Red Octane says two Xbox guitar models 'defective'

After awaiting an official response all week on what Red Octane plans to do about defective guitars some customers received with their copies of Xbox 360's Guitar Hero II, we've received from several tipsters the responses they received from Red Octane. The response brings up nothing but more questions.

Red Octane writes to those with complaints about the guitar, "We have isolated this issue to two model numbers that can be found on the guitar's packaging. The numbers are 95065 and 95055. We are asking that customers who puchased [sic] their items from a retailer perform an exchange with that respective store (for a model number other than the defective two listed above). Customer's [sic] who purchased through our online story [sic] can complete an rma request for their defective item and we will exchange it for a fully function [sic] guitar controller. We do apologize for the inconvenience and will resole [sic] these matters."

Joystiq has been interviewing people all week trying to make sense of this entire issue as Red Octane is less than forthcoming with information. For example, here at Joystiq, we have a 95055 box, with a 95065 sticker placed over the UPC (originally 95055) and a 95065 guitar in the box - everything works fine so far (except star power activation is far less responsive than the PS2 guitar). Over at sister site Xbox 360 Fanboy, where they received a broken controller, they had a 95067 (that is not a typo) box with a 95065 guitar inside. At this point Red Octane acknowledges "defective" models as 95065 and 95055. If you have a defective model guitar, go ahead and return it with Red Octane's blessing.

[Thank you to everyone we've interviewed and those who sent in tips]

Update: Statement on Red Octane's website:
We have been informed of a possible calibration issue with Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360's whammy bar. We believe this may stem from a feature put in place to ensure accurate scoring. Guitar Hero II features a complex control scheme that requires precise calibration between the game and the guitar. We are currently investigating the situation further; however, if you are experiencing these issues, we recommend that you try the following steps:

1. Turn off the power to your game console
2. Make sure the whammy bar is moved away from the body of the guitar and not depressed
3. Make sure the guitar is securely connected to your console
4. Then turn the console's power back on
5. Load the Guitar Hero II game and begin playing

If the above steps do not resolve your problem, please feel free to contact our customer service department using the following information:

Phone: (310) 255-2050

You can call our 24-hour voice-mail system for answers to our most frequently asked questions at the above number. Contact a Customer Support representative at the same number between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.


Our support section of the web has the most up-to-date information available. We update the support pages daily so please check here first for solutions. If you cannot find an answer to your issue, you can submit a question/incident to us using the online support form.

Update: Emails sent to customers who contacted Red Octane directly had the following paragraph attached in addition to the information above:

We really appreciate you bringing this to our attention. We are aware of the issue and are devoting a lot of resources to investigating and solving it. At present, we believe this may stem from a feature put in place to ensure accurate scoring. Resolving this is as important to us as it is to you and we are working hard to fix it. Check back early next week as we hope to have more information for you on how this will be resolved. Or, we can automatically update by email if you have subscribed to our knowledge based page for this issue. We are very sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Thank you,
RedOctane Customer Service

This article was originally published on Joystiq.