Mad Catz just put out pricing and details for the new set of Rock Band 3 controllers. In case you didn’t know, Rock Band 3 will be introducing a new Pro mode that’ll have you matching the songs note-for note to give you a more realistic “rockstar” feel, which means you’re going to want the new controllers if you want to try out the new mode.
The set starts with the all-new 25-key keyboard, which can also act as a fully-functioning mini-MIDI keyboard when you’re not playing. Designed to be worn with a strap (the same way you’d wear a circa-80’s keytar if you can still remember the 80’s) or on a stand, the keyboard can also be used to play guitar and bass parts. Not that every little kid dreams of playing keyboards for a rock band, but if you want to extend your living-room group to accommodate one more band member, you’re going to want this in your set. It’ll be selling for $80 on its own, or $130 when bundled with the game.
The Fender Mustang PRO guitar gets rid of the simple controls and gives you a full six-string and a touch-sensitive fret board. That’s good news for advanced guitar-players and people who want to learn the notes, but playing this on Pro mode might get a little frustrating if your previous guitar experience was limited to playing colors instead of chords. It’s also a fully-functioning MIDI guitar (although really, you’d do better to just pick up an actual guitar if you want to rock the strings outside of the game and have no use for digital MIDI files), and will sell for $150.
The Rock Band drummer gets a cheaper upgrade, since you won’t really need to replace your entire set if you already own one. The RB3 Pro Mode makes use of this three-piece expansion cymbal set (high-hat, crash and ride) on top of the standard drum kit for adding a bit of realism. The new PRO-Cymbals feature sound-dampening rubber for quieter banging, better response, a $40 price tag.
The last piece is more of a peripheral accessory than a must-have. The MIDI PRO adapter will let you use actual MIDI keyboards and drum pads for the game—sparing you from having to buy the controllers if you already own the real thing. A simple box that plugs in between your instrument and the console via USB, the MIDI PRO box comes with gamepad buttons to help you navigate the game menus, and will sell for $40.