It turns out the big announcement from Propellerheads was actually several announcements, including one that surprised the hell out of me!
• Reason 6 Announced
This is the one that surprised me. Not that there is a version 6 or that it adds several new effects like a gater and a buss compressor, but that they've finally integrated Record within Reason. They were so stubborn about not combining the two when Record was first released, I never expected this to happen, but apparently demand was sufficient. I think this is a serious step up for Reason and applaud the decision to go in this direction.
• Reason Essentials Announced
Reason Essentials, as the name might suggest, is a stripped down, lower-cost version of Reason for those that don't need all the bells and whistles of its big brother.
• Balance Hardware Interface Announced
Also surprising is the release of a simple, easy to use 2 channel audio interface called Balance. Balance is designed to take most of the tedious work out of the recording process leaving users more time to just make music.
All of the new products are slated for release on September 30th.