I have been playing the hell out of Rock Band 2. I very much enjoy it as it's quite fun and challenging. I'm also willing to bet that games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero are helping the music industry quite a bit as most likely people are getting exposed to music they have never considered before (I know I have been).. But what might me more important is that people are getting exposed to the notion of making music..
In an era where school music programs are on the decline (or completely gone) I can't think of anything more important for the music industry as a whole than getting kids interested and/or hooked at an early age.. This is the perfect venue!
They just need to bridge the realism gap.. Rock Band (and guitar hero, band hero, etc..) are great games, but they aren't realistic at all.. For the guitar and bass you are producing notes by strumming a single piece of plastic and pushing one or multiples of 5 buttons.. As you graduate through the difficulty levels things get harder in that the waterfall of Chiclets come faster and the fingerings are more difficult, but you don't actually progress towards being able to play a real instrument..
How cool would it be if instead as you progress through the difficulty curve the game got more realistic the harder it got.. In order to pull this off they would need to basically ship the game with a real guitar or a device that hooks into a real guitar such that it responds to the console in a way expected by the game... Instead of pushing a single button, maybe sense that we are actually pushing a cord or even a single string.. And once you get to the end of the difficulty curve you're playing the song.. How awesome would that be?!
Suddenly not only would Rock Band be a kick ass game, but it would also be a must have teacher that could train you to play your favorite songs (for only $2 a download.. or whatever it is..)..
Once you have a device that hooks into a guitar or drums it should be fairly simple to make that device work for other instruments..
Imagine if you will, "Piano Hero!" or maybe "Violin Hero!" It would allow you to play a game with you instrument of choice, and go a long way towards teaching you to better play that instrument..
You think "Band Hero" is fun? Try "Symphony Hero!" hah
There are so many possibilities here.. I seriously hope that they don't squander this.. They could spark a whole new revolution around music making if they really wanted to..