Have you heard the news? The Beatles are back! Well, sort of. On Wednesday, September 9, The Beatles: Rock Band will introduce the greatest band of all time to a new generation -- not to mention their parents. See, this isn't just some re-mastering of old records (although those will be released on Wednesday, as well). This actually lets people play along with the Beatles, using specially made instruments that work with popular video game consoles.
The Beatles: Rock Band includes 45 songs that span the group's career, from the earliest hits to the late-era studio experiments. (See the full list at the game's official website.) Although there are a lot of noteworthy songs missing at the outset, later on you'll be able to download the entirety of Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Abbey Road. And there's no reason to believe that more downloads won't be announced.
The game was created with the input of all the surviving Beatles principals: Paul and Ringo, plus Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison. As reported by the New York Times, Harrison's son Dhani, a huge fan of the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games, also played an instrumental role -- as did Giles Martin, son of the Beatles' legendary producer, George Martin.
The game will be available from all major retailers, in several forms. If you own previous Rock Band or Guitar Hero games, and have the appropriate guitar and drum controllers, then you can buy just the game. For $99 each, you can buy replicas of the guitars that John and George used. For $249, a special edition set includes a custom drumset with the band logo on the bass drum, and a mock version of Paul's famous Hofner violin bass. Additionally, the game includes three-part vocal harmonies, so up to three USB microphones are supported.
Music games are a dime a dozen these days. Here's hoping the Beatles turn out, once again, to be special.