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Development of Rock Band 3 began immediately after the September 2008 release of Rock Band 2, says project director Daniel Sussman at Cambridge, Mass.-based Harmonix.

As work continued, the music category's slide in sales made the design team deepen their focus. "We saw a kind of staleness in terms of game-play innovation," Sussman says. "Really, the main focus of Rock Band 3 development was finding new ways to experience the music and actually doubling down, if you will, on our investment in compelling game play.

"We are adding a new instrument (a 25-key, fully functioning MIDI keyboard) and we're adding a whole new mode, which is designed basically to answer that staleness factor."

The result, he says, is "an experience that is both accessible to players who are just getting into this thing, and builds something for the hard-core player who is maybe a little bored with where music games are."
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Desktop
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.30 GHz ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 Biostar GeForce GTS 250 @Stock G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
160GB Seagate 7200rpm + 160GB Hitachi 7200rpm ASUS DRW-2014L1T Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Dell U2412M + ASUS VH226H 
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Steelseries 6GV2 Antec TruePower New TP-650 Rosewill Destroyer Logitech G400 
Mouse PadAudio
Razer Goliathus Speed M Asus Xonar DX > FiiO E9 > Edifier R1200 / Denon... 
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