Meet d-Beatles in 'Rock Band' on 9/9/09

8:43 AM PST 03/05/2009 by Erik Pedersen

Game is first digital offering of the band's music

They'll come in through a different window.

The Fab Four finally go digital Sept. 9 with the long-anticipated release of "The Beatles: Rock Band." It will mark the first time any Beatles music will be available in the d-realm.

Harmonix, MTV Games and the band's Apple Corps said Thursday that the game -- the first in the "Rock Band" franchise based on a single band -- will be released worldwide for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii.

And here's something new: Accompanying instruments modeled after the ones used by Paul, John, George and Ringo also will be available for $100. The game will be playable with existing "Rock Band" guitars, drums and microphones, though.

"The Beatles: Rock Band" will list for $59.99; a Limited Edition Premium Bundle will run $249.99. Some "exclusive content" will be available for those who preorder the game. Details will be announced in the coming months.

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

No song lists have been announced for the project, but Thursday's announcement said the game will "allow fans to pick up the guitar, bass, microphone 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."

McCartney said in a recent interview that the game "will feature different periods of the band -- you get early days, Liverpool, then psychedelic and on from there. It's very cool. And I like the idea that the game introduces kids to music, you know?"

Giles Martin, son of Beatles producer George Martin and co-producer of the Cirque du Soleil "Love" show, is serving as music producer for the "Rock Band" game, which originally was announced in October.

The Beatles have sold more than 600 million albums worldwide -- 170 million in the U.S. alone -- but the group's music has remained absent from the digital world. They're not on iTunes or any other download platform, including ringtones and games as surviving members of the group and their representatives have closely guarded the distribution of their music.

A Web site devoted to the game has been set up at www.thebeatlesrockband.com.

Billboard and Reuters contributed to this report.

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