a party and buy a few more per guests' requests and that'll be that. The average person will probably buy only two or three packs of songs.

Re:Ourageous? Seems VERY reasonable to me. (1)

JFMulder (59706) | about 7 years ago | (#18690705)

Keep in mind that MS Points are not on a 100:$1 ratio
Well, considering the 360 sells worldwide, your 100:1US$ ratio doesn't mean anything for someone who lives in Japan, Canada or anywhere else, so what's the big deal if it doesn't relate to the US either?

Re:Ourageous? Seems VERY reasonable to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18690683)

It's $6.25 for a pack of 3 songs, so 18 songs = $18.75

We get 75 songs in the game itself for $90 - so let's take just the songs and disregard we get the game itself and the guitar. That comes to $1.20 a song - that's 1/2 of what we have to pay for downloading a song - AND that disregards getting the actual game and hardware for our $90 - so it probably ends up being 4x as much money to download a song as it was to purchase it with the game.

That's why this sucks...don't give me downloadable songs if you're gunna bend me over and give it to me to purchase them - delay your game a month and put them in the game...

Re:Ourageous? Seems VERY reasonable to me. (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | about 7 years ago | (#18691749)

Is it just me or is the math It's $6.25 for a pack of 3 songs, so 18 songs = $18.75 wrong?

a pack of 3 songs for 6.25 means one song costs $2.13 (apx) so 18 songs should cost $38.34 (apx)

Re:Ourageous? Seems VERY reasonable to me. (2, Insightful)

phreak64 (536805) | about 7 years ago | (#18690721)

I think that there's a very valid pattern of complaints over DLC. Not all of it is portable between different machines (the new Halo 2 maps are an example). While, from a strict licensing standpoint, you're not supposed to share your game content with your friends, I believe everyone has let someone borrow a game or taken a game over to someone's house. Portability and borrowing game content is strictly limited. None of it has any resale value at all. If you buy a disc-based expansion pack for a game, that disc has resale value, whether to a private consumer looking to buy your games or to a GameStop/EB. You cannot sell DLC at GameStop. Durability of individual HDD/memory card content is not as reliable, and companies may not host that content forever. What if you buy an extra CoD2 map, and then give your Xbox 360 to a cousin five years from now and the HDD fails. If the map is no longer hosted for download (given that you've already paid for it), how can you retrieve the data? Doesn't work that way for a disc. It's not that DLC is valueless. I've purchased my fair share when I thought it was justified. But $2 a song is significantly overpriced to me when it's over a DLC medium. I wouldn't pay $2 a song if I were buying it on a disc - why should I pay more for a worse delivery format?

Re:Ourageous? Seems VERY reasonable to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18690923)

That price point may be reasonable for Guitar Hero songs that I haven't already bought. I think I would probably be ok with 5$ for three new Guitar Hero songs to play. They would have to be songs I wanted, all three of them at that price, but I would pay it. I won't pay that much for songs off of Guitar Hero I. That is the part that is pissing me off. These aren't even new tracks!

Re:Ourageous? Seems VERY reasonable to me. (1)

The Orange Mage (1057436) | about 7 years ago | (#18691087)

Don't you people remember arcades? Don't be so damn cheap and whiny.
Yeah, I remember paying $1 to play Daytona USA, where the difficulty level on the arcade version meant you could never get close to winning, and paying up to $0.75 to Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, and getting whipped in the first match, and on and on...

Re:Ourageous? Seems VERY reasonable to me. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 7 years ago | (#18691091)

If you saved $5.00 a day you will save over $18,000 in 10 years. Just enough to buy the PS6 and 2 games when it releases.

Re:Ourageous? Seems VERY reasonable to me. (1)

ivan256 (17499) | about 7 years ago | (#18691785)

If you save $5/day at 5% interest you will have significantly more money than that in 10 years. More than $23,000, actually

No suprise (2, Insightful)

OK PC (857190) | about 7 years ago | (#18690375)

I knew this would happen, and people were all happy about downloadable content for Guitar Hero! There are no bargains nor reasonable prices on the XBox Marketplace, its just the way it is. With these, you could buy the actual song for cheaper than that. Can we blame Red Octane, possibly, but with the recent Gears incident I don't think Microsoft are at all innocent in this

Re:No suprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18692569)

Yeah, you can buy the song cheaper than that, but then you can't play along...

