"Guitar Hero: World Tour" -- out right now -- and "AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack" -- coming on November 2 -- mark some of first releases since we learned each set of instruments would work in their competition's games.
The way MTV Games and Activision Blizzard have promoted this newfound instrument truce on the packaging for their latest games differ, however.
In the interest of full disclosure, please note that MTV Games, a division of MTV Networks, which also owns MTV Multiplayer, does publish "Rock Band."
That said, here's what the boxes tell us…
"AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack" has this on the front of the box…
"Requires a drum, microphone, or guitar controller to play. Compatible with most music game controllers."
"Guitar Hero: World Tour" makes several mentions on the back of the game's box, albeit with more legal jargon thrown in…
"*Guitar Hero World Tour Game is compatible with Guitar Hero guitar controllers for the Xbox 360."
"If used with guitar peripherals, only Guitar Hero peripherals are supported by Activision."
"Activision authorizes use of this Guitar Hero Game only in combination with Guitar Hero controllers provided by Activision or standard gamepad controllers provided with the game console or other Activision licensed controllers. Any other use is expressly prohibited. No other license, express or implied, is granted."
Prohibited? Anyone want to guess what would happen if Activision Blizzard caught you playing "Guitar Hero" on YouTube with a "Rock Band" controller?! We're just kidding, of course. The wordiness of "Guitar Hero"'s multiple notices is likely to help the company avoid any customer service issues if someone has trouble playing the game with anything other than a "Guitar Hero"-branded controller, rather than anything sinister.
Whatever the packaging differences between the two games, neither one promotes the other. There is no "works with 'Guitar Hero'" declarations on the box for "Rock Band." But we expect that, and most importantly, underneath all the smokes and mirrors, we have what we all wanted: instrument compatibility.