Rock Band update turns the "more awesome" knob to 11

We love Rock Band. You love Rock Band. We know because a press release this morning confirmed that a whopping six million bonus songs have been downloaded for the game so far (look for that to bump by at least a million when "Still Alive" hits). Your reward? A sweeping software update to both the 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Rock Band that will implement a mutilating wave of improvements. For free.

The biggest deal is a totally new in-game store that will make it roughly 900% less painful to download new songs. At last, you can preview the song before you buy it (sky opens up, angels sing halleluiah). You can also sort by artist, by song title, difficulty orgenre, you can see the album art and added info, you can see the difficulty for each instrument in the song, see what packs a song is in so you don't pay for it twice, you don't have to exit out of the game to buy stuff - it's beautiful. Oh, and the stuff should download more quickly once you've made the purchase. Thank you, developers at Harmonix. Thank you.

Above: You can preview songs before you buy them now. We'd type more but our eyes are welling up with tears of joy

There's more. The PS3 version's microphone should be more responsive now, the game as a whole has "better phoneme recognition" - which is an eggheaded way to say it can understand your singing better, the maximum fans you can get at each difficulty level has been raised, so you'll have an easier time in World Tour.

How's that for an encore?

Above: Want more? Get more. And don't bother exiting out to any stupid console hub to do it

Above: You can browse the entire song catalog, or look just for packs or the newest stuff. Full albums are still on the way, too (thinks of Rush's 2112, falls over blissfully gurgling)

Above: There are about a zillion sorting options. If you can't find the song you want, you're probably a drummer. Or it's just not available

We'll close this article with a quick look at the entire Rock Band song lineup as it stands today. Just because Harmonix did the work for us and it's kind of cool. The ones with * by them are cover versions, and everything else is from the original masters.

On Rock Band Disc

Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones

Fortunate Son* – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Last Train to Clarksville* - The Monkees
China Cat Sunflower – Grateful Dead

On Rock Band Disc

Train Kept A-Rollin’* - Aerosmith
Paranoid* – Black Sabbath
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
Foreplay/Longtime – Boston
Suffragette City – David Bowie
Highway Star – Deep Purple
Detroit Rock City – Kiss
Flirtin’ with Distaster – Molly Hatchet
Mississippi Queen* – Mountain
Blitzkrieg Bop – Ramones
Ballroom Blitz* – Sweet
Green Grass and High Tides* – The Outlaws
Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who

Sweet Leaf* – Black Sabbath
War Pigs* – Black Sabbath
Ever Fallen in Love* – Buzzcocks
Heroes* – David Bowie
Queen Bitch* - David Bowie
Working Man* - Rush
Action* - Sweet
Bang a Gong – T. Rex
My Sharona* – The Knack
Cherry Bomb* - The Runaways
Moonage Daydream – David Bowie
Casey Jones – Grateful Dead
Franklin’s Tower – Grateful Dead
I Need a Miracle – Grateful Dead
Sugar Magnolia – Grateful Dead
Truckin’ – Grateful Dead
Calling Dr. Love – KISS
Gimme Three Steps –Lynyrd Skynyrd
Rockaway Beach – Ramones
Teenage Labotomy – Ramones
Complete Control – The Clash
I Fought the Law – The Clash
Can’t Stand Losing You – The Police
Roxanne – The Police
Truth Hits Everybody – The Police

On Rock Band Disc

Wanted Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi
Epic – Faith No More
Run to the Hills* – Iron Maiden
Wave of Mutilation – Pixies
Orange Crush – R.E.M.
Tom Sawyer* - Rush
Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash
Next to You – The Police
Outside - Tribe

Juke Box Hero* - Foreigner
The Number of the Beast* - Iron Maiden
Brass in Pocket* - Pretenders
Limelight* - Rush
We Care a Lot – Faith No More
…And Justice for All – Metallica
Blackened – Metallica
Ride the Lighting – Metallica
Roam – The B-52s
Synchronicity II – The Police

On Rock Band Disc

Sabotage – Beastie Boys
I Think I’m Paranoid – Garbage
Celebrity Skin – Hole
Enter Sandman – Metallica
In Bloom – Nirvana
Creep – Radiohead
Cherub Rock – Smashing Pumpkins
Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
Vasoline – Stone Temple Pilots
Say It Ain’t So – Weezer

Hard to Handle* – Black Crowes
All the Small Things – Blink 182
March of the Pigs – Nine Inch Nails
The Perfect Drug – Nine Inch Nails
Don’t Look Back in Anger – Oasis
Live Forever – Oasis
Wonderwall – Oasis
My Iron Lung – Radiohead
Siva – Smashing Pumpkins
Interstate Love Song – Stone Temple Pilots
Sex Type Thing – Stone Temple Pilots
Buddy Holly – Weezer
El Scorcho – Weezer

On Rock Band Disc

Blood Doll – Anarchy Club
Pleasure (Pleasure) – Bang Camaro
Welcome Home – Coheed and Cambria
Nightmare – Crooked X
Can’t Let Go - Death of the Cool
Dead on Arrival – Fall Out Boy
I’m So Sick – Flyleaf
Learn to Fly – Foo Fighters
Brainpower – Freeze Pop
I Get By – Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives
Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet
The Hand That Feeds – Nine Inch Nails
Here it Goes Again – OK Go
Go with the Flow – Queens of the Stone Age
Dani California – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Day Late, Dollar Short – The Acro-Brats
Main Offender – The Hives
When You Were Young – The Killers
29 Fingers – The Konks
The Mother Hips – Time We Had
Electric Version – The New Pornographers
Reptilia – The Strokes
Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld - Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld
Seven – Vagiant
Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Attack – 30 Seconds to Mars
The Kill – 30 Seconds to Mars
Dirty Little Secret – All-American Rejects
Move Along – All-American Rejects
Ten Speed (of God’s Blood and Burial)* - Coheed and Cambria
Song With a Mission* – The Sounds
Shockwave – Black Tide
Why Do You Love Me- Garbage
The Collector – Nine Inch Nails
“Crushcrushcrush”- Paramore
3’s & 7’s – Queens of the Stone Age
Little Sister – Queens of the Stone Age
Sick, Sick, Sick – Queens of the Stone Age
Beethoven’s C*** - Serj Tankian
Die, All Right! – The Hives
Joker & The Thief – Wolfmother
Blinded By Fear – At the Gates
Rock Rebellion – Bang Camaro
Shake – Count Zero
Thrasher – Evile
Sprode – Freezepop
D.O.A. – The Haunted

March 20, 2008