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Ask Joystiq Xbox -- Double trouble edition


This week on Ask Joystiq Xbox, we discuss only the most important questions. That's right, we talk about rechargeable batteries, double bass pedals in Rock Band, Lips mic support (again), Orange Box freezing issues and the advantages of HDMI. It's thrilling, thrilling stuff, so we won't keep you any longer. Go ahead and read.

Got a question for Ask Joystiq Xbox? Maybe you have a story or some information you'd like to share? Send it all to ask [att] xbox360fanboy [dawt] com.

Hey guys. I bought the PS3 version of GTA4, and I'm interested in playing 'The Lost & Damned'. So do I need the 360's game disc to play the download? Or is it playable on its own?

Sorry to break it to you, but the downloadable episodes for Grand Theft Auto IV (there's another one coming after The Lost and Damned) are both expansions of the game. In other words, you will need the Xbox 360 version of the game (and an Xbox 360, if you don't have one). They can't be played on their own. Once you have the Xbox 360 version of the game, you can download and play the episodes. If you already have an Xbox 360, you could just rent the game and download them, but you'd be spending $20 on content you could never play again.

I recently purchased a 360 and was wondering if there were any advantages to using an HDMI connection over the component HD cables. I searched through the blog's archives and only found HDMI referenced a couple years ago. I've got an HDTV and it's able to output at 1080i, so everything looks pretty good already. Have there been any changes or technological updates since the HDMI interface has become standard on the "pro" boxes as well?


HDMI is the only way to get a true digital picture out of your Xbox 360, as the other high definition options (VGA, component) are analog. For some people, that's really important. Others, not so much. Another advantage is that HDMI transfers both audio and video information over the same cable. The convenience of only needing a single cable to hook up your Xbox 360 can be very nice, especially if you move it frequently. If you happen to have an audio receiver, you can still use optical audio with a special adapter from Microsoft.

We can personally attest to great picture quality through HDMI, though not leaps and bounds above the alternatives (feel free to argue, videophiles). Depending on your own personal tastes and the size of your television, you may not notice much of a difference from component or VGA. The convenvience is definitely nice, though.

Whats up guys?

Loved the old site, love the new site. Just had a quick question about Guitar Hero: Metallica. So, here it goes. If, I pre-order my copy from gamestop, they are going to give me a free guitar hero world tour kick drum pedal with a splitter for extra double bass fun. Will this splitter and pedal work with my rock band drums, or should I just go buy the game when it comes out without pre-ordering?

If not, am I able to get my own splitter and a second rock band kick drum pedal?


Kyle Morris

Based on our quick look at Google, no, the Guitar Hero World Tour bass pedal is not compatible with Rock Band. Apparently they use different thingamawhatsits to register hits, so compatibility between the two is a no-go. Sorry. Don't fret though, as setting up a double bass configuration in Rock Band is apparently pretty simple. According to this post on the Rock Band forum, all you need is a 1/8" Mono audio splitter and another compatible bass pedal. Getting your hands on an audio splitter should be easy enough, but finding a second pedal could be tricky. There are lots of drum kit accessories online, including at least one fully functioning replacement pedal, but we couldn't tell you if they're worth the money. Some people even make their own pedals, apparently.

Good luck!

Hi. Harmonix announced back in December that they were going to patch support for the Lips microphones into Rock Band 2. Have you heard anything else about it since then? Do you have any idea when this is coming? I'm sure I'm not the only one wanting this.



We talked about his just last week actually. Unfortunately, we still don't know how long it will be before Harmonix releases the patch for Lips mic support in Rock Band. We completely understand your frustration, too. After all, if singing in Rock Band is fun and cool (and it totally is), singing into a sweet light up microphone will be even cooler, right? We'll hit up Harmonix and see if we can't dig up an answer.

I've got a few questions about the rechargeable controller batteries and the quick charge kit.

I got all my rechargeable batteries at launch so they are over 3 years old. Sometimes when I plug an empty battery into the quick charge kit, the light goes immediately from red to green like the battery is charged. If I leave the battery in the charge kit for a day or so with the green light on, I can usually get some play time out of it. Is the battery nearing the end of it's life and it's time to replace it or is something wrong with my charger? How long have batteries lasted for you? Do you have any tips on getting the most life out of rechargeable batteries, i.e. is it bad to leave a battery in the charger after the green light comes on or to charge a battery that hasn't been completely emptied?

Thanks for your time, and keep up the great work on the blog!

Time to switch to first person. I haven't had the specific problems you've mentioned, but I do have an issue of my own. The rechargeable battery packs, in my experience, do not hold a charge for very long. Specifically, I'll charge a battery, take it out of the controller and put it in a drawer for later use. More than once, I've gotten out a previously charged battery pack only to find that it has no charge in it at all anymore.

My advice: Switch to rechargeable AA batteries. They last longer anyway and are cheaper in the long run. They also work in other devices like digital cameras, Wii remotes, etc., so they're much more useful than Microsoft's first party solution.

I just recently purchased a brand new copy of The Orange Box so that I could play through Half Life 2 one weekend. I purchased the game when it launched in '07 but naturally traded it in after playing through all the episodes and getting through Portal. Fast forward to now: I have a new 'Jasper' 360, and updated to the NXE. I never had any problems with the game in '07, but now the game is nearly unplayable- getting stuck on loading screens. I searched the problem on the web and found that many other people have reported the same problem. Would this explain why the game dropped to $20 so fast?! Or is there an issue with the NXE that is causing games not to load? I was never able to find a definitive word- just speculation. Any insight?


We contacted Microsoft to see what was up here. The company is aware of the issue and looking into it, though we weren't given a specific timeframe on when we might expect a solution to surface. You might try clearing your cache, though it doesn't sound like that's your problem.

That's it for this week, folks. Keep sending your questions to: ask [att] xbox360fanboy [dawt] com.

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