(Updated details on the Ion Drum Kit at the bottom!)

The war is now truly on.

The drum war, that is. Guitar Hero World Tour pissed off a whole lot of people (like me) by including a drum set with more inputs than Rock Band, effectively requiring even owners of that game to buy a whole new bundle. World Tour does have some great new features, like more realistic feeling drums and silicon cymbals, but no one doubted that Harmonix would have a few tricks up its sleeve. But did anyone think that it would have this?

That image is from the newest issue of Game Informer, and it’s of the special edition ION drum kit. Just read those words- it will work as an actual electronic drum kit as well as a game controller. No idea on price for that yet or how it’ll work, but man oh man, just look at it.

The regular drum set included with the Rock Band 2 bundle will look pretty much the same as the first but will be improved as well, featuring velocity-sensitive, softer drum pads, a metal-reinforced foot pedal (finally!) and places for expansions, such as a cymbal pack that will come with a crash, ride and high hat. Each cymbal will correspond to a color already on the kit, so it’s more for fun than anything else, for now…

The guitar will be better and more cool looking as well, featuring a “less squishy” strum bar and less clicky buttons.

So why am I not bitching about these new (and improved) sets, when I ripped into Guitar Hero World Tour? Because the game will still work with the old instruments. Until my drum set completely falls apart on me (like it has at the poor bar I play the game at) it will do just fine. No one’s forced into an update- it’s just there if you want it, or are a newcomer to the series. And honestly, which game would you a newcomer rather have?

And goddamn is that Ion kit tempting. Sorry Guitar Hero… I’ve got a new love in my life.

(Just to make you people jealous, Russ and I will be getting our hands [and feet] on this in four days time. Keep an eye here…)

UPDATE! More details on the ION are online right here! Looks like this bad boy will set you back 300 bucks- by itself. Yep, no game included. It’s also got a ton more pictures of each feature and even a video of a guy playing it. Thanks for Russell for sending in the link!