USA Today has posted a story covering Rock Band 3, Harmonix's upcoming music game release. As hinted in the Green Day Rock Band demo, keyboards are included, to the satisfaction of Liberace fans everywhere. This will bring the upper limit for co-op to seven at a time: bass, guitar, lead vocals, two backup singers, a drummer, and a keyboardist. Tickling the ivories has been a fan request ever since the original Rock Band, and as the next logical step for the genre, it's great to finally see it.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the gameplay for keyboards is quite familiar, with color coded areas corresponding to the actual keyboard. A new Pro Mode will use all the keys, and is "meant to help players segue to actual instruments". Guitar and bass experts will be able to participate in Pro Mode, too. As for the keyboard controller itself, it is described as an actual instrument, and even has the ability to work as a MIDI keyboard connected to your computer.
Rounding out the feature set, Rock Band 3 will include drop in/drop out co-op, and on the fly instrument and difficulty swapping, similar to features we enjoyed in Guitar Hero 5. The Doors' "Break on Through" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen are mentioned as being included on the set list. It would appear Harmonix has done it again; time will tell if the inclusion of keyboards will bring music games back to their former glory.