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Limited Beatles 360s auctioned for charity

Console is "platform for social change" - MS.

In honour of the launch of The Beatles: Rock Band today, Microsoft is auctioning a series of special edition Xbox 360s, customised with artwork from the game.

Proceeds from the sales will go to the Doctors Without Borders charity, better known as Médecins Sans Frontières. The first of the numbered consoles - Microsoft doesn't say how many will be produced - is currently for up for auction on eBay and, at time of writing, going for $3400.

Humanitarian charity Médecins Sans Frontières will also benefit from sales of the 360-exclusive downloadable song for the game, All You Need Is Love. The track costs 160 Microsoft Points (£1.36 / €1.92), and also enters purchasers in a prize draw for one of the limited edition consoles and a Rickenbacker guitar controller.

All You Need Is Love is a coup for Xbox Live - it's the first time a Beatles tune has ever been made available for digital download. (However, Sky News reported yesterday that Yoko Ono had let slip the Beatles catalogue would make a long-delayed, surprise appearance on iTunes today, in tandem with the game and the digitally remastered CD albums.)

Swelled with pride at its good works, Microsoft says All You Need is Love means Xbox 360 is now "providing families a platform for social change" and giving Xbox Live members a chance to "support the Beatles' eternal message of peace and love".

Away from the hyperbole (well, not that far away), you can also find plenty of Beatles video content to download on Live today: the classic documentary Imagine: John Lennon, music videos and more.

Although Microsoft would prefer you to forget it, The Beatles: Rock Band is also available for Wii and PS3. And it's fab.