The game itself will retail for $59.99 in the U.S.; there will also be a $99.99 version that comes with Beatles-inspired guitar controllers, and a $249.99 "special edition" bundle. I'm guessing that one comes with a walrus.
The date is awfully cute, considering the Beatles' formally self-titled "White Album" contains that song called "Revolution 9," which consists largely of a repetition of the phrase "number nine, number nine, number nine." Conspiracy theorists say that if you play it backward it sounds like "turn me on, dead man" and is hence one of the clues that adds up to reveal that Paul McCartney died and was replaced by a lookalike early in the band's career.
But here's something else for conspiracy theorists of a different variety. September 9, 2009, happens to be a Wednesday in early September, and Apple has historically held iPod-related announcements on Tuesdays in early September. If you want to be mega-speculative, consider that there could be an announcement that week that in addition to Rock Band, the Beatles would finally be coming to iTunes. The band's catalog is currently not legally available for digital download.
There have been legal issues and general animosity for years between Apple Inc. and Apple Corps, the publisher of the Beatles' music. When record label EMI, which owns the rights to the Beatles catalog, inked a deal with Apple to make its catalog available on iTunes without DRM, buzz circulated that the Beatles could be added to the digital-media emporium soon. It's been almost two years, and no Fab Four yet. Late last year, ex-Beatle Paul McCartney said that talks had stalled. There's no real gauge on where things stand now.
But I guess you could just try playing a Steve Jobs keynote backward and see what hidden messages surface.
By Caroline McCarthy