Wii Rock Band store launches

First batch of long-awaited DLC for Nintendo's console includes 20 free tracks like "Magnetic Baby" and "Like a Fool," 30 $2 offerings such as "Perfect Drug" and "Message in a Bottle."

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Rock Band has done just fine on the Wii, with the original selling more than 810,000 units in the US as of November 30, according to the NPD Group. Rock Band 2 for the Wii was released December 18, so sales data will not be available until tomorrow's NPD report. Critical reception has been positive, though, with the game scoring a Metacritic average of 92.

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However, besides the obvious graphical limitations, the Wii edition of Harmonix and MTV Games' popular musician simulator has had one major deficiency when compared to its Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 counterparts: It didn't receive the downloadable content releases that arrive each week on the other consoles. Speaking at last week's Consumer Electronics Show, Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos said some 30 million Rock Band and Rock Band 2 songs have been downloaded to date. During his company's CES keynote address, Microsoft Entertainment & Devices chief Robbie Bach asserted that the vast majority were on the 360.

This week, though, the game changed. Yesterday evening, Harmonix confirmed that the Rock Band store for the Wii is now live. Initially, the store will offer 50 tracks for download--20 numbers from lesser-known acts for free and 30 tracks from more major artists for 200 Nintendo points ($2) a pop. The 20 free songs were made available to PS3 and 360 fans on November 4 via a code that came with Rock Band 2.

The 50-song set list is just the beginning, according to Harmonix's manager of Community Development, Sean Baptiste. "In the coming weeks and months we will be adding more songs from the back catalog to catch Wii users up with other systems," he said in a forum post announcing the launch.

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Given the Wii boasts only 512MB of internal storage capacity, gamers planning to take full advantage of the store will have to pick up an SD card to store the songs. Hoping to take advantage of the game's name recognition, SanDisk announced at CES that it will release a Rock Band-branded 2GB SD card (pictured) in the spring for $12.99. The Rock Band SD card can also store other Wii game data, just as non-branded SD cards can store Rock Band songs.

A full list of the Wii Rock Band store's initial offerings is below.

PREMIUM SONGS (200 points each)
30 Seconds to Mars / The Kill
All-American Rejects / Move Along
Avenged Sevenfold / Afterlife
Black Tide / Shockwave
Blink-182 / All the Small Things
Blondie / Call Me
Boston / More Than a Feeling
Boston / Rock & Roll Band
Disturbed / Inside the Fire
Fall Out Boy / This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race
Jimmy Buffett / Cheeseburger in Paradise
Lynyrd Skynyrd / Simple Man
Metallica / And Justice for All
Motley Crue / Saints of Los Angeles
Muse / Hysteria
Nine Inch Nails / The Perfect Drug
Oasis / Wonderwall
Papa Roach / Time Is Running Out
Paramore / Crushcrushcrush
Red Hot Chili Peppers / Snow (( Hey Oh ))
Rush / Working Man (vault edition)
Serj Tankian / Beethoven's C***
Smashing Pumpkins / Zero
Stone Temple Pilots / Interstate Love Song
Stone Temple Pilots / Sex Type Thing
The Offspring / Hammerhead
The Police / Message in a Bottle
The Who / Baba O'Riley
Weezer / Buddy Holly
Weezer / El Scorcho

FREE SONGS
88, The / Sons & Daughters
Authority Zero / No Regrets
Between the Buried & Me / Prequel to the Sequel
Cab, The / Bounce
Chevelles The, / Get It On
Cocktail Slippers, The / Give It to Me
Dealership / Database Corrupted
Endeverafter / I Wanna Be Your Man
Ghost Hounds / Ashes to Fire
Hollywood Undead / Young
Kutless / The Feeling
Len Price 3, The / If I Ain't Got You
Lesley Roy / I'm Gone I'm Going
Opiate for the Masses / Burn You Down
Semi-Precious Weapons / Magnetic Baby
Shaimus / Like a Fool
thenewno2 / Crazy Tuesday
Tickle Me Pink / The Time Is Wrong
Underoath / Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
X Japan / I.V.

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