Namco Bandai Won't Sell Accessory Separately

Some non-game playing exec at Namco Bandai has decided that the gun controller that ships with Time Crisis 4 for the Playstation 3 cannot and will not be sold separately, even though there’s a 2-player mode in the game. Their CSR’s helpful suggestion? “You will need another copy of Time Crisis 4.” It’s as if the game is a license to use one gun controller—if you want more gun controllers, simply buy more licenses!

Here’s the transcript of a very helpful chat one reader had with ‘Brian’ at Namco Bandai’s Live Support Chat Supercenter Headquarters:

Please wait for a site operator to respond.?You are now chatting with ‘Brian’

Brian: Thank you for contacting Namco Bandai’s Live Support. How may I help you?

Alfredo: Hi Brian, I am contacting you because I would like to purchase a second guncon controller to be able to play Time Crisis 4 with 2 players on my PS3 but have failed to find any place to do so online and would like to get some help in finding out where it could be bought

Brian: I’m sorry, but the Guncon 3 is not sold separately. It is only sold bundled with Time Crisis 4.

Alfredo: huh ? But the game supports 2 controllers, doesn’t it??

Brian: Yes, it supports two Guncon 3s for split screen multiplayer.

Brian: But the Guncon 3 is not sold separately.

Alfredo: so, isn’t it unfair to ask a person to buy the game twice if he/she only intends to use it in one PS3 (my case) if he/she wants to do split screen multiplayer?

Brian: You can play the split-screen with one Guncon 3 and a controller. If you wish to play two players using two Guncon 3s then you will need another copy of Time Crisis 4.

Brian: Is there anything else I can help you with?

Al fredo: but the game is supposed to be played with guncons ! It is a LIGHT GUN game :-( Also, what happens when somebody’s guncon gets stolen or is broken, how can you get a new replacement guncon??

Brian: We do not sell replacement Guncon 3s. If the Guncon 4 is defective, then we can provide an RMA exchange where we’ll inspect and repair or replace your Guncon 3.

Brian: Is there anything else I can help you with?

Uh, no, thanks anyway Brian. You’ve been great.

(Thanks to Alfredo!)

Comments

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  1. joeblevins says:

    Time to return a game that doesn’t allow 2 person play with one software purchase.

  2. andrewe says:

    I hate stupid.

  3. That’s messed up. It’s a shame they do not provide the GunCon separately. They cheat themselves out of further profits as well as deterring potential buyers who may wish to buy the game as well as a second GunCon for the purpose of 2-player game play but cannot and therefore, choose not to purchase Time Crisis.

  4. nursetim says:

    Way to really think this through

  5. Quellman says:

    They’ll lose even more $ to knock offs once they come to market using this strategy.

  6. hi says:

    Can other lightguns be used with this game? If so I say give your money to another company that sells just the lightguns.

  7. Vejadu says:

    Guitar Hero III guitar controllers for the Wii aren’t available separately either. If you want to play Guitar Hero III with two players on the Wii, you need to buy the $90 game TWICE!

    Between this and the fact that the Wii version only outputs MONO sound (completely unacceptable for a music game, especially when the packaging and manuals claim it supports Dolby Pro Logic II), they really messed up the Wii version of this game.

  8. noorct says:

    @Quellman:

    Great point man. This just means some third party manufacturer will become the de facto light gun of choice. Namco, you’re being ridiculous. When did this policy start? There have always been additional guns available for purchase, and it’s ludicrous to force people to pay for two games.

    Can you imagine if Rock Band forced people to buy another bundle for an additional guitar??? Or GHIII forced people to pay $99 for another package when the standalone guitar is 40-60 dollars??

    Shame on you Namco. You lost my purchase until you revise this ridiculous policy.

  9. HalOfBorg says:

    Cue up the Carlos Mencia “Dee Dee DEEEEEE!!!”

  10. noorct says:

    @Vejadu:

    I’m pretty sure they’re planning on releasing them soon, though.

