RB3, in addition to supporting large memory cards (and believe me, I'm looking forward to that) for downloadable content and a new 83 song set list, will boast some new toys.
First, there will be a keyboard. Not exactly full blown, it'll be a 25-keyer. Reports indicate it will interface by MIDI, meaning you can use it with computer music software like Cakewalk or Rosegarden. This also means, potentially, I can use my regulation size 61'er. The game is being designed to match the actual notes as much as possible, so this could be a great trainer. There will be an emphasis on keyboard-driven bands. One of the acts the report is bragging about is The Doors. L.A. Woman would be awesome, but I just know Touch Me Babe will likely be on the set list. I don't like The Doors to begin with, so missing the one song I do like by them and getting what I think is their worst (I'll even take the rambling The End over Touch Me Babe) sucks.
Next, there is a "pro" mode. You won't see the instrument tracks that you've seen in Guitar Hero, you will see actual musical notation.
But, Peter, I hear some of you asking, what good is that when it comes to the color buttons? Well, here's the gag -- the guitar peripheral has been redesigned. Harmonix PR head John Drake told reporters about a a full-sized Fender Squier Stratocaster -- six strings and all -- that "can tell where your fingers are based on technology in the neck and the bridge of the guitar. No buttons."
Fu. Kin'. A.
If you prefer doing your Rock Band old school, Mad Catz, they of the questionable game peripherals, is making a guitar modeled after a Fender Mustang Pro and features a neck covered in buttons. Senior designer Sylvain Dubrofsky bragged, "You can go from plucking single notes to power chords and bar chords, we have crazy stuff like tapping and slides."
The game will also feature full jumping in and out for gamers and changing instruments without pausing.