You might not be ready to rock, but the E3 gaming expo is ready to rock you.
Last year, music games headlined E3 in a major way with Paul McCartney, Ringo Star, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison taking the stage at Microsoft's press conference. It's hard to top the Beatles. This isn't about topping the Beatles. This is about the biggest music games at this year's E3.
These are the big ones of next week's huge E3... we think!
DJ Hero 2 (PS3, Xbox 360) The turntables return! DJ Hero, Activision's disc-jokeyfication of Guitar Hero, is getting another installment. It didn't do well enough as expected perhaps, but it did well enough.
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (PS3, Xbox 360) Guitar Hero returns with 90-plus tracks, a story-driven quest mode, Gene Simmons and Gene Simmons' tongue. Pretty sure Gene Simmons' tongue deserves its own game. A platformer, perhaps.
Power Gig (PS3, Xbox 360) Power Gig is a music game with a difference. That difference is that it uses a real electric guitar. That's right, instead of learning how to master pressing plastic buttons, Power Gig has players strum out real chords on real strings on a teched out guitar.
Rock Band 3 (PS3, PS2, Wii, Xbox 360) You know it, you love it, Rock Band. The third installment in the series seems to be bringing keyboards with it so get ready to tickle the ivories. Goochie goochie goo. (Could the Rock Band people also be making a dancing game? That's a rumour.)
Def Jam Rapstar (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) For the first time in many years, we're getting a rap music game - and it will hopefully be a good one! Think SingStar but with rap from all of hip-hop's eras.
Grease: The Video Game (Wii, DS) Or is this the one that you want? A music game based on that movie.
What's the trend here?
While music games might have seemed like the be all saviour of the music industry in years past, this year's line-up shows that music games are settling comfortably into a well defined genre. I don't believe they are any more a fad than sports games or shooters.
Music games continue to innovate and expand, and this year's titles look solid with something to please armchair musician and, yes, even real ones.