Latest Sims 3 expansion Generations has just been released, so EA is now working hard on the next entry in the popular series.

The expansions for The Sims 3 on PC and Mac are substantial beasts, adding considerable amounts of new gameplay to the mix each time. World Adventures added dungeon-crawling, treasure hunting and questing. Ambitions allowed players to follow their Sims to work for the first time. Late Night brought the Sims to the city and into the realm of the vampires, and the just-released Generations makes life as a Sim kid and teen in particular much more interesting.

Both The Sims and The Sims 2 saw pet-related expansions late in their respective lives, as well as standalone games for consoles. The Sims 3 is to be no exception, with The Sims 3 Pets coming to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, 3DS and PC/Mac this holiday.

In a shift from previous Sim pets, though, players will have much more control over the look and personalities of the various fluffy beasts on offer, and they'll also be able to take direct control of them.

The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions will be standalone games that do not require the existing console version of The Sims 3. Gameplay will be focused on controlling the pets to, in EA's words, "uncover and solve mysteries of the town." The Xbox 360 version will support Kinect's voice control facility, though EA hasn't said if you'll be expected to speak in Simlish. Af wubbas do!

The 3DS version also focuses on control of the animals. On the handheld, it's possible to take control of up to three Sims at once, all of which can be animals if the player desires. Play Coins can be used to purchase Karma Powers to make Sims happy -- or alternatively to make their life a living hell. StreetPass compatibility also allows players to trade their pets with friends.

The PC and Mac editions feature horses along with the cats, dogs, birds, lizards, rodents and snakes of the console versions.

Watch for the new game/expansion this holiday season on PC, Mac, 360, PS3 and 3DS.

This article originally appeared on as Sims 3 Pets Coming This Holiday