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Rock Band 3 Packs 102-button Pro-Guitar

Here it is, Rock Band fans. Loads of info (and a trailer) about the latest title in the series, Rock Band 3. Previous reports suggested Rock Band 3 would include a pro mode, which we now know requires a special, 102-button controller that more closely resembles a real guitar and a whole lot of skill. Keytar reports were true too, but there's also a neat little adapter for those of you with regular miniature keyboards at home.

According to USA Today, the 25-key keytar also functions as a MIDI keyboard, with a two-octave (C3 to C5) range and non-weighted, velocity-sensitive key bed allowing gamers to take full advantage of the Rock Band Pro mode. There'll be an optional keyboard stand if the drums aren't already taking up enough room in your sitting room. With a copy of the game, it'll set you back $130. Expect to pay $80 for the controller alone. USA Today reports that a MIDI PRO-Adapter ($40) lets musicians use real keyboards or drums to play the game.

The Pro-Guitar that has everyone talking boasts 17 frets along a button-based neck and a 6-string strumming area,which allows for discrete picking of each string. Throw in a touch-sensitive string box for the ability to mute or 'cut-off' notes and you've got a pretty difficult game on your hands.

New cymbals for the drums will provide a quieter hi-hat, crash and ride for both standard and Pro mode.

According to Joystiq, Harmonix has also fixed a bunch of little issues that people had repeatedly complained about. The biggest one is the addition of "the overshell" for every member of your band. This little pop-up menu allows each player to make adjustments to their login name, their instrument track of choice, their own difficulty setting, lefty mode, and any other options. One person navigates to the right play mode and everyone else sets themselves up with their own instruments. The overshell also allows for drop-in, drop-out anywhere.

A full band now consists of three vocalists, two guitars, a drummer and a keyboard player.

Read all about Rock Band 3 in USA Today's exclusive report.

  • Sicundercover
    How about just learning hoe to play guitar?
  • mchawk
    I think that Wii 5 button guitar just got pwed...
  • restatement3dofted
    I love Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and have always dismissed the "OMG L2P A REAL GITAR NUBS," youtube-esque commentary, because the games were never supposed to mimic playing a real guitar. This, though... This is ridiculous. A 102-button "pro mode" plastic guitar? Anyone that learns to play that, rather than a real guitar, is a huge tool. (And yes, I get that it's primarily being released to cater to people who already play the guitar).
  • mgoblue3296
    When will they learn that we don't want to play real guitar, we just want to have a good time mashing colored buttons in a rhythmic fashion
  • TunaSoda
    My real guitar has 144 ;)
  • Regulas
    TunaSodaMy real guitar has 144 (24fretsx6strings)Agreed, get a real guitar. If I had kids I would not let them have this crap. Play a real instrument. FPS games are still fun though.
  • aethm
    Well, I know how to play a real guitar quite well... and I think this is a novel idea. Although I doubt it's practicality. How are they going to implement this for people that CAN'T play?
  • aethm
    Oh yeah, and keytars are really lame :P
  • phoenix777
    lol the piano is basically the real thing...
  • efeat
    mgoblue3296When will they learn that we don't want to play real guitar, we just want to have a good time mashing colored buttons in a rhythmic fashion
    They won't. Haters are just going to hate and continue to be mad at you for enjoying a video game; just because they personally disapprove of it.

    I will enjoy the heck out of mashing colored buttons on this game and GH6 when they come out later this year. I'll then laugh at the people who proclaim "OMG get a real guitar!" as I go to play my 88-key piano.