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Rock Band hasn't even arrived in Australia yet, but that doesn't stop third-party peripherals being prepared for release here.

We were quite excited to try out Ion Audio's Rock Band drum kit prototype. (CNET.com.au's own Rock Band bass drum pedal was catastrophically rent in twain -- fixed first by a chocolate box with a magnet taped to it, and then with the sole of a rather attractive woman's shoe.)

The Ion Audio kit played well -- with realistic cymbals, good feedback on the drums, and a sturdy foot pedal. At the moment there are no D-pad controls or Start button so it was hard to operate -- but it's otherwise quite exciting.

Jamie Robertson of Ion Audio tells us the company is in talks with Big W and JB HiFi and that the kit should be available this year. Pricing isn't set, but Robertson said it should be "affordable". Now all we need is the game itself....

Ion Audio also makes electronic drum kits and lots of other prosumer DJ and iPod gear so we are looking forward to seeing its products get local distribution.

The Ion Audio drum kit in action. The drums are considerably more spaced out than those in the original kit.

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Ion Audio's drum kit for Rock Band introduces cymbols to the mix, so you can crash to your heart's content.

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The bass drum pedal on the Ion Audio kit seems strong and well-made -- we hope it's sturdier than our original Rock Band pedal!

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