Harmonix has signed an exclusive deal with Fender Musical Instruments to feature their guitars exclusively in Rock Band, the upcoming multi-instrument version of Guitar Hero. The upcoming guitar peripherals for the game will be based upon the Stratocaster, the second coolest rock guitar of all time. (1979-era Elvis Costello played a Gretsch, making it the top coolest guitar of all time).
Harmonix confirmed that existing Guitar Hero controllers will work with Rock Band, so no need for all new gear, although, according to Harmonix president and co-founder Alex Rigopulos, "There will be some cool new features of the official Rock Band Fender Stratocaster Controller that aren't present in the existing Guitar Hero controllers."
Other rock and/or roll sponsors of the upcoming Rock Band peripherals include Roland, known for their keyboards, mainly, and BOSS, who make effect pedals.
When asked how the developers would tackle the issue of online lag in a game that demands precise timing, Rigopulos said, "we have a unique solution...and it's a heck of a lot of fun in action."
GameSpot.com: Rock Band plays nice with Fender