MadCatz Explains the New Rock Band 3 Peripherals

In this video featuring Alex from MadCatz, we get a detailed run through of the new peripherals currently slated for release at launch with Rock Band 3. While there are no ground-breaking details that we’ve been dying to know, he does go into further detail on the keyboard and Mustang guitar.

He mentions that the handle of the keyboard not only has an overdrive button, but also a touch sensitive expressions bar, which acts like the whammy bar on the guitars. He also notes that the Mustang guitar has a touch sensitive palm muting box, allowing you to cutoff notes while playing by pressing down on the box.

One thing to note is that in his discussion of the MIDI controller box, it has a toggle for drums, keyboard, and guitar. While we’ve been hearing reports that MIDI capable guitars are not currently planned to be compatible with Rock Band 3 Pro-mode, there is still an option to plug them in to the game. While the game is designed for usage with the Mustang and Squier guitars, those holding out on using their own MIDI guitars in Rock Band 3 may not want to give up hope yet.

[Thanks, Travis!]

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Print This Post Print This Post

48 Responses to “MadCatz Explains the New Rock Band 3 Peripherals”

  • MattDusza says:

    Id just like to know the price of the squire and if its coming to the ps3

    Dark Archon Reply:

    Well, that’s not being released by MadCatz, so they wouldn’t know.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    It will come to the PS3, but the Wii is still up in the air, at this point.

    Price has still not been determined yet (re-confirmed at SDCC).

    Game!Ov3r Reply:

    I bet the Wii will be a no go… HNX doesnt like us :) just like I doubt we will get exports as well.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    It’s not that they don’t like you, it’s purely a cost/benefit decision. Is the cost of designing/prototyping/producing/distributing a real guitar for a console whose core audience is kids and the elderly (i.e. the CASUAL market) a smart business move? Probably not.

    I know it’s kinda late, but I recommend you upgrade to a 360 or PS3 if you want the full Rock Band 3 experience. I can only imagine the gap will continue to widen between those who want the full ongoing Rock Band experience and those who just want a game to play music in.

    Not trying to be a Wii-hating dick, but if you look at rockbandscores.com, you can see (roughly) that the Wii makes up for only 3% of total DLC sales. From a revenue generation standpoint, why would they concentrate much on the Wii if this is the case?

    Bitching about Harmonix not caring about the Wii is a waste of time until Wii players start creating more than a casual interest in the game by voting with their wallets.

    Game!Ov3r Reply:

    Thats the thing though… I own a PS3, but I had the Wii first and started buying DLC when DLC was released. I am invested over 500 DLC songs (including 6 SD cards)on the Wii and the wife would kill me if I reinvested into the PS3 Rock Band. If only HMX could give me a mulligan… :)

    Also I could have sworn that I read that they couldnt produce enough Rock Band sets for the Wii to keep up with the demand… so we might not buy DLC (I do) but when it comes down to buying peripherals… Wii users buy it up big time.

    Matt Reply:

    But is rockbandscores.com the true way to determine how much interest there is in the Wii? The online component for the Wii sucks on RockBand. I would guess many Wii players don’t bother posting scores. And don’t forget about 2GB limit on SD cards for RB2. I’ve stopped buying many songs after I reached the limit (of about 80). Swapping cards sucks.

    I would also guess its a chicken and egg question- Harmonix constantly screws Wii players over (horrible port of RB1, no export from any version of RB so far, lag in getting the DLC out in the beginning), so why should we invest more money. Asking us to pay another $400-600 just to get the “full” experience when there is no technical limitation is stupid. They have been much better lately, but I’ll be extremely pissed if they don’t offer the Squire (and only a little less pissed if they don’t offer exporting).

    Franck Reply:

    And when. They said earlier the Squier is not confirmed for launch, I’d like to know if there’s any news about that.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    Again, they just re-confirmed the known details a week ago. Nothing’s changed since then. As soon as that is announced (or even rumored from a reputable source), it’ll be posted here.

  • Dark Archon says:

    And apparently everything is “really, really cool” ;D

  • iNick64 says:

    Do we know how the pro guitars will work with legacy songs? How will you play them?

    RockBandAide Reply:

    Not sure. I would imagine they are compatible in some way, but what’s the point, to be honest? Why play a five lane highway with a real guitar, when you could just switch back to the normal plastic guitar to play? Kinda overkill, I guess.

    Croq Reply:

    If the pro-guitars don’t support non-pro songs, that will be a huge issue I would think. No support would mean:

    1. If a group of us is playing and wants to have full access to all songs past and present, then I cannot play pro guitar, because some songs have it and some songs don’t.

    2. I would have to own *two* guitars now, one pro and one non-pro and swap between them depending on which songs I wanted to play.

