It’s long been in the works, but this week we got our first glimpse at the Beatles Rock Band video game, at the E3 conference in LA. They are the latest in a long line of bands to have custom branded Guitar Hero or Rock Band games. Significantly, it’s the first time that the Beatles have finally realised it’s no longer 1995.
The trailer (after the jump) blows our mind. We’re not the biggest fan of these type of games, but this one looks great. Unlike AC/DC and Aerosmith, the Beatles were a band where every member shined. You’re not just fighting over the guitar. The graphics, all over the trailer, look great. From the Ed Sullivan show to the Rooftop Concert, they pick the right eras for each song.
The technology has also improved, with this edition of Rock Band the first to support harmonies. The graphics do justice to the band who had such a strong visual image. The song selection, 41 songs in all, is flawless. Best yet, you can buy custom Beatles Rock Band instruments, including Ludwig drums, a Hofner bass and an awesome looking Rickenbacker Guitar.
The Beatles are one of the most merchandise-d bands in the world. There will surely be a lot of people waiting to get their hands on this one, and they will no doubt love it. The game comes out 9th September, the same day as the Beatles reissues.
Last week it was announced that the Beatles are finally releasing thier catalogue on remastered CDs. It was a curiously dated announcement. You have Depeche Mode announcing iTunes passes, Nine Inch Nails announcing iPhone apps, and the Beatles are being remastered on CD.
Odder still was the little detail missed by most of the world’s press, that the CDs will be coming with short Quicktime movies with making-of documentaries about each album.
This is, of course, a terrible idea. I think of my copy of All For Nothing/Nothing For All, a Replacements compilation from 1997 that features Quicktime movies of the film clips. The files on there are no longer supported by the current version of Quicktime. Or indeed the last few versions of quicktime.
They could have done great webisodes, or podcasts, or sellable downloads of these movies. Quicktime? In their flimsy defense, the box set of all the albums comes with the quicktime movies as one DVD.
Which all brings me to the point that someone out there, steering the wheel on the digital yellow submarine, is stuck in the past. Will they pay dearly? Hard to tell with the Beatles – they are such giants. But it’s a tragic mistake – in a long career of reissue mistakes.
Lets hope there is more too it, and the Beatles can actually make it exciting to be a Beatles fan in 2009, not 1997.