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Rock Band new in game store 6 million Downloads
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Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:35 pm Reply and quote this post
MTV Games-ownedHarmonix said Thursday that users have purchased over 6 milliondownloadable songs for Rock Band, and also announced an in-game MusicStore update.
RockBand's success with downloadable music continues to pick up momentum,with downloads hitting the 6 million mark, up from 2.5 million inmid-January.

MTV Games releases new additional Rock Band songsevery week, providing a steady stream of new content for users, and areliable revenue stream for the game's creators.

Currently, individual songs are priced at $1.99 per download, while three-song packs are priced at $5.49.

RockBand launched in November 2007 and has sold over 1.1 million copies inthe US as of mid-January. The Xbox 360 version of the title has been inthe top 10 unit sellers in the US for the first two months of 2008. Thegame is also available for PlayStation 3 and PS2.

Harmonix andMTV also said Rock Band would be getting a free software update thisweek that will add an in-game Rock Band Music Store, allowing playersto browse, purchase and download song selections without exiting thegame. The Music Store will let users browse album art, listen to songpreviews and view song details, including difficulty.

NewsWeek wrote:

At last month's Game Developers Conferencein San Francisco, Harmonix invited a handful of journalists to itssuite at the W Hotel to check out its long-awaited in-game store forRock Band. Until now, players have had to use the Xbox Live Marketplaceand the Playstation Store to purchase new tracks and song packs for thehit game. No longer. Harmonix has officially announced an update thatwill offer you what we were shown: a music store that is fullyintegrated into the game itself. The Rock Band music store will let youlisten to audio previews of each available track, which means no moresearching YouTube to figure out if a song you've never heard is worthyour hard-earned Microsoft Points dollars. You'llalso be able to check out the album artwork that accompanies eachtrack; see a nine-point scale difficulty rating for each part (guitar,drums, vocals, bass and overall); and sort songs by multiplecategories, including genre.

Browsing the ever-expanding list of downloadable songs in Rock Band just got a whole lot easier.
An in-game music store will be added to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Rock Band with Thursday's big title update,Harmonix said. The store will free players from having to scrollthrough the clunky interfaces of the PlayStation Store and Xbox LiveMarketplace, and allow them to more easily find what they're lookingfor and preview tracks before buying them.
I got to check out the music store during a top-secret meeting lastmonth, and now that the news is official, all the details of what I saware below.
The Music Store menu option will be added to the main menu of Rock Band, and players will be able to jump right in without ever leaving the game.
This alone is likely to send Rock Band downloadable contentsales soaring, as casual players will constantly be reminded that theoption to download songs exists and is readily available to them.
As soon as you jump into the store, you'll see a special message atthe top, with whatever news Harmonix feels like bringing to you thatday. The latest song release will be shown as an album cover on theleft side of the screen, and you'll be able to check out all the week'snew releases by clicking on that first menu option.
Moving into the Songs menu, you'll be able to sort through tunes anywhich way you like: in alphabetical order, by artist, by year (notdecade), by genre and even by difficulty level.
If a song is featured in a three-song pack, you'll be able to jumpstraight to that pack before you buy it, to see if perhaps you'd liketo buy all of them and save 50 cents. Ditto jumping to individual songswhile viewing packs.
Perhaps most importantly, you'll be able to preview songs before youbuy them. Because it would take ages to load streaming music for everysingle song at once, you'll have to individually click a "preview"button to listen to each one. But once you've downloaded the previewaudio, it'll play automatically when you scroll over the song in thetrack list.
You can also check out deeper information about each song -- like thedifficulty level broken down by instrument -- before buying.
I was very impressed with the design and implementation of the MusicStore when Harmonix demonstrated it for me. Everything runs fast, theinterface is very slickly designed, with neat little graphic effects asyou flip through songs, and the information you can get before you buyis exactly what was called for.
When I was at Harmonix last July working on the Wired magazine article about Rock Band,the company said this was actually planned for launch. Obviously therewere technical concerns holding the music store back, but it's great tosee Harmonix finally has it in place -- 6 million downloads is going to look like chump change now that the music store is up and running.

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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