Music games have returned and the battle off the brands is back on. This October it's Rock Band 4 up against Guitar Hero Live. And of the two it's Activision's Guitar Hero Live that will be cheaper.

This time around, however, the question of price is more nuanced. That's because you can use old peripherals to play Rock Band 4, so in theory all you need to buy is the game.

But if you want the new Mad Catz-made Rock Band 4 peripherals - and it's only these bundles that appear to be available now - then you'll have to fork out.

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The Rock Band 4 peripherals in dreary library pose.

For the full band bundle - game plus drums and (wired) microphone and guitar - it's £220 (Amazon and Game). For the game-plus-guitar bundle it's £110. The Rock Band forum has links to all the relevant retailers and deals.

Meanwhile Guitar Hero Live - a game refocused on only the guitar - costs £85 for the guitar-plus-game bundle, although Zavvi is flogging it for £80.

You can't play Guitar Hero Live with an old peripheral because the game has been designed for the new one, which is quite different. We wrote all about it in our Guitar Hero Live preview. The series has also gone first-person and uses video footage of real crowds rather than stylised computer-rendered characters.

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That zany new Guitar Hero Live controller.

Rock Band 4 is more traditional, but it also allows importing all of songs from previous games. So whereas it may look more expensive on a shop shelf, it could be considered the cheaper for other reasons.

We'll find out whether music games still print money when they're released in Rocktober sorry October (a custard pie in the face for the first company to wheel that phrase out).

Rock Band 4 arrives first on 6th October, on PS4 and Xbox One; Guitar Hero Live arrives 20th October on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U.

Incidentally, by way of comparison, the Rock Band 4 full band bundle costs $250 in the US (£220 here), and the game-plus-guitar bundle $130 (£110 here). The UK price includes VAT and the US price excludes sales tax, so they should look a bit more even after all is said and done.

The Guitar Hero Live guitar-plus-game bundle costs $100 in the US (£85 here), and there's also the option of a two-guitar-plus-game bundle for $150 (no £equivalent).

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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