Alternatively... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18690403)

You could just get a real guitar, and a copy of Guitar Pro, and enjoy thousands of free tabbed songs on the web. You would also have the advantage of being able to actually play the songs on a real guitar! Am I missing something?

Re:Alternatively... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18691117)

Yes, that is difficult, games are about fantasy.

It's a game, nothing more. (2, Insightful)

Petersko (564140) | about 7 years ago | (#18693655)

"You could just get a real guitar, and a copy of Guitar Pro, and enjoy thousands of free tabbed songs on the web. You would also have the advantage of being able to actually play the songs on a real guitar! Am I missing something?"

Getting good at the guitar takes years of dedicated practice. I've played for over a quarter century. People who buy Guitar Hero are looking to play a game. That means they want something that makes them happy immediately - and it does.

Plus, Guitar Hero is what... $70 or so? Add up a guitar and lessons for a few years, and perhaps you'll see why Guitar Hero is the better bargain for gamers.

choosey begger... (1)

compuguy84 (886540) | about 7 years ago | (#18690407)

I wish they did this for Amplitude. It's a shame that there won't be any others (according to Harmonix).

Getting more than just the song. (2, Insightful)

nullChris (222844) | about 7 years ago | (#18690421)

If you accept the standard $1 a song set by iTunes, then $2 a song doesn't seem bad at all. Considering that they lay out different finger/strum patterns for 4 difficulty levels (Easy, Medium, Hard, Expert), and that it isn't just the song, but the song broken into a few different tracks to isolate the bass/2nd guitar, and lead guitar, the product is quite a bit more than the equivalent purchasable mp3. I'm not sure what cut goes back to the labels/artists, but I'd guess it's similar to iTunes' model.

Even bringing up the total cost of all songs seems disingenuous. People seem to enjoy the ability to buy individual songs without having to buy the whole CD (with associated filler music), and this is no different. Just pick up the packs you like --You don't HAVE to buy all of them.

I believe those people who... (2, Interesting)

TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) | about 7 years ago | (#18690473)

...predicted that "microtransactions" would lead to half-finished yet full-price games where the developer nickle-and-dimes you for content that should have been included in the game in the first place have been vindicated as of late. This whole thing is a PR disaster waiting to happen.

Need proof? Guitar Hero 1 had maybe 30-35 songs, and was priced at $40 for just the game. Guitar Hero 2 for the 360 has around 50 songs, and minus the cost of the controller, it's about $50 alone. That's about $1-$1.25/song, and even lower if you count the cost of the game "shell" itself; a pretty good deal, seeing as you own the rights to use the physical media for eternity.

But, $2/song? For just the songs? Where is the extra cost coming from?

If I had to guess, the greedy developers.

Re:I believe those people who... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18691063)

Or more likely, greedy publishers. The developers probably didn't set the price.

Re:I believe those people who... (5, Interesting)

Mathonwy (160184) | about 7 years ago | (#18691151)

Erm. Excuse me?

Let's look at this a different way. Pretend the 360 doesn't even exist. Guitar hero came out for the PS2 as well, if you'll recall.

Are you saying that GH2 didn't have enough songs in it to be worth selling? That it was "half finished" with a mere 70 songs or so?

Forgive me, but playing it, it sure feels like a full featured game to me. Doesn't seem "half finished, full priced" at all. And "content that should have been included in the first place"? Where are you getting that exactly? It wasn't in the PS2 version. Why should thouse extra songs have "been in the first place", exactly, besides that "you wants them"? It's not like the 360 version is significantly more expensive than the PS2, and so you're "owed" songs. (They're within $10, according to EBgames, and that's with the PS2 one having been out for a while.)

The ONLY reason that (as far as I can tell) you [and others] are complaining, is that you're annoyed that, now that they've provided their full game, they have the audacity to give you the OPTION of adding more content to it, at some price that they set, which doesn't even seem that far out. (I agree with the assessment of "not especially generous, but not unfair, either.") I feel pretty strongly that you got a full game out of the deal either way, even if you don't buy stuff.

You may feel that their prices are too high for add on songs. But I still can't visualize the mental contortions required to get from that, to "clearly vindicates people worried that microtransactions would lead to half finished games". I can only conclude that you are either actively trolling, haven't actually played Guitar Hero 2 and are just complaining on principal, or are misinformed.

