Guitar Hero IV, or Guitar Hero World Tour as it is rightly known now, is set to hit this autumn, adding drums and singing to the established mix, in a perhaps non-to-subtle homage to Rock Band. Harmonix, the latter's creators clearly aren't taking that development lying down because come September the Xbox 360 will see the exclusive launch of Rock Band 2.
Feature wise Rock Band 2 one-ups Guitar Hero IV (so far as we know to date) by being backwards-compatible with downloadable content (DLC) from the Rock Band. Better yet, future releases will be compatible with both games - the idea being that there is simply "Rock Band DLC" for both games. This is good for Harmonix, as it gives them more potential customers, but also good for players who don't want to upgrade - or can't afford to.
Instruments are set to be quieter, more realistic and less prone to breaking (unlike the original drum kits!). A new set list is, of course, also on offer.
While it's disappointing to hear that only Xbox players will be given an alternative to World Tour (which, as it happens, launches on just about every platform under the sun) at first, the PS3 will also be added to that list later in the year after Microsoft has finished eating its exclusivity pie. If we're lucky in the UK, it might even arrive before the original Rock Band comes out here!