Shake It Up, Baby! The Beatles Rock Band to Ship September 9

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MTV Games and Rock Band maker Harmonix have announced that the widely-anticipated The Beatles: Rock Band will go on sale to customers in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand on September 9, 2009—that’s right, 9/9/09—for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii. In the United States, the game itself will be priced at $59.99 as a standalone software title that’s compatible with existing Rock Band guitars, drums, and other controllers. However, Harmonix will also be offering two limited edition bundles: The Beatles Rock Band Standalone Guitars and The Beatles Rock Band Premium Edition Bundle, which will offer guitars, basses, and other instruments famously used by the Fab Four.

The Beatles: Rock Band marks the first time that the Beatles catalog has been licensed for use in a digital form…and it’s definitely a sign of the times that that first licensing deal is for a video game. Harmonix’s intent with the game is not merely to put the Beatles’ catalog on a game that lets players virtually take on the roles of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, but create a cohesive, artful effort that’s en extension of The Beatles’ works and imagination into a new medium. To that end, Giles Martin, who co-produced The Beatles’ Love album project, is serving as music producer for the Rock Band title.

Harmonix plans to open up pre-orders for the game soon, and the companies involved with the deal (including Apple Corps, MTV Games, Harmonix, EMI, and Abbey Road) plan to offer exclusive content to fans who get their orders in early.

Although Harmonix says the game will work with existing Rock Band controllers, there’s no indication yet whether Rock Band players will be able to bring Beatles music into regular Rock Band titles—however, Australian rockers AC/DC have allowed users to import songs back into Rock Band 2.