The Rock Band series of music video games supports downloadable songs for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Wii versions through the consoles' respective online services. Harmonix typically provides three to six new tracks per week available to all consoles as listed below. From March 2010 until September 2014, authoring groups could submit their own tracks for peer review through the Rock Band Network.
The Wii version of Rock Band did not support downloadable content; however, Rock Band 2 and Rock Band 3 do, with DLC first made available in January 2009. Harmonix has said it will continue to release songs from the back catalog of downloadable content each week for Wii until all songs are available, and starting in March 2009, is making new DLC available for Wii at the same time as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. All songs are available for download on Wii unless otherwise noted.
After the initial announcement, Harmonix intended to support the Rock Band Network for Xbox 360 so long as the backend tools were still supported; however, due to technical issues and the company allocating its resources to other projects, Harmonix terminated support for the RBN in September 2014. Additionally, RBN ports to the PlayStation 3 have ended on April 2, 2013 along with regular DLC. Rock Band Network content is not forward-compatible with Rock Band 4. Harmonix stated that they would explore the logistics of bringing RBN songs over to Rock Band 4 once core DLC and previous game exports are all addressed; however, all RBN content was delisted on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms in February 2018. Harmonix initially reported in March 2018 that Xbox 360 users would not be able to recover their RBN content via the Xbox 360's download history due to technical issues, with Harmonix recommending that users back up their RBN song libraries to an external storage device; however, Harmonix subsequently reported in June 2018 that Xbox 360 users are now able to re-download their RBN content as needed. In May 2018, Harmonix announced that they have secured licensing for a portion of the Rock Band Network library to be released as regular DLC; however, entitlements for re-released RBN content would not be supported due to technical and licensing restrictions.
Starting October 26, 2010 (with The Doors), new songs are no longer playable in Rock Band, Rock Band 2, or Lego Rock Band due to a change in the file format. All songs released via downloadable content prior to October 6, 2015 are playable in Rock Band 3, and support its new Pro Drum mode. Most songs released for Rock Band 3 include core features for keyboards, Pro Keyboards, and backing vocals in the core song, where they are appropriate. Additionally, some of these songs features charts for Pro Guitar and Bass that can also be purchased. Songs released on and after October 6, 2015 are playable only in Rock Band 4. In addition, all applicable songs released via downloadable content feature backing vocals when played in Rock Band 4, but no longer include keyboard or Pro Keyboard support, due to those features being removed in Rock Band 4.
Periodically, Harmonix delists songs from the Rock Band Music Store due to license expiration. As with most music licensing agreements, Rock Band's licenses for DLC have fixed terms on how long content can be sold on the platform. Harmonix announced that they will attempt to renew their license agreements, promising to give players advance notice if certain songs cannot be relicensed and must be delisted. Songs removed from the Rock Band Music Store are no longer available for new purchases; however, users who purchased songs prior to their removal from the storefront are not affected in their ability to use the content, including re-downloading songs if necessary.
Downloadable Content (DLC for short) was additional content that was played on the core game. DLC was first present in the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero II. DLC was sorted by pack, then price, then release date (or if sold separately, price would be next to the song). On April 1st, 2014, the Guitar Hero, DJ Hero, and Band Hero music stores were shut down, and all DLC songs associated with them are no longer accessible.
The Xbox 360 version of the game allows for the use of downloadable content available through Xbox Live. These are typically released as packs of three, or as single song. These packs include songs from the first Guitar Hero for the PlayStation 2. Additional packs consist of songs that have not been featured in Guitar Hero before, and are masters, even though some are indicated as covers in the game.
Both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 version of Guitar Hero III feature the ability to download additional songs from the consoles' respective online stores. Most songs must be purchased in "track packs" of three and cannot be purchased individually while only some songs are available as "singles." There are a number of free songs available. The downloadable songs have been released on the same day on both the Xbox Live Marketplace and the PlayStation Store, with five exceptions. Besides the two console-exclusive songs, the three songs from the Companion Pack were not released for the PlayStation 3 until August 7, 2008.
In addition to custom songs, players of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii versions can download new licensed songs for the game. This is the first game in the Guitar Hero series to support download functionality on the Wii. Wii users can store downloaded songs on either the Wii's internal memory or on an SD Card in a "Rock Archive". When playing tracks stored on an SD Card, each song is automatically copied to a 200-memory block "content cache" on the Wii's flash memory for play and then deleted after the song is finished. Some downloadable content was not available for the Wii due to technical or licensing issues until November 24, 2009. All downloadable content (minus the Jimi Hendrix songs) will be forward-compatible with Guitar Hero 5 and Band Hero, automatically updated to include new features found in that game.
Warriors of Rock provides the capacity to purchase more songs that can be played in the game alongside the on-disc soundtrack through downloadable content for each console. All previous downloadable content that worked with Guitar Hero 5 can be played within Warriors of Rock.
Initial shipments of the game in the United States are also bundled with Soundgarden's latest album, Telephantasm, which includes the new track "Black Rain" and other previous Soundgarden songs; "Black Rain" is available on the Warriors of Rock disc to play, while the remaining eleven tracks on the album, songs from previous Soundgarden albums, were available as downloadable content alongside release of the game. Due to this bundling, Telephantasm became the first album to achieve "platinum" status from the Recording Industry Association of America for shipping over 1 million non-refunded albums due to the tie-in with a video-game product. 2b1af7f3a8