June 2, 2009

Beatles Rock Band Installment Debuted At E3

Surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were on hand in Los Angeles for the world debut of the latest installment of the "Rock Band" franchise, which allows players to tour and play the songs of the Fab Four, AFP reported.

"The Beatles: Rock Band" delivers an interactive experience of the band's music, career and legacy.

The game will hit stores on September 9 and is the first time The Beatles have released any of their music digitally. The band has not allowed its songs to be downloaded on Web sites such as iTunes.

McCartney, Starr and the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison were all in attendance at a Microsoft press conference premiering new titles poised for release for Xbox 360.

"We love the game. Who'd have thought we'd end up like androids?" McCartney quipped.

Players of the game use controllers resembling guitars or drums to score points by staying in time with colored "notes" streamed along on-screen guitar necks. Vocals are also rated on screen to determine whether the singing measures up.

The videogame will launch with 10 of the band's songs including "I Saw Her Standing There," "I Want To Hold Your Hand," "Day Tripper, and "Back In The USSR."

Playing the game in story mode allows players to become band members of their choosing and start the group's career in its early days playing at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.

From there players move on to virtual versions of The Beatles television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in the United States in 1964 and a sold-out show in Shea Stadium in New York City a year later.

"The game is good; the graphics are very good," Starr said. "We were great."

"All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles will be released as a download for Xbox 360 consoles, with proceeds going to humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders, Microsoft executives announced during the debut.

Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, who opened up personal archives to aid development of the videogame, chose the nonprofit group.

Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii consoles will also get versions of "The Beatles: Rock Band".

The game is a joint production of Apple Corps Ltd, the company founded in the 1960s by the band, and MTV Games' Harmonix Music Systems.


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