The Beatles: Rock Band vs Guitar Hero
The much-anticipated digital reunion of The Beatles has got a launch date: September 9.
Fans of Fab Four who have always wanted to sing alongside John, Paul, George and Ringo will finally get their chance when the band’s interactive video game hits the shelves.
“The Beatles: Rock Band” developed by Harmonix will be available simultaneously at locations in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand.
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”.
Apple Corps, which handles the affairs of the group, and Viacom’s MTV Networks have also announced the software will be priced at $59.99. As well as support for the more usual instruments for the video game, “a limited number of new hardware offerings modelled after instruments used by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr throughout their career” can be bought for an extra $99.99. (There are no UK prices yet.) Platic Riky anyone?
“The Beatles: Rock Band” will be compatible with Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii systems. Existing Rock Band instrument controllers can be used to play the game.
What has not been announced yet are the songs in the package but fans should expect to have more than a decent smattering of the greatest hits as they follow the band’s iconic career in the game.
The Beatles have closely guarded the distribution of their back catalogue - their songs are still not available for digital download via iTunes for instance. Their music continues to sell in huge quantities. The group has sold more than 600 million albums.
The official Beatles Rock Band website is here (not that it shows you much yet).
In further Beatles / Game news
Not a surprise but it looks like Activision (Guitar Hero), and MTV Games (Rock Band), are both going after the Beatles. What makes this a big deal is not only the millions, but the Beatles are not even on iTunes yet.
Representatives for the Beatles are in talks with Activision and MTV to expand the group’s licensing deal to include videogames, according to a new report by the Financial Times.
Any deal would be worth “several million dollars” according to sources, and could be reached within a matter of weeks.
Activision publishes the Guitar Hero franchise, while MTV Games is the company behind Rock Band.
But any potential deal would need to be approved by EMI, which owns the master recordings of the Beatles, and Apple Corps, the company set up to manage Beatles business interests.
Apple Corps has been selective with its licensing and has yet to release Beatles recordings on any online digital format, although according to the FT, the company has been more active in the past year since Jeff Jones took over the role of chief executive.
Activision has had considerable success with the Guitar Hero franchise in recent year’s, with a new portable version due for the DS, and a dedicated version featuring US rockers Aerosmith set for release.
Although MTV Games’ Rock Band is the new contender in the lucrative music gaming genre, it is also proving successful, with the company announcing back in February that it had already achieved downloads of over 3 million songs in the US alone.