Rock Band gets Music Store, update, 6 million song downloads

Harmonix gives Rock Band a major software update, plus an in-game Music Store.

Like Rock Band but hate some the quirks that impeded your game play and made wailing away to Ozzy not as intense as it should have been?

Well, Harmonix said it was listening, and Thursday it came through with a major software update for the title as well as the introduction of a slick in-game Music Store for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

The Music Store will be accessible from the main menu, and an overview over at Game|Life Thursday describes the Rock Band Music Store experience as fast, easy to navigate and full-featured.

You will also be able to preview songs before you buy them, and can check out the difficulty level broken down by instrument before buying as well.

As for the nitty gritty software update, here's just a sampling of what Harmonix says is only the beginning of a series of bug fixes planned for Rock Band:

— Faster loading of downloaded content. You download list is now going to be cached, meaning it only needs to load up once, not every time the system is turned on.

— PlayStation 3 microphone latency issues have been addressed, somewhat. This is not a 100 per cent solution to the PS3's microphone lag with some setups, but it should work in some situations, Harmonix said.

— Fan cap revision – Increase on number of fans possible. Easy allows travel across Atlantic, Medium has a wider range of venues and Hard players (on the Xbox 360) can unlock the "One Million Fans" achievement.

Joystiq has a pretty extensive list of what's left in the Rock Band update.

In related news, Harmonix reps also said Thursday that more than 6 million Rock Band songs have been downloaded so far by its musically inclined fan base. The Music Store should go a long way toward doubling that figure.

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Jack Loftus

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