Beatles video game premiers with McCartney and Ringo
"The Beatles: Rock Band" promises "a revolutionary tour" of Fab Four's music, career and legacy.Los Angeles -- Sir Paul McCartney wildly played air guitar as he and Ringo Starr strode on stage last month for the world début of a video game that lets players pretend to be The Beatles.
The legendary surviving members of the band, and the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison, got standing ovations during a Microsoft press conference premièring new titles poised for release for play on Xbox 360 consoles.
The Beatles: Rock Band promises "a revolutionary tour" of Fab Four's music, career and legacy.
"We love the game," McCartney said as he and Starr joshed in the spotlight. "Who'd have thought we'd end up like androids?"
The video game will launch with ten of the band's songs including "I Saw Her Standing There," "I Want To Hold Your Hand," "Day Tripper, and "Back In The USSR."
In the spirit of the Rock Band franchise, The Beatles game lets players using controllers resembling guitars or drums score points by staying in time with coloured "notes" streamed along on-screen guitar necks.
Vocals are also rated on screen to determine whether singing measures up.
A story mode in the game lets players become band members of their choosing and start the group's career in its early days playing The Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.
Players will go on to perform 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 video game story includes a major Tokyo concert, studio sessions and a final 1969 performance on the roof of the headquarters of Apple Corp., the band's recording label.
"The game is good; the graphics are very good," Starr quipped. "We were great."
Microsoft executives announced that "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles will be released exclusively as a download for Xbox 360 consoles, with proceeds going to humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders.
The non-profit was chosen by Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, who opened up personal archives to aid development of the video game.
"We had the huge honour of meticulously reworking each classic song for this game," said Giles Martin, music supervisor on the video game. "It features never-before-heard studio chat by the band."
Versions of "The Beatles: Rock Band" have been tailored for Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii consoles as well as Xbox 360. The game is to be released worldwide on September 9.
"In the early 1960s there were two bands, The Beatles and everybody else" said Van Toffler of MTV Networks music services. "The Beatles were always innovating and everyone was trying to catch up."