  11. davere says:

    @Vejadu: I refuse to buy GH3 until they sell separate controllers for the Wii.

  12. HalOfBorg says:

    @noorct: About 10 minutes after word of this starts to spread, and they realize how stupid they look.

  13. Coyote says:

    If its anything like TC3 the split-screen is side by side, not “over-under” so unless you have a 60″+ widescreen TV you wont be able to see diddly.
    I tried it on a 42″ standard TV and it only plays widescreen side by side. So you end up with about 12″ vertical viewing space…. needless to say it was hard enough to see let alone getting the gun to hit anywhere close to where you aim.

  14. ancientsociety says:

    IIRC, Namco has done this since Time Crisis was first released on the PS1. It sucks because the GunCon is an awesome peripheral.

  15. scoopy says:

    Another reason why 360 rules and ps3/Wii sucks. FTW

  16. ManiacDan says:

    I think what they’re banking on is you buying two of their IPs, each with its own gun. I have two GunCon2s, and it’s because I bought Time Crisis and Point Blank, both with a gun. It’s dumb, but I’m sure the training manual doesn’t say “too bad, what else do you need” like our new friend Brian said, but rather “perhaps you would be interested in another fine Namco product that also comes with a GunCon3?”

    Still dumb though, and I would definitely return the product to the store and say “required accessories to use the product as listed on the box are not, and will never be, available from the manufacturer.” If a product lists “two player” and “guncon” it work that way. Give it a try at the store you purchased it from. Try not to get tazed though.

  17. Tank says:

    gotta love the bots puking up canned answers.

  18. mopar_man says:

    @Vejadu:

    I’m not especially pissed about the surround since I’m usually too busy concentrating to notice but I’m not too pleased about the second controller not being available. I thought for sure they’d have them available for the Christmas season but it seems as though somebody at Red Octane/Activision has their head up their ass.

  19. He says:

    @Vejadu: Shouldn’t a PS3 wireless controller work since both consoles use bluetooth?

  20. Buran says:

    ebay.

  21. NightSteel says:

    It would be really stupid if it were true, but could this be a CYA move rather than a money grab? The guncon is semi-realistic, maybe they’re selling it only with the game to satisfy some weird or obscure anti-gun/toy law or something.

  22. uricmu says:

    With GH3 I would guess the problem is that they’re trying to compete with rock band, and since they can’t meet production, they’re saving the controllers for the scarce bundles that are being sold.

    I still don’t understand how it’s been a year and there’s a Wii shortage though. The Wii is great fun, but it’s technologically primitive, how hard can it to manufacture tons of it ?

  23. MercuryPDX says:

    Not sure how many you’d find now, but in a few months I bet you can pick one up that someone’s traded in at a Gamestop or somewhere. IMHO, The GunCon is THE superior product in its field, so maybe Namco knows what it’s doing.

    What annoys me is that just like when the PS2 came out, all your last version controllers are useless on your new system. I learned this “painful lesson” when my PS1 Fishing Rod controller (Don’t laugh, it actually makes the game fun) refused to work on the PS2.

    Since the PS3 Guncon now works like a Wiimote, don’t even think that your PS2 ones will work.

  24. xboxishuge says:

    Wow, that is a hugely transparent cashgrab. Way to go, Namco.

  25. darkclawsofchaos says:

    so… no dual weilding then… to the wii! This is shocking as the wii beats the PS3 in this respect. One would would thingk the PS3 would excel in all the hardware, but apparently the wii has better choices and a whole ton of light gun games, to be fair though, nothing on the wii is nearly as great as TC4, the closest thing is Ghost Squad which is much shorter.

  26. truebluegeeks says:

    umm maybe you forgot when the guncon2 first game out you only can get it with a game as well (with Time Crisis 2)…even after they released it as a accessory it was damn hard to find except for importing it from japan. Give it 3 months and some asshole from china will have a knock off….

    also don’t blame the customer service agent, he was just doing his job, and why did you call it the guncon 3 then the guncon 4 then the guncon 3 again? that just made no sense.

