Rock Band 3: PS3 Instruments Delayed

In preparation for the release of Rock Band 3 next week, we throught we'd do a bit of investigating. The availability of the game is not in question - it will definitely go on sale next Thursday - but questions with regards to the availability and the pricing of the new instruments still remain.

Finding information on instrument availability turned out to be extremely difficult. EA are distributing the Rock Band 3 game but the instruments themselves are being made by Mad Catz, which means they're being distributed by a completely different company in Australia: a company called Home Entertainment Suppliers.

We managed to get in contact with Home Entertainment Suppliers and quizzed them on the details. In terms of availability, a limited stock of Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii controllers, including the new Keyboard peripheral, have already been sent to EB and JB Hi-fi and should be ready for launch this coming Thursday. There has been a problem, however, with stock on the PlayStation 3 and Home Entertainment Suppliers has estimated that it will take at least another three weeks for the new PS3 instruments to hit stores.

But then there's the issue of pricing. There seems to be a massive discrepancy between what we are paying for the instruments in Australia, compared to the pricing in the US and the UK. Here's a quick comparison...

US Pricing (from Amazon) Rock Band 3 Wireless Fender Mustang PRO-Guitar Controller: $149.99 Rock Band 3 Wireless Pro-Drum and Pro-Cymbals Kit: $129.99 Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard: $79.99

UK Pricing (from Game UK) Rock Band 3 Wireless Fender Mustang PRO-Guitar Controller: £119.99 Rock Band 3 Wireless Pro-Drum and Pro-Cymbals Kit: £119.99 Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard: £69.99

Australian Pricing (From EB Games) Rock Band 3 Wireless Fender Mustang PRO-Guitar Controller: $288 Rock Band 3 Wireless Pro-Drum and Pro-Cymbals Kit: $288 Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard: $138

As you can see, Australians are paying a lot more for the Rock Band 3 instruments compared to our UK and US counterparts.

Now we understand that there are certain discrepancies - issues such as the GST, shipping, and problems of volume - but there still seems to be a real element of unfairness with the Australian pricing. The comparison to the US dollar is particularly startling - we're extremely close to parity at the moment, yet we seem to be paying almost twice what Americans are paying for the exact same equipment.

We asked Mr Sebastian Giompaolo at Home Entertainment suppliers to elaborate on the reasons for the price increase.

"There are a number of reasons why we charge more, but the main one is we are more in line with the European prices," claimed Sebastian. "We buy all our stock directly from Mad Catz in Europe."

The European Mad Catz office is currently closed, but we're planning to try and contact them to see if they have any explanation for the price increase.

Watch this space.


Comments

    HOLY SHIT!!!

    Parton my French, but HOLY SHIT!!

    Things like this make me glad i stopped playing these sorts of games ages ago.. the prices for these single instruments are the same as a current full band set with game!!!

    Anyone who spends money on these items has far more money than sense - no excuses!

    Even if they were keeping inline with European prices, they're still way way off. Just to let everyone know, Amazon US will ship the instruments here, and they're only charging US$25 for shipping. Much much more reasonable price.

      But still redonkulously expensive. I could buy a new 32' HD TV for that much money...

      Bastiches! Amazon won't ship the MIDI adaptor to Australia. >:(

      Is that even being released locally?

    Is there any word on pricing / availability for the midi box? I already have a midi keyboard and a set of v-drums, which will save me a heap of cash on those new peripherals.

      Yep, unfortunately EB are charging around $70 for that one, when it's around $30 in the US. Not sure if you can ship it here from the US either. :(

        Eeesh, 70 bucks is a little steep. Still better than the alternative I guess.

        One thing's for sure, I'm not getting the button controller. I'll play regular style Rockband until that Squire gets dated and priced.

    I've got the Drums, microphone & keyboard already in the mail express from the US. I should have them Monday/Tuesday so I'll be ready come thursday... If I was planning to get RB3 locally which I'm not but soon enough RB3 in all its pro intrument glory for a ridiculous price but at least less ridiculous than what EB is charging.

    That's complete and utter Bullshit.

