GH3 was my firs experience of this type of game, with a dedicated controller. Out of hand i'd dismissed the earlier games as I assumed they were built around a cheesy gimick.
That of course all changed the moment I played the xbox demo which had me laughing at myself and how bad I was for a good 20 minutes of gameplay. It was immediately clear though that this was going to be a new fun experience over playing FPS and other genres, so I decided I had to get it. Then playing with the actual guitar controller was a whole new experience.
I have to admit I'm actually rather impressed with all the songs on GH3 (apart from the last set) as i'm not a fan of rock music and initially only recognised a few bands. Indeed I have never purchased a single or album of any of the artists featured (well exception being Beastie Boys, but that was a different era). Yet once I started playing it I realized I did know most of the tracks and the last boss battle featured one of my childhood favorites.
On the basis of how god GH3 was I got GH2, but have so far been disappointed with the song selection. I am playing through on easy first jus to unlock everything though, so in terms of challenge and enjoyment I'm sure GH2 will be close to GH3 once I move up to medium/hard.
However I realize that in terms of songs GH appears to be caught in a niche, the current DLC doesn't appeal enough to me and so to continue playing or buying into the franchise means they have to broaden its range. The perfect solution is DLC as I'm sure hardcore fans would be highly vocal if they released a GH for a different genre. Alas activision are proving to be highly dissappointing in this area with the lacklusture approach releasing a minimal number of songs.
Although Rockband doesn't have a huge leap on GH in terms of songs I would like, their commitment to frequent DLC suggests they will be in a far better position over time to release more songs that I know, like and want to play, even though i have little interest in playing drums or singing. SO for that reason I'm going to be monitoring it and in all likelyhood get it once released. If they then maintain their DLC releases and broaden the range over GH then I can't see myself going back.
I'm staggered that Activision/Red Octane are being so poor in terms of DLC. I mean The Sims cashed in on a massive franchise often to the moans of hardcore gamers, but here is a game (GH) that absolutely would work with the same model, although updated to DLC instead of numerous expansion discs. Disc expansions would work too, but the model for that is to release one every few months maybe longer and so I can never see it broaden its appeal in terms of genres. I for one wouldn't want to have to wait 6 months to get say a 'blues' collection of something, when they could just as easily provide 5-10 tracks as DLC in a matter of weeks.
Its also the perfect game for increasing its content as I can't believe it would take more than a few days at most to convert any song over to its format, generating note lists etc. Obviously licensing is an issue, but honestly when i was involved in the music industry most companies would jump at the chance of broaden a bands/song reach and means of generating money (licensing).
So in short i just hope one camp or the other broadens their range of songs, as thats the only thing that will really convince me to continue to buy into this genre. Oh and at the right price too