Game|Life is reporting that RedOctane is still trying to convince Microsoft to allow them to make the X-Plorer guitar that will be included with the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero II wireless, and may even go so far as to release an unlicensed wireless guitar should Microsoft refuse to relent.
I understand Microsoft's hesitance to allow just anyone to make wireless controllers for the 360, as the last thing they want is for people to say the 360's wireless features suck because the only time they used it was with some low budget third party wireless controller. I also understand the fact that by being the only game in town for wireless 360 accessories, Microsoft ensures that their controllers are going to sell better than anyone else's. However, unless Microsoft has some plan on releasing a wireless guitar of their own (which as far as I know, they don't), they really should step up to the plate and let RedOctane take GH2 wireless.
Guitar Hero II is a huge franchise on the PlayStation 2 and is undoubtedly going to be a huge franchise on the Xbox 360 as well. More importantly, in the short term at least, it's going to be the only way to play the game on a next-gen system. That means sales and lots of them. What it also means is that many of the people who are considering purchasing the 360 version of the game will have played it before and may have purchased additional guitars in the past - many of them wireless guitars. While those gamers may be thrilled with the idea of downloadable songs (cha-ching), they may not be too keen on the thought of going back to using a wired controller, or may be fearful that they'll once again have to buy yet another guitar somewhere down the road when a wireless model becomes available.
Rather than risk losing some of those game sales (and whatever cut of the additional songs Microsoft will make via the Marketplace), MS should take full advantage of the the "next-gen exclusivity" factor and do whatever they can to ensure the 360 version of Guitar Hero II will sell like hotcakes. Think about it, if people are willing to buy hundreds of MP3 files at $1.00 per song, I'm quite sure they'd be willing to spend the same (or more) to play their favorites in a game. This one game could theoretically become a cash cow that would make previous downloadable content sales look pathetic by comparison - if Microsoft gets there first.
So Microsoft, if you're listening, pick up the damn phone and call the folks over at RedOctane. Tell them you're willing to help bring the wireless Guitar Hero II experience to the Xbox 360 because it's the right thing to do and it's what your customers want - because if you don't, I'm sure one of your competitors will - and what's a few months additional wait to people who already have another version of the game?
Anyway, enough rambling from me - if you want to check out the Game|Life article that starter this long-winded post, click here.