The New Console War: Music Games -- Can You Keep Your Downloadable Content?

Downloadable content has become one of the most important features this generation. Companies have found the best way to support games after launch is new levels, modes -- or songs.

Both "Rock Band" and "Guitar Hero" have embraced this concept completely. Both "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock" and "Rock Band" have attacked the downloadable content space harder than any other games before it.

But what happens after you buy it? MTV Games announced "Rock Band 2" yesterday and "Guitar Hero: World Tour" has been public for a little while now. What happens to all that extra music you bough? Does it just disappear?

In some cases, it does.

If you purchased any songs for "Guitar Hero III," Activision has said those won't transfer to "Guitar Hero: World Tour." That does make sense considering the next "Guitar Hero" includes drum and vocal tracks, but Activision has also said that "Guitar Hero III" downloadable content won't work in "Guitar Hero: Aerosmith," either.

The situation is a little different for "Rock Band." Harmonix and MTV Games have continually referred to "Rock Band" as a platform for music, but until the official "Rock Band 2" announcement yesterday, we couldn't be sure what they actually meant.

All downloadable music purchased for "Rock Band" will be fully compatible with its September-bound sequel (if you own an Xbox 360, anyway -- other versions are coming later). According to a follow-up interview with IGN, even downloadable content aimed at "Rock Band 2" will still work with the original "Rock Band."

"We've been working hard with Microsoft and Sony to develop a way to share content between games, and we're really happy that we'll be the first game to support fully functional cross-title DLC," said "Rock Band 2" lead designer Dan Teasdale. "As far as Harmonix is concerned, there's no difference between 'Rock Band 1 DLC' and 'Rock Band 2 DLC' – we're just releasing awesome songs every week onto the Rock Band platform, all of which are playable by the Rock Band titles that support DLC."

Readers, how important is cross-title compatibility to you? Does the fact that "Guitar Hero: World Tour" won't support "Guitar Hero III"'s downloads affect you?