Better deal than ringtones, at least! (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | about 7 years ago | (#18690659)

$2 a song seems entirely reasonable. Giving the price of every song on GH is a bogus comparision, because I doubt I'd have bought every song on GH if I'd been given the chance to cherry-pick.

The bundling is obnixious, though. It's like cable and satellite TV, where you pay extra for channels you'll never watch, just so you can get the one channel you actually want.

But compare it with other music-related deals in the marketplace. People pay ridiculous amounts of money for *ringtones* -- you don't even hear the whole song, but you pay many times what you would on iTunes.

People even pay for musical ringback tones [wikipedia.org] (aka CallerTunes, etc) -- they *pay* to make *me* listen to their crappy taste in music. And as a bonus, I suspect I'm paying to listen to it with cell minutes that would have otherwise not been charged. No more "ring ring, hang up". What a deal for the wireless companies -- they get paid on both ends.

How about the songs that come with the game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18690741)

...so I can play them on Frets On Fire?

In comparison its a decent deal (1)

grapeape (137008) | about 7 years ago | (#18690765)

Evidently I suck at GH, three new songs would give me at least couple hours of entertainment, compare it to going to a movie, and it's a freakin bargain.

I think people over-simplify the mechanics of GH, its not like your just downloading three mp3's. I certainly wish I could get the first two packs, unfortunately im stuck with the ps2 version.

Think it's worth it? Put it in context... (3, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 7 years ago | (#18690929)

Some people are suggesting the price is fair when comparing it to music prices online.

The problem is, most XBox live users wont and aren't comparing it to that, they're comparing it to other XBox live content. When you can get Geometry Wars or some other 400 points game on XBox live for less than the price of a 3 song pack, the price of the songs becomes a whole lot less fair looking.

The cost of all 9 songs is more than 3x 400 point full games and is only 100 MS points short of 4 full games. It's also not far off (700 points) the cost of the new Oblivion expansion - shivering isles.

I think quite simply, a combination of of digital music still being rather expensive, Red Octane/Harmonix/MS wanting to squeeze as much out of customers for DLS as they can and then some of the 400 point games being reasonably priced is where where these complaints come from.

One final point worth noting is also that $2 per song is reasonable to some people here, but do those people still find it reasonable if only one of the songs out of the 3 are worth having? That essentially makes it $6 per song you want if you're forced to have 2 songs you neither want nor will ever play.

I do think the DLC for Guitar Hero could be handled a whole lot better - I'll admit I'm new to Harmonix/Red Octane games, they seem to have a pretty decent fanbase but as a first time customer to them, I'm not terribly impressed thus far. I received one of the faulty Guitars and have still yet to hear officially from them (via their site or if they bother to respond to my e-mails) as to how I'm meant to get it replaced - couple that with less than impressive DLC thus far and I have to say they have a long way to go to get in my good books.

Awful pricing... (1)

Iscariot_ (166362) | about 7 years ago | (#18691023)

At this level of pricing, to purchase all 47 tracks from GH1 would cost roughly 7,850 points or $98 USD. That does not sound reasonable. So much for Activision extending the life of GH2 by allowing to you purchase content, it looks like they're more interested in milking GH2 for all that it's worth until the release of GH3 (which is coming out sooner than it should).

No Problem Here (2, Interesting)

PixieDust (971386) | about 7 years ago | (#18691179)

I for one, have 0 problems with this. It would be nice to be able to pick and choose specific songs, but on the flipside of that, I've discovered songs that I never would have otherwise, just because they're already there. This will be much the same for me.

As for the person that made the comment aobut how everything with XBox Live Marketplace being absurdly overpriced let me offer a counter view. I've had the 360 since shortly after it came out, and not until the last few months did I start buying actual 360 games for it. I do, however, have a TON of "XBox Live Arcade" games downloaded. The one I play the most, Texas Hold 'Em, I got while it was offered as a free download. And you know what? I've gotten more enjoyment from the Arcade games offered, at worst about $10 a pop, than I have out of most $50 games I've purchased. Those I generally play through, then lose interest. I will occasionally revisit them (The Sonic Mega Collection I got for the original XBox was one of the best games I'd purchased in a long time, just because it had all the Sonic Goodness (plus some of the mistakes) in one package. I barely play the Sonic games anymore. It isn't that I don't like them, but I've played them a lot. They dont' change much. In a single player game, once you've gone through it, unless it's a TRULY DYNAMIC game, there's not really much left to it. That's where multiplayer comes into play. If the multiplayer fails, the game fails. It has no replay value. With downloadable content, that changes things. Guitar Hero also has the added benefit of being able to play against, or with other people. It has ALL the makings of a GREAT game, with GREAT replay value.

