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Rock Band 3 to tickle the ivories?

Final screen of Green Day: Rock Band demo shows teaser for Rock Band 3; keyboards, three-part harmonies strongly hinted at.

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Source: The Green Day: Rock Band demo launched today on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

What we saw: On exiting the demo for Green Day: Rock Band, gamers are presented with a couple of screens of ads to encourage full-game purchases. The final one (pictured below) seems to be a teaser for the upcoming Rock Band 3, with a number of the series' trademark icons next to a numeral 3. Alongside those for guitar, bass, and drums is one featuring three microphones and one that seems to represent a keyboard. The multi-mic logo points to the inclusion of three-part harmony vocals in the next game, a carryover from last year's Beatles: Rock Band, but the keyboard icon is a bit more surprising.

But will it be in the form of a keytar?
But will it be in the form of a keytar?

Keyboard peripherals have long been rumoured for both the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises. Speaking in 2009, Harmonix cofounder Alex Rigopulos said the possibility for adding a keyboard was being examined, but was "a maybe."

Earlier than that, in August 2008, Neversoft project director Brian Bright said, "A keyboard controller deserves to be introduced with its own game. This is something we're thinking about." While Keyboard Hero was trademarked by Activision in May 2006, a Hero-branded keyboard game has yet to emerge.

"There are reasons why we haven't included a keyboard controller," Bright said at the time. "Not all of our songs have keyboard parts, so we didn't want someone to come into a game, pick up the keyboard controller, and then have nothing to do in any of the songs that are selected. We wanted a big mix of music in World Tour, and adding a keyboard controller would either have limited our choices, or the players'."

The official story: EA reps had not responded to requests for comment at press time.

Bogus or not bogus?: Almost certainly not bogus. The icon in the teaser image definitely shows a keyboard and refers to Rock Band 3, and while official confirmation has yet to be made, it is a very strong indication from EA that a keyboard peripheral is coming in time for the holidays.

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