USA Today Releases “Rock Band 3” Info, Video

“The main focus of Rock Band 3 development was on finding new ways to experience the music, and actually doubling down, if you will, on an investment in compelling gameplay.”

That’s what Daniel Sussman, Harmonix project director, had to say about Rock Band 3 in a video released to accompany a blog post from USA Today last night. It’s a pretty tall order, but if what we see here is any indication, they’ve got a good start.

83 new songs are part of the game’s allure. Not to mention increasing your virtual band’s tally to seven members – guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, main vocals and two harmony vocals – and refining the gameplay. Of course, seven players means that you might need another USB hub – and heck, another television to see all those note streams clearly – but it seems like it’ll be worth it.

Of particular note is the keyboard, which has 25 keys and functions as a MIDI keyboard when connected to a computer. (I’m gonna get a lot of use out of that. Seriously.) A Pro mode will allow you to use all 25 keys and assist in the transition from video game piano playing to actually being able to play the piano, despite no actual notes ever being thrown at you. That increases the number of “real” instruments – that is, the ones that really help you bridge the gap from games to real life – from two (drums and vocals) to three. If only playing a real guitar was as easy as pressing buttons.

USA Today also released a portion of the song list, which features songs that weren’t even considered before due to featuring the keyboard. Here’s that list as published in the newspaper, organized by decade:

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

Will you be adding to your plastic instrument tally for RB3?

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I'll be getting this. And it's an interesting way to change up the basics for the game. Though I must say I'm sad it's a regular keyboard and not a keytar :( lol