    So they buy from Europe. Why when you have identical products would you choose to buy from the most expensive source? why?
    They never thought to buy from the US for a cheaper price so they can sell for cheaper price and still maintain the same profit ratio per unit.
    ...and then sell more units with the same profit ratio and make more money???? Is this a company that doesn't like making money???

    Ohh wait now i get it. I misunderstood the meaning of "inline with Europe".

    When he says that he doesn't mean we have to pay more as we source product from Europe. He means we screw our customers over here in Aus just like they do in Europe and other smaller markets. yeah now it makes sense.

    The not so funny part is people who want them will just import from the US themselves which in turn makes the OZ sales figures (and other markets being crapped on in a similar way) under inflated and the US sales overinflated which continues to perpetrate and exacerbate the issue that there is no worthwile market outside the US.

    The only solace I find is the hope that this cycle whirls out of control and ends with everyone importing from the US and Home Entertainment suppliers going out of business.

    Does anyone know if you can still use the old instruments? I love the game, but not THAT much :P

      Yes, you can still use the old instruments.

      The pricing discrepancy is ridiculous, I'd expect to pay around 20-30% more, but over double in some cases is nuts.
      Amazon has my order, the guitar may seem pricey at $180 landed, but that only equates to about 5 guitar lessons.

    Thank a lot for looking into this. Looks like I was right to just go and buy the instruments overseas.

    Is anyone honestly surprised?

    Looks like another game where I say 'F U' to our local economy and import from overseas.

      I completely agree and I think some people (not saying you are one of them) have forgotten that this isn't the same old guitar we've had in the past.

      This is a 102 button controller, the closest thing to a guitar without it being an actual guitar, of course it was going to be expensive.

      The old guitar controllers were always ~$70-80, I couldn't imagine this controller being anything less than $200 to begin with.

      Look at the Logitech controllers they released for Guitar Hero, etc... that was $350 or something, so it could have been worse!

    $288 for a guitar controller? The entire limited edtion Rock Band: Beatles was only $250. And that included 2 guitars and drums. Jesus!

    What is it about Rock Band always screwing with Australia?

      don't know what beatles edition you got, but the one's i saw only came with one guitar. Was a kick ass Replica though.

    Amazon considers these things to be "instruments" (which it will export to Aus/NZ for $25 postage) rather than video game accessories (which it won't). If you can't get it cheaper, your worst-case scenario is paying USD105 for a keyboard, USD175 for the lotsabuttons guitar, etc.

    Considering the state of the currencies, it's not as bad as it might be.

    I want to find a source for the MIDI adapter, though. I can buy a second-hand, full MIDI keyboard from the pawn shop across the road for AUD100. Tack on a USD30 adapter and I've got a fully-working instrument that I can play RB3 on rather than a plasticky peripheral.

    You can order the Keyboard from Barnes and Noble with expedited shipping for less than the AUS retail price above, and they will ship it to you immediately so should get it in time for the local game release. Waiting to see about the Pro Mustang, can't find anything yet to get that down in a timely manner.

      Just wondering if you're also going to get the fully-functional Fender Strat when it comes out.

        Possibly. There's no release date on the functional strat as yet (except a vague early next year), or details on pricing.
        I'd imagine that's a few months with a fully functioning pro guitar mode in the game that I will not be able to get into without the mustang. If they were out day and date I probably would just get the proper guitar.
        In the future I might trade it up or if my friends and I really get attached to it, leave it as a second pro guitar when the new one comes out.

      Any reason to go Barnes and Noble over Amazon?

    Thanks for following this up Mark, even if we don't like the answers.

    Well, i just canceled my keyboard order from EB and just got it off Amazon for 107AU all up, 33 bucks cheaper than EB Games, and it'll be here start of next week...

    Thanks for this news, it was helpful and money saving.

    Do the math, Game $98 + Guitar $288 + Drums $288 + Keyboard $138 = $812... seriously, as if the RB series hasn't f'ed over Australia enough already they expect us to fork out nearly a grand for the full experience? Tell 'em they're dreaming.

