Making Sense of Rock Band 3 DLC

So Rock Band 3 is out, and it happens to be very, very good. Two essential components that helped it be very, very good are that wacky new keyboard and the added Pro Mode. Another reason is is the freakish amount of music available to download and play. However, marrying the two of these together is about to get a little more tricky, and maybe even a bit more expensive. Better take notes, people, there'll be a quiz later.

Firstly, all future DLC for Rock Band will be Rock Band 3 specific. Meaning, if you have Rock Band 1 or 2 and they finally release those Smiths songs you’ve been waiting on, you’re SOL.

Harmonix reps explained to Joystiq that new tracks won't be backwards compatible "due to the new authoring standards, inclusion of new instruments, new lighting / venue cues, etc." They also noted that future tracks won’t appear on the Rock Band 1 or Rock Band 2 in-game store and will be noted as Rock Band 3 songs.

Now say you already own older DLC music and want to play it with your swank new keyboard, vocally harmonize with more than one singer, or learn to play them for real in Pro Mode. You’d better be ready to pony up more dough.

Above: Like what you see? Then break out that wallet, pal

According to the official Harmonix forums, “upgraded” versions of older tracks, with support for keyboard and harmony vocals, can be purchased for $2 (160 Microsoft points). This will be known as the RB3 version of the song. If you want to play pro guitar or bass in this new version, it will cost you an extra $1. If you simply want to add pro guitar/bass for your older songs, you can do that as well for a buck.

From the forums:

"To reiterate, if you stick with your RB2 legacy track and want to upgrade to pro guitar/bass – you will not have access to Keys, Pro Keys or harmony vocals. If you want that latter content, you need to purchase the “RB3 Version” of the file.

To boil this all down, it means that you have to rebuy songs that you already own plus one extra bone to get the full experience of pro instruments, plus keys, plus harmonized vocals."

While we think that there are plenty of songs offered that deserved to be downloaded a thousand times over for the sake of some sort of perverse preservation, this is going to really put a hole in some people’s wallets. To you, holed wallet person, our hearts go out to you and your love of rock.

[Sources: Joystiq1up]

Nov 9, 2010


  • Firenzeta - November 10, 2010 8:05 a.m.

    If this means I can finally play "Don't Stop Believin'" on the keyboard, it'll be well worth the extra coin.
  • Crabhand - November 9, 2010 10:59 p.m.

    Keep in mind this won't happen with every single song, only those that could appropriately utilize the new features and are actually popular enough to warrant the upgrade. Harmonix isn't screwing anyone, they are giving us more content with the Rock Band 3 versions and it is going to cost money. Keep in mind DLC is always 100% optional, if you don't think the keyboard and harmonies aren't worth it, then don't download the re-released songs.
  • MattyT - November 9, 2010 10:30 p.m.

    @tuomotaivainen This is far from bullshit. We weren't even promised the upgrades. The fact that they're doing it is a luxury, and as such, will cost a luxury-type price, whether you agree with it or not. You can still play the standard version in RB3, without upgrading - it just won't have Harmonies or Keys parts.
  • KREATIVEassassin - November 9, 2010 10:25 p.m.

    I would find Rock Band 3 more awesome if it didn't freeze on me every single time I play it.
  • tuomotaivainen - November 9, 2010 10:05 p.m.

    Thank god I wont be getting any of the pro instruments and the Keyboard (unless I'm bugged to hell by friends and/or family). But honestly this is a Bullshit move Harmonix, you should've mentioned this before you released RB3.

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