Harmonix unveils keyboard for Rock Band 3

Following Harmonix’s announcement of Rock Band 3, due to rival Activision’s recently revealed Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, as the essential end-of-year music game, half a dozen gaming news sites have published reports on Rock Band 3’s exciting new features and accessories.

The game’s new 25-key instrument has a MIDI output, meaning that it can be used not only with the game itself but also with music-making software on PCs and Macs.

On easy mode, approximations are still allowed, but when ramping the difficulty (or realism), players will learn how to reproduce their favourite songs in a way that replicates an accurate musical score much more closely.

“You are playing notes on the keyboard that if you were to step away from the game and were to play on a real piano, they would be the right notes,” project director Daniel Sussman told USA Today.

Sussman told Nick Chester of Destructoid, “We’re trying to take gameplay in a way that actually pushes people to genuine musicianship.”

That said, the designers plan to accommodate players of different skill levels more comprehensively than before.

There’s also a new guitar controller based on the Fender Mustang. It has six working strings on the fretboard, extending from the bridge to where a working electric’s neck pickup would be, and 102 depressable buttons on the 17-fret neck.

The next step up is a fully-functioning (and as yet unpriced) instrument to be made by the famous electric guitar manufacturer Fender.

Like the Rock Band 3 keyboard it works as a guitar in its own right, but is also prepped for videogaming, with built in sensors tracking finger position and string movement.

Rock Band 3 is due out late in 2010. — Relaxnews

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