December 7th, 2007, 03:22 Posted By: ICE
When Guitar Hero III was released for the Nintendo Wii on Oct. 28, would-be rockers got a bit of a shock when they plugged in. It turned out the game - advertised as being in stereo and supporting the Dolby Pro Logic II surround-sound standard - was outputting in mono.
Gamers began posting on IGN and other sites the day the game launched, citing examples of the problem and asking for clarification from publisher Activision/Red Octane. For the past few weeks, Activision has remained mostly silent on the issue. But today, in response to our questions about the issue, the company told IGN it is working on the problem and it plans to have a fix available early next year.
"We recently became aware that some consumers have not been able to enjoy the full audio output in the Nintendo Wii version of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. We are currently working with Nintendo and are planning to issue an improved audio experience in future versions of the game," said Activision spokeswoman Rhy-Ming Poon. "We expect to have re-mastered discs available by early 2008 and we will be offering consumers replacement discs at no cost once they become available. We thank all of our customers for their support and patience."
Since the issue first came to light there have been 970 posts about the problem on the company's official Guitar Hero III message boards. In the posts, users say they e-mailed Activision technical support about the issue as early as Oct. 29 and reportedly received this response:
"We are looking in to it right now. The time frame is still unknown at the moment we are still looking in to the problem."
We recently tested our copy and confirmed that there is an issue with the game's audio output. IGN's retail copy of the Wii bundle of Guitar Hero III lists the game as being compatible with Dolby Pro Logic II on the box, on the game and in the game manual. The manual also tells players they can turn stereo sound on or off in the game's audio settings menu.
However, the version of the game we tested did not list it as an available option. Making sure stereo was turned on in the Wii's main menu, we rocked out to Foghat's "Slow Ride," using headphones to listen to the audio output. Both the left and right audio channels produced the same output – a mono signal.
Guitar Hero III was developed by Neversoft, ported to the Wii by Vicarious Visions and published by Red Octane – all of which fall under the Activision corporate umbrella.
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