Apple Corps have announced a partnership with MTV Games and Harmonix (the team behind Rock Band) bringing the Beatles content into a new console game. This isn’t how many expected the Beatles to first come to the digital world (myself included) but it may well pave the way for digital distribution. (Though given Apple Inc’s relationship with Apple Corp it wouldn’t be an utter surprise if iTunes don’t get first bite at the small round fruit).

I’m not quite sure how much we should read into Ring Starr’s quote that the Beatles ending up on a console game is the “natural progression into the 21st century”. Is he really saying that licensing to download stores is not a natural step? Or even that selling music formats is yesterday’s game?

I have one other key question mark over this announcement: who will buy the game? It’s one thing having 30 somethings reliving their denim-clad youth riffing along to AC/DC. But how many of the Beatles core fans have xBoxes or PS3s? The counter argument is Paul McCartney’s hope that the game will “broaden the appeal” of the Beatles. Perhaps. But strumming along to “I want to hold your hand” doesn’t have quite the same excitement as hammering out the riff to “Highway to Hell”. Given both those considerations, the Wii might be a more natural fit for the fruit of this partnership.