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Walmart's devious Guitar Hero III bundling

Warning future Guitar Hero III purchasers ... Walmart is evil. And yes, we know the word evil carries a lot of emotional weight behind it, but we're comfortable and confident in using such an adjective to describe Walmart seeing what they're doing with their Guitar Hero III bundles.

You see, Walmart somehow received an exclusive GHIII bundle from Activision in which they sell the game with old GHII guitar controllers. That means Xbox 360 owners who'd buy the bundle wouldn't get a wireless Les Gibson and instead get the corded Xplorer. A bundle that was never previously announced and smells of clearancing out old inventory. True, the bundled boxes specifically show which guitar is included in the box (like the picture above), but some may not notice the guitar switch or just aren't informed enough to know the difference. Talk about shady GHIII bundling practices Walmart ... we're disgusted.

[Thanks, Daren]

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Reader Comments

(Page 2)

21. This reminds me of the time I bought my newphew a remote control car from Walmart, and when he opened it, it was actually a "wired" remote control. Well I guess you can call it remote if you call walking 3 feet behind the crappy car "remote". When you looked at the package the wire was obscured , so it looked like it was actually a wireless remote. anyhow, I digress.

i just recently got GHII anyway, so I won't be getting GHIII anytime soon.

Posted at 11:35AM on Oct 29th 2007 by xenocidic

22. If it is cheaper than the wireless bundle, then it just gives people another option.

If it costs the same.... then both Activision and Wal-Mart are evil.

Posted at 11:40AM on Oct 29th 2007 by FR3SH JIV3

23. Walmart isn't evil. They're just providing a cheaper alternative. I bought mine from wal-mart because personally I like the old GHII guitars and didn't want to drop an extra $10 on a wireless guitar that i didn't like. i don't get what the big deal about a wireless guitar is anyways.

Posted at 11:44AM on Oct 29th 2007 by Flitken

24. I love the photo, and yes that is shady wal-mart.

Posted at 11:44AM on Oct 29th 2007 by Chris

25. It's not shady - the packaging very clearly states the contents. They do not seem to be trying to pass it off as anything other than what it is - the older controller with the new game.

Posted at 11:48AM on Oct 29th 2007 by Dale

26. Yeah I'm in agreement with the majority on here. It's not like they're trying to palm it off as being the other guitar in there or something. It's clearly marked on the box AND it's cheaper than the other bundle.

@6:- You know it!!!

Posted at 12:08PM on Oct 29th 2007 by Boff

27. Wal-Mart isn't at fault for this. They are offering another option for the consumer. It is clearly marked on the box.

It would be like you getting mad for buying a copy of GHIII for the PS2 when you wanted the Xbox 360 version. I mean the covers are the same people could be tricked...

Look at what you are buying. Sorry I can't feel sorry for those people running into the issue. Return the purchase and get your money back or exchange it for the version you wanted.

Trust me my hate for Wal-Mart is more personal than most people's hate. I worked for them...but devious on this issue...sorry but no.

Posted at 12:08PM on Oct 29th 2007 by Neon Jebus

28. OK, small reality check.

Most people interested in GHIII heard it was coming with a wireless controller. I'm not interested (not nimble-fingered) but I had heard.

For a potential customer to be expected to delve into a Wal-Mart purchase more than, say, a GameStop one just seems like vindictive ragging on Wal-Mart customers. Most people shop at Wal-Mart to get things available elsewhere (like GHIII) cheaper, or to settle for a Wal-Mart-specific item because some Chinese sweat-shop cut a deal. To settle for an American version of cheap Chinese goods, one that only shows up at Wal-Mart, shouldn't happen without BIG signs WARNING people that the wireless controller sold elsewhere wasn't being sold here.

That's the point I think the post was making, and that's the one I agree with...

Posted at 12:15PM on Oct 29th 2007 by Michael Paul

29. Does Wal-mart do the packaging on this stuff or Activision? I'm confused why you're hating on Wal-mart.

Posted at 12:25PM on Oct 29th 2007 by Gemini Ace

30. Considering how flakey the new wireless controller is ( I wish I HAD gotten the bundle with the X-Plorer guitar.

Posted at 12:31PM on Oct 29th 2007 by spilth

31. You shouldn't shop at walmart to begin with and you wouldn't have a problem... you'd probably get sick less often and little children would have homes....oh....and it would rain money.