Am I willing to shell out a bit more for a game that is going to provide me with countless hours of good clean fun? Damn straight I am. Everyone else can go sit in a corner and whine and cry all they want, in the meantime I'm going to crank up the sound, and have fun.

It's funny, the most enjoyable games I've played to date on the XBox 360 have been Guitar Hero II, some DDR style game my roomate bought, Texas Hold 'Em, Worms, Need for Speed: Most Wanted. I didn't even buy NFS because I knew the replay value on it would suck. Still, it was fun to cruise around in my souped up Pink Mitsubishi. You hear on the radio "Suspect is driving a Pink Mitsubishi". But we just got the Guitar, and DDR game. We've mostly just been playing Arcade games ont he 360. Oh, and Geometry Wars, can't believe I almost left that one out. FANTASTIC. Other than that, our 360 is used to stream media from our computers. The 360 is far and above the pittance we paid for it (We have the Premium one, 1st-gen when they still came with the media remote), and the content is thus far, more than worth what we pay. I've considered purchasing television episodes from the marketplace as well, and if I could offload them to my computer, I would without hesitation.

Disgusting... (0, Troll)

morari (1080535) | about 7 years ago | (#18691263)

Paying for additional content that is probably, in most cases, left out of the game originally just for this purpose? It's disgusting, and is going to ruin gaming even more than it becoming mainstream popular already had. But hey, whatever, maybe the console kiddies of today just don't know what it was like ten years ago, when the companies would not only continue to add to and patch their games for years to come but also support dedicated groups of unpaid individuals who wanted nothing more than to work hard and release large scale mods... for free! This aspect of PC gaming is going to quickly die out if people continue to be stupid enough to pay for financially insignificant content (horse armor?!)

Re:Disgusting... (1)

morari (1080535) | about 7 years ago | (#18692841)

Troll?! Pff! Come on, this kind of thing is endangering the modding scene, which largely keeps games afloat for far longer than they normally would be. I know I sure wouldn't bother installing Quake 3 nowadays if it weren't for a certain mod (vanilla Quake 2 was better for deathmatch, after all). We're not talking about expansion packs here, which actually add real amounts of content and hopefully new mechanics. No, we're talking about paying a few bucks for a few knockoff songs, many of which weren't even that great when the original artist was doing them. This kind of stuff should be released free of charge, like a patch would be, to thank customers and encourage continuing play. There shouldn't be some kind of superficial market where EVERYTHING has a fee. Just wait until Microsoft brings Live to the PC, then we'll all be in the same, abysmal boat...

Need a better selection that that (0, Troll)

KlomDark (6370) | about 7 years ago | (#18691497)

I'm not paying a fucking cent for Killer Queen. That's one of the most awful crap songs I've ever heard. I'd be embarrassed to play it. I don't really like Queen in the first place, but they could at least release "Stone Stone Crazy" or "Another One Bites the Dust", not sappy shit-rock like Killer Queen.

I suppose next we'll be 'treated' to more shit like Bohemian Rhapsody. What a let down when they had that shit song on Wayne's World.

I'd like to have Bark at the Moon, but if I'm forced to get Killer Queen, I'll just skip the whole thing.

We're averaging zero on the three pack:

+1: Bark at the Moon
0: Ace of Spades - just average. I tend to ignore it on the radio
-1: Killer Queen - Once again, are you fucking kidding me?

Re:Need a better selection that that (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | about 7 years ago | (#18691881)

Killer Queen is not in the same pack as Bark at the Moon. Here's the pack lists: Name: Guitar Hero Track Pack 1 Price: 500 Points Availability: Not available in Asia Dash Details: Bark at the Moon as made famous by Ozzy Osbourne, Hey You as made famous by The Exies, Ace of Spades as made famous by Motorhead, For all song credits please visit www.redoctane.com. Name: Guitar Hero Track Pack 2 Price: 500 Points Availability: Not available in Asia Dash Details: Killer Queen as made famous by Queen, Take it Off as made famous by The Donnas, Frankenstein as made famous by The Edgar Winter Group, For all song credits please visit www.redoctane.com. Name: Guitar Hero Track Pack 3 Price: 500 Points Availability: Not available in Asia Dash Details: Higher Ground as made famous by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Infected as made famous by Bad Religon, Stellar as made famous by Incubus, For all song credits please visit www.redoctane.com.