    The simple fact is that they could implement support for playing non-pro songs on a pro guitar if they want. I really hope that they do so that if I play pro guitar, I don’t have a lesser experience than others simply because 90% of the songs I own are unplayable on a pro guitar.

    For what it’s worth, I did read somewhere where they were planning support for non-pro with the Mustang guitar, but haven’t seen anything like that regarding the Squire.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    For #1, I’m not understanding your point. As it currently stands, legacy DLC will not be updated to include pro-charts (although that may change). Wouldn’t you just use your existing gear to play it?

    For #2, given the situation I outlined, that’s true. However, at this point in the genre, MOST people have two legacy guitars anyway from buying all the rhythm games.

    But yeah, you’re probably right. They will probably build that functionality in just to avoid situations like these to play it safe.

    River 0tter Reply:

    My guess is they’ll chart the five buttons to the top five frets or so.
    Which string you play probably wouldn’t matter.
    That’s the only logical way I can see them working Pro Guitar into Legacy DLC without totally bastardizing those who can rampage the five buttons.
    I’d try it.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    That’s essentially the way PowerGig works when I played it at E3, as well as the YouRock guitar. I think that’s the closest comparison.

  • lunatic says:

    i didn’t know the keys had wammy, that’s kinda odd.

    Game!Ov3r Reply:

    Its so you can use the Keyboard to play Guitar.

  • Xenigma says:

    I love how he’s wearing one of the Daigo/MadCatz t-shirts. Cool stuff!

  • Flame95 says:

    He’s a cross between an aussie and a chav. Great.

  • Croq says:

    Another question I have is, where are the non-pro guitars for RB3? I mean it’s cool about pro guitar, and I plan to get the Squire, but what about folks that want to play RB3 “old-style”?

    RB2 guitars are almost impossible to find these days. Mad Catz needs to come up with some long-term solution for non-pro-peeps.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    There will be updated versions of Rock Band 2 instruments that Mad Catz is making, and in a bunch more colors, too. I asked about that at E3. Here’s a picture from HMX at the MTV Games booth at E3 showing off some new gear: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmxcommunity/4752755292/

    DarkFox Reply:

    Have any more information on that? Because all of my RockBand 2 instruments are beat to hell. Any pricing, as well?

    RockBandAide Reply:

    No details announced yet, but take a look at current peripheral pricing on Amazon. That should give you a good starting point.

    Colin Reply:

    That picture is frustratingly small, as it seems full of juicy goodness to a RB gearhead like myself.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    I took one myself while I was there that is much bigger. I’ll try and remember to post it soon.

    River 0tter Reply:

    God that bass is sexy. Might have to change my bassist into a Fender Precision with that color scheme now….

  • Kiseong says:

    So wait, do you need the MIDI pro adapter in order to play pro mode because i’m planning to buy the keyboard bundle only and i don’t that’s included? and the cymbals, are they compatible with the Rock Band 1 drums (not RB2)?

    RockBandAide Reply:

    You will not need the MIDI adapter for the Rock Band 3 branded Mad Catz keyboard, only if you have a real MIDI peripheral that is not designed for Rock Band 3. The MIDI controller adds in a way to connect your MIDI instrument to your console, as well as the console buttons missing from a real instrument.

    Your Rock Band 1 drums are not Rock Band 3 Pro-drums compatible (they lack the input for the cymbal attachments.

    chiefslayer Reply:

    Damn this laptop sucks i can hardly get sound. Does that mean the keyboard i have (full size one which im pretty sure has a midi output) will work with the game using that adapter? I thought i was gonna have to buy the one for the game which sucked cause im gonna end up having 2 keyboards. And 2 guitars since i already have one and want to buy the strat.

    What i really would like confirmation on is whether well be able to play lefty pro mode with the strat. I doubt theyre gonna make lefty guitars ( which i would love because it sucks to have to whammy and press buttons upsidedown and its always in your way) considering how few people play on lefty mode. I hope well at least be able to restring the guitar, although that is going to effect the sound of the guitar. Which can sometimes work out. Hendrix used to play on righty guitars with the strings flipped as opposed to using lefty guitar because it was a better sound for him. But still it will effect the guitars. However its better than nothing. Maybe i could custom order a lefty for a few extra bucks. I hope they dont leave us stranded.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    If your current keyboard has MIDI out, then yes it should work, but you’ll need to purchase the MIDI controller.

    Harmonix has already confirmed that both the Mustang and Squier support lefty mode, but it remains to be seen if MadCatz will make dedicated lefty guitars.

    As the Squier is a REAL guitar, you will have to restring it when the strings break. The in-game sound will not be affected by restringing the guitar, as the notes detected are based on your finger placement on the fretboard itself, not the strings.

    Kiseong Reply:

    but i don’t seem to be getting how a real guitar with MIDI output can make that happen? cause i have a real squier, but just a like a regular guitar it has only the plug for the amp, unless there is another cable that has the MIDI plug in it. thanks for answering btw!!! XD

    RockBandAide Reply:

    Make WHAT happen?

