Guitar Hero World Tour, in development at Neversoft, introduces vocals and drums to the mix, promising wireless instruments, the biggest tracklisting ever on disc and a multi-track recording studio that lets you create and share your own cock-rock anthems.
As for the instruments, we're promised the "most realistic drum experience ever in a video game". Unlike Rock Band's four pads-plus-kick-pedal set-up, World Tour will offer three pads and two raised cymbal in addition to a bass pedal.
The pads are also velocity sensitive and apparently quieter to hit than That Other Game. There's also a "newly designed" and "more responsive" guitar, though there's no specific info on what's changed.
Band Career mode will be fully playable online for up to four of you, and you can take on another quartet anywhere in the world in Battle of the Bands mode, which could be hilariously chaotic. Tweak-freaks will doubtless also enjoy the ability to put together their very own monster of rock from top to bottom, customising everything from tattoos and types of pick, designing band logos and creating album artwork.
As for the tracklisting, so far the acts confirmed for inclusion are: Van Halen, Linkin Park, The Eagles and Sublime. All very nice. But the secret weapon could be Music Studio, which offers "a full compliment of tools to create digital music from scratch". Once recorded, you can perform your track in game, or upload and share it with your friends online via the new GHTunes service.
One feature that doesn't look like making the cut, however, is the 'Jam Over' mode. Already shown to select press, this would have allowed you to 'jam' over the top of existing tracks in the game. But a spokesperson today confirmed to Eurogamer that it had been dropped "for now".
"With Music Studio, we are once again delivering unprecedented innovation that has the potential to revolutionize consumer generated music, much in the same way that video sharing hubs have driven user generated video," RedOctane man Dusty Welch told a press release.
Guitar Hero World Tour will release on PS3, 360, PS2 and Wii later this year - the full online shebang is likely to be restricted to PS3 and 360. And before you ask, they're saying nothing on pricing just yet.
By pure coincidence, EA and MTV's Rock Band releases on 360 in Europe this Friday.