Here's how the pricing works (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 7 years ago | (#18693199)

They choose a value p such that s(pp > s(p+1)×(p+1) and s(pp > s(p-1)×(p-1), where s(p) is an estimate of the total sales at price p.

Now then. Let's look at what happens to this equation when we add the extra costs of transcription t. Well, looks like there's no t in the equation, so what happens is nothing at all! So even if they could get the content for free, and convert it for free, they'd still charge the same amount for them because this maximises their profits, and maximising profits is what a typical business tries to do.

Trying to justify the price on grounds of cost of production is extremely naive.

Separate Tracks (1)

asLEEpy (1075353) | about 7 years ago | (#18693285)

There seems to be a misunderstanding of sound engineering here. In this current day and age, it's not possible to seperate different instruments/vocals into separate tracks from a master recording (with a few RARE exceptions). Mixing sound only really happens in one direction, you can mix a multi-track studio recording into a single track master recording, but not a single track recording into a multi-track recording. Guitar Hero requires separate tracks for the guitars/basses so that they can be fed through the corresponding stereo channels (if it's multiplayer, etc.) and so they can be partially muted when you miss notes without having to mute the entire song (note that the rest of the band is still playing when you screw up). This is why almost all of the songs had to be covers, so they could be re-recorded into multiple tracks during a studio recording. Notice that the few songs that aren't covers are all recently new and recorded, and I can gaurantee Guitar Hero was given the multi-track studio recordings to these songs, which is the only reason that they would need to make a cover in the first place. That being said, all the original Guitar Hero songs probably had to record new Training tracks and CO-OP tracks (unless they happened to keep their studio recordings from the first game with a bass track), so they had to do atleast SOME work to move these tracks to Guitar Hero 2. $2 is still kinda high I think though....

More than just the song (2, Insightful)

rhs.coder (1068158) | about 7 years ago | (#18693413)

As others have mentioned, there's more to this than the RIAA "double-dipping":

-The fingering charts. As others noted, RedOctane employees have made these charts for four levels, and any StepMania fan knows that it's not quite an easy job to match icons to timed, sometimes rhythmically-complex music. RedOctane has skilled musicians/nerds doing this dirty work, and they require money.

-Re-recording the songs. A lot of people are missing this--maybe because the covers on Guitar Hero are so well-performed and recorded. Not only are some older releases (think the 60s and 70s rock) not up to scuff in quality, but one must think about the track issue. To think that each artist's studio has kept each individual track in storage for decades is naieve, and that's even assuming that RedOctane had access to the studios' recordings--or that some of the originals were even recorded track-by-track.

We're also assuming that even IF RedOctane had access to each track AND that they were, as a whole, up to scuff, that, when soloed, the bass/drum tracks alone or guitar track(s) soloed are absolutely perfect in technique.

Re-recording songs takes expensive studio time (the tracks are well-produced) and bands also cost money. Not only the cover bands, but:

-RIAA, record label, and royalty fees. It goes without saying that each part are taking their fair (or, in the case of the RIAA, maybe not so fair...) share for each song licensed.

-Microsoft and game production fees. I'm not an expert on how Microsoft and publishers push online content, but I assume someone's paying for the bandwidth these downloads chew up--and it may be the developers/publishers.

Clearly, with all the fees involved, $2 isn't so bad: Microsoft's refusal to sell the songs a-la-carte is just annoying.

DRAGONFORCEEE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18693827)

But will it have Dragonforce?

Fairly well priced (1)

Anamanaman (97418) | about 7 years ago | (#18693911)

Wow... I can't believe the outrage. I'm guessing it's mostly stemmed from the disinformation that the original guitar hero game had 47 songs in it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_hero [wikipedia.org]

Sorry, the 17 independent songs don't count. There are only 30 career mode tracks, which are the ones anyone would care about. If you bought all of these, it would be $62.50. Fine, a bit pricey but most people will only buy what they really like. They should bundle all 30 songs for 40-50 bucks, but it's not a big deal. I'll definitely buy maybe three or four packs (20 bucks worth) and be completely happy with it.

I just hope they release the upcoming 80s pack on 360 via downloadable content. The price point is perfect.
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