Rock Band 3 will, as expected, let you do something you've never been able to do in a Rock Band (or Guitar Hero) game before: play the keyboard.
Yes, the fifth wheel of the rock world makes its long-overdue debut in Harmonix's Rock Band 3, a report on USA Today showcasing not only the new controller in action, but a revamped tracklist designed to make the most of it.
The keyboard is a "25-key, fully functioning MIDI" version of the real thing, and is one of two key improvements made to the game, the other being the introduction of a new "Rock Band Pro" mode for expert players, which replaces coloured tabs with real musical symbols in an effort to get players on the track to playing real instruments.
To complement Pro mode, there are two new guitar controllers in development that feature actual strings, one a full-sized replica of a Fender Stratocaster, the other a Fender Mustang Pro. "You can go from plucking single notes to power chords and bar chords, we have crazy stuff like tapping and slides," Harmonix's Sylvain Dubrofsky says. "If you ever had any aspirations of connecting with the music in a deeper way ... you are really going to like Rock Band 3."
A partial tracklist has also been revealed, and is predictably keyboard-heavy.
Combat Baby — Metric
Dead End Friends — Them Crooked Vultures
Get Free — The Vines
Lasso — Phoenix
Me Enamora — Juanes
Oh My God — Ida Maria
Portions of Foxes — Rilo Kiley
The Hardest Button to Button — The White Stripes
Been Caught Stealing — Jane's Addiction
In the Meantime — Spacehog
Plush — Stone Temple Pilots
Walkin' on the Sun — Smash Mouth
Crazy Train — Ozzy Osbourne
Here I Go Again — Whitesnake
I Love Rock and Roll — Joan Jett
Just Like Heaven — The Cure
Rainbow in the Dark — Dio
The Power of Love — Huey Lewis and the News
Sister Christian — Night Ranger
Bohemian Rhapsody — Queen
Break On Through — The Doors
Crosstown Traffic — Jimi Hendrix
There are plenty of other minor tweaks and adjustments being made to the series' successful formula, which you can check out at the USA Today report below.
'Rock Band 3': Keyboards are the key [USA Today]