Posted at 12:32PM on Oct 29th 2007 by kevan

32. Yes, it's clearly marked that it comes with an old controller, but the fact that this bundle was never announced beforehand makes it an issue. If you're a paranoid shopper like me (always worried that you're buying the "wrong version" of something), then it's not that big of a deal, but most people aren't like that...

Posted at 12:53PM on Oct 29th 2007 by Seroth

33. In Dustin's defense. One must wonder why they don't even stock the wireless bundle. An extra SKU with a wired controller is cool and all but some people want their wireless goodness.

I base this off of which doesn't show the wireless 360 bundle at all.

Posted at 1:45PM on Oct 29th 2007 by Neon Jebus

34. It's evil for that fact that a lot of parents do not know the difference and will buy this for their kids for Christmas.

Posted at 1:46PM on Oct 29th 2007 by spyd4r

35. I was one of those "idiot consumers" who got GH3 at Walmart with the corded Xplorer.

I went there Saturday night at midnight to get GH3 because the Gamestops in town (who were doing midnight openings) were already sold out. So I figured hey Walmart's open 24/7 and they'll have GH3. I get in the little line, get to the counter and the guys just asks what system I want it for, grab it and go. I didn't even LOOK at the box or think to until I got home.

Posted at 1:49PM on Oct 29th 2007 by Drav

36. anyone else catch this post on this morning before it was pulled? fact...fiction...leak???

from Xbox Live's Major Nelson by Major Nelson
Content: Companion Three Pack
In Game Content: GH III Companion Three Pack (Free)
Price: Free
Availability: All Xbox LIVE regions
Dash Text: [ESRB: T (Teen) MILD LYRICS,MILD SUGGESTIVE THEMES] "Carcinogen Crush" as performed by AFI, "Putting Holes in Happiness" as performed by Marilyn Manson. Remixed by Nick Zinner", "Tina" as performed by Flyleaf. For all song credits please visit

Posted at 1:58PM on Oct 29th 2007 by Michael Rose

37. Maybe Walmart shouldn't get all the blame here (Activision did in fact make the bundle), but it's still a bad situation.

Selling a game bundle that isn't available anywhere else, wasn't previously announced to the public and Walmart not even offering the wireless guitar version (eluding to their bundle being the only one available) are all shady business practices. I know of a few Walmart GHIII purchasers who (in their lack of knowledge or excitement) just picked up the box and brought it home only to be enraged that they didn't get their Les Paul. Hell, I?m sure the casual purchaser didn?t even know that for $10 more they could have a newer wireless controller if they purchased the game elsewhere. Hell, think of the parents who picked the game up as a Christmas present and will have to deal with somewhat disappointed gaming-literate kids who expected the complete GHIII experience. Now that?d be messed up.

No matter how you cut it, this bundle shouldn't exist and Walmart shouldn't sell it. GHII peripherals bundled in a GHIII box is bloody wrong.

Posted at 2:02PM on Oct 29th 2007 by Dustin Burg

38. It's a Gibson Les Paul, for the record.

But, caveat emptor.

Posted at 2:30PM on Oct 29th 2007 by Dean

39. I went to Wal-Mart at midnight on Saturday, waited, got my copy, went to the register, glanced down, and freaked. They had ONLY bundles with the classic guitar. No way I was going to leave with that. Same thing for the PS2. I was definitely pissed off as it's ALL they had, and I went there at midnight for it. Regardless of how clearly marked it is, it was my only choice there. I had to wait until the next day to get the real bundle at Best Buy.

No, it's not evil, but for those of us eagerly waiting for it at midnight it was a nasty surprise, and it was only a matter of luck that I had enough time to look at it after the employee handed it to me to realize.

Posted at 2:49PM on Oct 29th 2007 by TurboFool

40. So did you pay less for the wal-mart bunlde? If you did why are you crying.

Posted at 4:11PM on Oct 29th 2007 by mike k.

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