Walmart screws Guitar Hero III buyers out of a new controller

I'm sure that by now you're shocked that I haven't posted my in-depth review of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Unfortunately due to some shipping issues I have not yet received my copy, but you can rest assured that I'll give you my full report once it makes its way here. Until then, here's a little nugget of joy.

By joy I of course mean pain. If you went to your local Walmart to pick up your copy of the game, you already know what I'm talking about. Until now we've been informed that the Xbox 360 bundle will feature a Les Paul, and the PS2 will have a Kramer controller. However, if you went to Walmart and didn't look closely at the box then you very likely found either an X-plorer or SG instead.

I'm sorry, but that's just not cool. Many people were excited to get the game, took it home and were sorely disappointed to find an old controller in the box. Now depending on how strict the person is working the customer service desk at Walmart, you'll find yourself stuck with the old controller, as their policy doesn't allow for returns on opened video games.

So lets say you did notice it, what if that's the only store in your town that sells games? You could try to drive your ass over to the next town, but by then all of the stores have likely closed from their midnight launch. Had you know Walmart only had the old controller, you likely wouldn't have even bothered to go to Walmart in the first place, would you?

I had a couple of my close friends from my hometown fall into that category. They showed up at Walmart only to find X-plorers where the Les Paul should be. They drove to the next town, but found the stores either closed or sold out. What a waste of time and gas.

Yes, there is an upside to this "exclusive" package that Walmart apparently had. It's $10 cheaper. Sure, if you've never purchased Guitar Hero before, one controller might be just as good as the next. But if you've already got an X-plorer or an SG, you're not really going to want another one when there's something different on the market.

I think this could have been easily prevented by some simple communication. Otherwise this just comes off as a sneaky way to unload some spare guitars. Bad form.