Rock Band 3’s pro guitar controller may mark the first time in video game history that gamers will be fighting over who gets to use the MadKatz controller. That’s because the pro guitar controller from MadKatz and Fender is a real flippin’ guitar, with real frets and strings. Get good at the Rock Band 3 pro mode and you’ll actually be able to play the guitar. Like, legitimately. No more listening to the haters telling you to pick up a real instrument, because hey, you did.
The one downside is that bass guitarists don’t get their own pro controller. At this point, to play the bass guitar’s pro mode, they have to simply use the bottom four strings of the pro guitar controller. This doesn’t give a real bass experience, because the strings aren’t thick enough and the neck’s not long enough.
So, is a bass guitar pro controller for Rock Band 3 right around the corner? Yes–and no.
It seems more than likely that a pro bass guitar controller will eventually be available for Rock Band 3, but only if the other peripherals sell fairly well. Remember, with Rock Band 3, music games just got very, very real: in order to play the game on Pro mode, you’ll need to buy a peripheral that costs about $150, and a lot of people might not be willing to do that.
If Rock Band 3’s pro instruments tank, then there won’t be a pro bass controller. That seems unlikely, as the game has been getting enormous press buzz, but anything could happen, and the Rock Band 3 team appreciate that fact. They know that the bass isn’t the most popular instrument on the market, too, which may be why a pro bass controller for Rock Band 3 isn’t available immediately with the game.
Bass fans have a few things working to their advantage: Rock Band 3 looks like it’s going to be popular, and both the Rock Band team and Fender have been historically willing to take chances. If I had to guess, I’d predict the appearance of a Rock Band 3 jazz bass or precision bass controller before June of 2011, as this would give Fender time to check the sales of the Rock Band 3 pro guitar controller and make a decision about whether a bass could be profitable. They’re making a profit off of each peripheral, so I doubt that they’ll miss the opportunity to make some decent cash on a bass controller. I’d also expect it to carry the Squier brand name, and to be another co-release with MadKatz.