While I might not be the biggest fan of Activision's approach to bringing Guitar Hero to the DS, the On Tour games have apparently sold like gangbusters, so they must be doing something right. It's an approach that is now being taken to its logical conclusion with the newly announced Band Hero for the DS. While the Band Hero name on other platforms mostly seems to suggest a more family-friendly playlist and aesthetic than a regular Guitar Hero game, it will also bring significant new gameplay options to the DS. In addition to the screen-strumming guitar gameplay that has been the staple of three Guitar Hero: On Tour games so far, Band Hero will also feature support for vocals and drums, with the percussion gameplay necessitating the new drum grip seen below.
UPDATE: I sent an email to Activision concerning Band Hero's focus on the DS Lite specifically, and received this response from the game's executive producer, David Nathanielsz:
Band Hero for the DS will be available this November.
For Band Hero DS we chose to focus our development efforts on the primary DS platform, where millions of fans have already embraced the handheld innovation we brought to the Guitar Hero On Tour games. The new Drum Grip does not require the use of DS Lite’s expansion port. The grip itself slips over the DS Lite replacing the directional arrows and buttons with 4 drum pad buttons that allow for a more natural, responsive and enjoyable play experience. While we will continue to innovate the portable music game experience and we are very excited about the emerging technologies available with the DSi, Band Hero is not compatible with DSi at this time.
UPDATE #2: Some actual gameplay screenshots. Whee!