Beatles fans to get videogame September 9

Thu Mar 5, 2009 12:51pm EST
 
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By Paul Thomasch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fans of The Beatles who have always wanted to sing alongside John and Paul, or rock with George and Ringo, will finally get their chance on September 9 when the band's much-anticipated videogame hits the shelves.

Apple Corps, which handles the affairs of the group, and Viacom Inc's MTV Networks on Thursday set the sale date and announced the software would be priced at $59.99. Fans can spend another $99.99 to buy instruments similar to those used by the groundbreaking rock and roll group.

"The Beatles: Rock Band" will be available simultaneously at locations in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand on 9/09/09 -- a date picked to acknowledge the significance of the number 9 for the band.

The videogame is based on MTV's popular "Rock Band" and will "allow fans to pick up the guitar, bass, mic or drums and experience The Beatles extraordinary catalog of music through gameplay that takes players on a journey through the legacy and evolution of the band's legendary career," the companies said in a statement.

"The Beatles: Rock Band" will be compatible with Microsoft Corp's Xbox 360, Sony Corp's Playstation 3, and Nintendo Co Ltd Wii entertainment systems. Existing Rock Band instrument controllers can be used to play the game.

Since the initial announcement last October, few details have been released about the game and the companies have yet to disclose some specifics, such as which songs from the library will be included.

But once released, the videogame will mark the band's first leap into the world of digital music. Beatles' songs are still unavailable on Apple Inc's iTunes, for instance, as surviving members of the group and their representatives have closely guarded the distribution of their music.

Other major rock and roll bands, such as Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, have made their music available for sale online and have licensed music to "Rock Band" or Activision Blizzard Inc's competing "Guitar Hero" game.

The Beatles have sold more than 600 million albums worldwide. While "Abbey Road" was the last album they recorded together, "Let it Be" -- recorded before "Abbey Road" -- was the final album released.

(Editing by Andre Grenon)

 
<p>Michele Bessem from Holland wears a Beatles patch as she queues at the Royal Albert Hall in London for the George Harrison memorial concert, November 29, 2002. REUTERS/Peter Macdiarmid</p>