Mad Catz has announced new instrument controllers for the third Rock Band, and the set could run you up to $370 if you're planning to purchase one of each alongside a copy of the game. The four new additions to the ever-expanding Rock Band musical arsenal, a quieter three-piece cymbal kit, wireless keyboard controller, re-tooled Fender guitar controller and MIDI adapter, are optional add-ons, but for the full Rock Band 3 experience, gamers may have to resort to a little penny-pinching before the game's release. Here's a breakdown of each new instruments.
Rock Band 3's new cymbal expansion kit has improved sound-dampening rubber over the surface of each cymbal, as well increased sensitivity for better response over Rock Band 2's cymbal set. Harmonix is saying the cymbals can be used in all modes, though they should be most useful in Rock Band Pro mode, where the kit represents high-hat, crash and ride. The cymbal kit will be priced at $39.99 as well as bundled with Rock Band 3's cymbal and drum kit.
This might be the coolest new peripheral for Rock Band 3, as the MIDI PRO adapter lets players use their MIDI keyboards and drum kits to play the game, thanks to a process that translates MIDI messages into game commands. The adapter also has a velocity sensitive adjustment for MIDI drums that reduces cross-talk, as well as a full d-pad and standard button layout of a controller, so navigating menus won't be a problem. The MIDI PRO adapter is priced at $39.99.
If the peripherals are anything to go by, Rock Band 3 seems to be shaping up to be an extensive new entry in the series. Although pricey, compared to Activision's upcoming Guitar Hero: Heroes of Rock, Rock Band 3 is moving forward instead of sideways. Keep in mind the $360 price is only if you already have a drum set, microphones, and an existing guitart—this is an expensive game for rhythm game fans who want the full experience.