Let’s assume that you own a PS2. If you don’t, pretend that you do while you read this. Then go down to your local electronics store and pick one up. They’re cheap now, and you won’t be disappointed. If you are disappointed, I don’t want to hear about it because you’re doing it wrong. Let’s also assume that you own a 360 and a copy of Guitar Hero II with a working guitar. I know it’s far-fetched, but work with me. It’ll do your imagination good.
Now, give me $40.00. In return I’ll give you a copy of the PS2 version of Guitar Hero (sans guitar). It comes with 47 songs, head-to-head multiplayer, multiple characters, multiple guitars, and numerous bonus tracks available for purchase with cash earned by shredding with the best of them on the Toxic Tour.
Or, you could give me $93.75. In return I’ll give you all the songs present in the original Guitar Hero. There’s an added bass or rhythm part and you can play co-op with your friends if you pick up an additional wired guitar. As an added bonus, you’ll be tethered to your 360 as your friends point and laugh while wirelessly tearing it up on the PS2 version. Also, they paid $10 less for the base game. They also got 10 fewer songs… wait a minute. That works out to $1.00 per song. Remember that. It’s going to be important later.
Why does it cost more than twice as much to play the songs on your 360? I’m glad you asked. Unfortunately, the answer is greed. You’ll hear a lot about licensing fees and digital distribution, but what it really boils down to is that Microsoft, Activision, and Harmonix like money. They know you’ve got it, and they know that the song list from the first game is generally preferred to that of the sequel.