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Harmonix achieved two unprecedented purposes with Rock tape 4, and also both compelled a most elbow grease. The studio conceived Rock tape 4 as a platform, designed to support as much of the music the players had previously purchased, and as many of the plastic instruments gathering dust in your closets, together possible.

"People have actually spent good money on your controllers and it appeared crazy to pressure folks who already have an excellent working controllers to buy brand-new ones," stated Daniel Sussman, job manager on Rock band 4 at Harmonix, in an email interview v betterworld2016.org.

Among the obstacles that Harmonix challenged on the instrument front, maybe none loomed bigger than the connectivity conundrum. Wireless rock Band and also Guitar Hero controllers compelled USB dongles on playstation 3, however they connected directly through the Xbox 360 — no extra devices necessary.

PS3 tools work seamlessly with Rock tape 4 on game stations 4 (as lengthy as girlfriend still have actually those USB doohickeys lied around). However Xbox 360 controllers aren"t compatible with an Xbox One, which gift Harmonix through a problem.

The plan

Harmonix co-published Rock band 4 through Mad Catz, and also the latter company handled the breakthrough of brand-new controllers because that the video game — guitar, drum set and microphone. Mad Catz also worked through Harmonix to build the ultimate solution for Xbox tool compatibility. Representatives from both companies said the they didn"t desire to weaken on ensuring compatibility through previous purchase of songs or instruments.

Delivering behind compatibility for controllers would prove to be a lot more facility process on Xbox One 보다 on PS4. Microsoft used a proprietary wireless protocol because that controllers ~ above both the Xbox 360 and also the Xbox One, but the 2 standards are different, making it impossible to usage Xbox 360 peripherals with an Xbox One and vice versa.

"We didn"t have a most options"

"We didn"t have a lot of of alternatives given the level to i m sorry the chip set and an essential wireless an innovation changed between Xbox 360 and Xbox One," Sussman explained.

Asked if this roadblock ever before led Harmonix to take into consideration abandoning the Xbox platform and also supporting backward compatibility only on PlayStation, Sussman claimed no, including that the studio "knew the this was a feature that essential to <...> exist in one all-or-none capacity."

A USB dongle was the only means forward on Xbox. The seems like a an easy solution: build a little piece that hardware the can connect wirelessly v Xbox 360 etc controllers, and also plug it into an Xbox One. The turned out to it is in anything but.

The process

Development on Rock tape 4 began in the last quarter of 2014, claimed Mad Catz"s Richard Neville, senior product breakthrough manager, and Simon Bell, technical director, in an e-mail interview. The USB adapter was part of the setup all along, and Mad Catz operated with Microsoft to construct the device. Bell and Neville stated Microsoft to be "incredibly supportive" throughout the process, offering resources such as vital documentation, old controllers for testing and also connections to ingredient suppliers.

Neville and also Bell provided details on the time-intensive breakthrough of the dongle. Mad Catz"s developers developed a prototype and hooked it up to a computer in order to catch the inputs from a range of Xbox 360 instruments. (The games" microphones have constantly been wired USB devices, so they"re platform-agnostic.)

Here"s just how the "hugely productive manual process" went, according to Bell and also Neville:

Get a host of every Xbox 360 guitar and drum controller they wanted to assistance in Rock tape 4.Wirelessly connect one to the adapter.Try every little thing on the tool — push all the buttons, hit every the pads, flick every the switches, press the whammy bar or pedal, tilt the unit, and much more — to capture all the input data.Repeat for every the other controllers.

Part of the procedure involved tracking under an Xbox 360 engineer that no much longer works for Microsoft to gain some extr development insight. The was "part that Microsoft"s help on the project," according to Bell and Neville.

"It had actually to be smooth for the gamer however I guarantee you a an excellent deal that programming occupational went on in the background to make this possible," lock continued. "There were points in advance where we were important unsure if the adapter would be viable and even work."

The product

The undertaking brought about a maker that Harmonix and also Mad Catz call the Legacy video game Controller Adapter, a name that is descriptive if nothing else. The USB dongle is included in the retail Xbox One version of Rock tape 4, and also raises the price that the video game from $59.99 come $79.99.

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Mad Catz likewise sells the adapter separately for $24.99, although it was hard to discover in stock when the video game launched last month. Neville and also Bell told betterworld2016.org that the dongle " crucial components which room in limited supply," a bottleneck that impacted Mad Catz"s capability to produce the unit in huge quantities, but said the agency is making much more as rapid as that can. (The adapter is now back in stock at Amazon, the only retailer whereby it is available.)

A price hike the $20 is a not-insignificant bump, and could have actually felt choose a bitter pill because that Xbox gamers to swallow. Harmonix and also Mad Catz had actually to walk a fine line in explaining why the adapter was necessary, mentioning the distinctions in wireless connectivity between the Xbox 360 and also Xbox One without speak something as dull as "don"t blame us; blame Microsoft."

The USB dongle to be the just logical choice on Xbox, and also buying the is still lot cheaper 보다 paying for brand-new instruments — the full-band bundle because that Rock tape 4, which consists of the game, one guitar, a north kit and also a microphone, prices $249.99. Bell and also Neville also listed that in ~ the price mad Catz collection for the adapter, no Mad Catz nor Harmonix is make a profit off the device: "What it prices us to manufacture and ship into distribution is what the customer is paying," castle said.