    Thanks, Amazon is the win it seems.

    Man those Amazon prices are great, ordered and hopefully on its way in the next month. Postage for the keyboard+game and fender guitar together was $AU50 for anybody interested, total order was $322, or essentially getting the game and keyboard for free when compared to AU pricing. RB3 should be region free too, but even if not I'm still well ahead.

    With all the talk of dollar parity, you can't really get away with charging double the US prices anymore, mind you that is a lesson none of our retailers have learned yet. Anybody with the capacity to import who isn't doing so is ripping themselves off.

      360 and PS3 are both fully region free (Jap,USA,PAL,etc).
      However (for PS3 at least!!) the DLC is not! If you own the PAL game for PS3, you won't be able to export it to an NTSC RB3; the same goes for DLC from the PAL shop.

    Thanks for the report, and with help from sister blog Gizmodo, I'm now happily shipping my keytar in, and importing my drums from elsewhere, myehehehehe. All I need now is that MIDI console so I can plug my actual MIDI keyboard...

    As for the guitar? I can wait. That Fender Strat will come sooner or later - then I will consider the guitar.

      Hey,
      Where did you get your drums from? I have tried Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk and have had no luck.
      Really would like help
      Thanks

    I got into Rock Band when I bought the set on sale for $100. I then imported drum skins to go over the shockingly loud RB1 drum pads. The RB1 guitar was an absolute shocker! So I got a Guitar hero Les Paul guitar. Then I won a Guitar Hero World tour set and so I used the guitar out of that. Believe or not my RB1 drum controller still works, lots of dropped notes though.

    So I ended up buying a set of RB3 drums from Barnes and Noble who get it from Game stop for $175.00 including postage. No way would I buy inflated prices for these controllers from Australia!

    The keyboard looks like fun... But I'm not so sold on it.

    I like playing fake plastic drums! They have given me a lot of enjoyment. I don't really want to ever take up drums and if I did I am sure I would have to fix lots of bad habits that I have made by using these fake plastic drum controllers!

    I was tempted by the ION Pro Rocker drum controller's but they would prove that I definitely have more $$ than sense at about $470 to import from the USA!

    I had heard rumours the RB3 software is region free. Where is the best deal for the software locally? Game have it online with free Postage for $84.

      The game is definitely region free on PS3, however, the online stores where you download the songs from are region locked. I made the mistake with the original Rock Band. It was worth it at the time because it released in the US 1 year before it came out over here. I had to get PSN cards off ebay and create a fake US PSN account just to get songs! It was a royal pain in the ass at the time.

      Do yourself a favour and buy the game locally :)

    Thanks for the heads up Mark! I was going to be stupid and get the pro drums and keyboard from EB (trying to support local industry and all that, and yes I know that EB aren't Australian, but at least they employ Australians) But there is no way I am going to wait 3+ weeks to get ripped off. Just put an order in for the drums and keyboard from Barnes & Noble. Got the lot for less than the price of the drums over here!

    "we’re extremely close to parity at the moment, yet we seem to be paying almost twice"

    I hate this argument.

    Yes we are pretty much at parity, but did you consider the riskiness or volatility of the dollar?

    I didn't think so.

      Who cares. They are importing in Australia now getting a good exchange rate so they should be selling them cheaply. If the dollar moves down they can just change the price.

      Companies change their prices according to demand but wont do it due to changes in the currency.

    Yeah, I just ordered my drums and keyboard from Barnes and Noble cheaper delivered than the drums here alone

    Every site that I see selling the Mustang Pro says it's not shipping until mid November. Where is everyone getting these before then?

    Anybody found a US source for shipping the midi pros yet?

    Midi adaptor is no longer on EB website... and delayed to nov 28 on Amazon...
    Still no date on the Squire...
    So pro mode is essentially irrelevant to me until Nov 28th at the earliest.

    Kinda wish I hadn't pre-ordered now. No real point in getting them game until next month. (I'd cancel, but the place I pre-ordered at will probably not be able to sell the copy he ordered for me if I don't buy it...)

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