    River 0tter Reply:

    I’m pretty sure real guitars that have MIDI outputs won’t work at the moment. Only the madcatz or fender branded ones they’re making for the game.

  • Zaphod42 says:

    Great video! Thanks for posting.

    There are some facts missing from the discussion, however. Not everybody here seems to realize that the Fender Squier will connect to the consoles via the MIDI-controller box, hence the “Guitar” toggle. I doubt that regular MIDI-guitars can be connected through the MIDI-controller box, as they lack the touch-sensitve neck. From my understanding, this will make it possible to use the same Fender across all platforms, just connecting via different MIDI-boxes. (For a lengthy discussion and further brilliant facts just check http://www.plasticaxe.com/2010/06/21/hands-on-with-pro-guitar-in-rock-band-3/)

    All that being said, I don’t see a reason, why the Squier should NOT come to the Wii. Could it be that the Wii is not advanced enough to process all the information generated by the Squier and processed by the MIDI-controller?

    Zaphod42 Reply:

    … and without the ) the link actually works:
    http://www.plasticaxe.com/2010/06/21/hands-on-with-pro-guitar-in-rock-band-3/

    RockBandAide Reply:

    Or you could probably go here and see the same thing: http://rockbandaide.com/5882/hands-on-impressions-of-new-real-guitar-peripherals-at-e3/

    Zaphod42 Reply:

    Really? I can’t find any reference regarding the fact that the Squier is connected via the MIDI-controller-box. Have I missed that? Check the comment section on the other site that I linked to.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    That’s because there wasn’t a MIDI controller used during my hands-on (see the video in the link). Thanks.

    RockBandAide Reply:

    As for the Wii argument, technical limitations aside, its a simple cost/benefit business decision. Is the cost of producing this thing for the Wii going to exceed the revenue generated? If so, you won’t see it. Granted there are unquantifiable costs/benefits included as well, but this is a quick and dirty explanation as to why it MAY not show up on the Wii. I just think that since most Wii gamers are casual gamers, this may not be the best console to dedicate production efforts.

    Zaphod42 Reply:

    Dude, did you actually read what I wrote? IF the Squier is connected via the MIDI box, then that means there don’t have to be 3 different Squier versions, just 3 different MIDI boxes! And there is a MIDI box for the Wii, so IF it’s not coming to the Wii, it’s not because they won’t produce a guitar for it, but because of other technical reasons (as explained above.) Don’t just go on auto-pilot, whenever you hear the word “Wii”.

    Sorry for the tone, but you’re actually just repeating the same point here, you already made above. We’ve read it!

    RockBandAide Reply:

    I read your point, but it doesn’t make sense. You’re saying that the Squier will be console-neutral (which I’ve already seen in person that it’s not) because it needs to be plugged in to the MIDI controller, which will have the console buttons on it, also.

    My point is that something’s not making sense here. Unless they’re planning on REMOVING the console buttons from the Squier I played, the MIDI controller is COMPLETELY REDUNDANT.

    Zaphod42 Reply:

    Ok, thanks for addressing this. This directly contradicts this statement (from the Comments section in the other link):

    “Joe Rybicki
    June 23, 2010 at 3:29 pm
    I checked with Harmonix and the Squier does in fact require the MIDI box! I’m surprised and a little disappointed it won’t be wireless. Not a big deal, certainly, just a little surprising.”

    But, I guess, we’ll see it all early enough. Cheers!

    RockBandAide Reply:

    Bingo. I’m just confused as to where the disconnect is. If I had to guess, I would say it’s because the Squier at E3 was a prototype and may have different functionality that what the final product sold to consumers may have. Joe’s a great guy, so if he’s confirmed that, then it’s probably true, but I want to know why I was playing it with no MIDI attachment…

    Zaphod42 Reply:

    You know what? I’d LOVE to hear the answer to that just as you! If you can find it out, I’m sure, there would be loads of other interested readers, too!

    Keep up the good work! I mean it!

  • Anex says:

    Thanks so much for the article!

  • chiefslayer says:

    Thats awesome then I can just use the keyboard i already have.

    Ya I know the in game sound will not be effected by restringing the squier to lefty mode but it will effect the out of game sound when playing the guitar with an amp. It would be nice if they just made a lefty guitar. Upside down controller buttons have always sucked. Better than nothing though.

    When you say “it remains to be seen if MadCatz will make dedicated lefty guitars.” do you mean fender as well with the squier, or has fender already confirmed there will be no left handed version of the guitar? I figured if anyone would need to make left handed guitars it would be fender because theyre using real strings. Since the mustang is just buttons they dont really need to make a left handed version of it. The neck would be the same either way.