    Also if you have a PS2 there is a chinese version of the guncon3 already called the LCD topGun, since the playstation works with bluetooth, I am sure a ported version of this same product will be out very soon. it goes for about 100 bucks and it works the same way the guncon3 does so you can use it with LCD and CRTs

  27. truebluegeeks says:

    @ManiacDan:
    ya right, good luck trying to return open software…and it says all over the box “2 players optional with a second guncon3″

    thanks for being another captian america looking for a fight.

  28. yendi says:

    Thanks for the heads up on the GHIII for the Wii situation — I’m pulling it off my wishlist right now.

  29. Tonguetied says:

    “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

    Ya, how about answering the question rather than spouting your corporate gobblygook?

  30. AdminX says:

    You can buy a 2nd GUNCON 3 from here once it is back in stock:
    [www.play-asia.com]

  31. jgw says:

    @He:
    They both us bluetooth to transmit their signals, but they won’t sync to each other, as the input from a PS3 controller for a button press, say “X,” would likely be different from the input from a Wiimote for “B.”

    @Vejadu:
    I think the problem is manufacturing capacity. They’re pumping out guitars for four different consoles (PS3, PS2, Wii, 360.) I don’t think it’s fair to assume they want you to purchase two separate bundles in order to play two player. I remember this happening for the 360 launch as well. Once they meet the initial demand for people who want bundles, they’ll start selling additional controllers. For 360 owners who can’t wait, you can buy a second, albeit wired, official controller (the one from GH2) or one of a multitude of subpar third-party guitars. Same for PS2.

    I know this is the Consumerist, but not everything has to be a corporate conspiracy.

  32. M3wThr33 says:

    This is NOT new. This has happened EVERY TIME there’s a new Time Crisis release.

  33. MYarms says:

    How can you even play Time Crisis on a console? It can’t possibly be anywhere near as good as it is in the arcade.

  34. ARPRINCE says:

    You can never purchase just a GUNCON ever since the games came out with the PS1 and I agree there’s nothing new here. Hopefully they would come out with TC4 with DUAL GUNCONs packaging just like with TC3.

  35. ManiacDan says:

    @truebluegeeks: If the package actually says “2 players optional with a second guncon3″ then that implies purchasing a second guncon3 is actually possible, which it is not. Therefore the package is misleading and any store displaying it is guilty of false advertising. I’m sorry if you feel that people should just roll over and take it, but this isn’t right, no matter how many times it’s been done before.

    If I had gotten caught in this charade, I would have brought it back to the store and said “this game doesn’t work as advertised, I bought it to play two players like it says on the box, but you can’t do that without buying another copy of the game.” They will say “too bad, we don’t do returns of software for any reason.” I call my credit card company, tell them the same story, and get my money back.

    I hold firm to the belief that if the game says “you can play two players!” on the box, that implies that it’s possible without buying two copies of the game. Gameboy games that require two players have two cartridges say it on the box.

    Although I bet it specifically does not say “additional guncon3 sold separately.” They’re in somewhat of a grey area.

  36. mac-phisto says:

    same thing with rock band: already have two guitars & a mic – don’t need to spend $170 on a set of drums. harmonix plans on selling the drums separate, but not until spring. similarly, it was damn near impossible to find a copy of gh3 w/o a guitar (unless you pre-ordered, which i simply refuse to do).

    incidentally, rock band is by far one of the most fun games ever.

  37. Coyote says:

    For anyone just joining us, Play-Asia sells just the gun imported straight from Japan. Their usually out of stock and over priced (as per usual at play-asia).
    [www.play-asia.com]

  38. kocurejd says:

    Check eBay. I’ve seen several auctions for just the Guncon 3, as well as Time Crisis 4 with 2 included Guncon 3 controllers. Screw Namco, go eBay!