Xbox Live to Offer Karaoke by the Hour
Microsoft's new Karaoke app features SmartGlass integration and a pay-as-you-go model.
While we usually think of Autumn as the time to seal ourselves into our lairs and play the latest mega-budget game, it's easy to forget about the family gatherings that loom on the calendar. Arriving "in time for the holidays", Microsoft is releasing its official karaoke game. Simply entitled Karaoke, it streams a huge collection of songs on your Xbox, all for an hourly fee.
Instead of purchasing songs outright, players will purchase singing time. However, they can only be purchased in blocks of 2, 6, or 24 hours, using Microsoft Points as usual. There's no announcement on pricing yet.
The Karaoke Channel will be powering the new game, bringing it's massive 8,000 title database with it. Instead of downloading songs, Karaoke will stream them over the internet. Songs can be queued up using the SmartGlass app on a tablet or smartphone. Karaoke will also feature the ability to add the lead vocal track back into the mix, or change the key of the song.
While Karaoke will work with any Xbox compatible microphone, the Kinect doesn't appear to be supported. Additionally, there's no word yet about whether or not an Xbox Live subscription is required to access Karaoke, but it's a safe bet considering Microsoft's insistence that "internet activated" apps sit behind the paywall.
The gaming industry is scrambling for alternative business models these days, and pay-as-you go has certainly been suggested. Instead of shoe-horning the largest money-maker into a product, the pay-as-you-go model seems to make sense for a party game like Karaoke. We'll have to see what the masses think later this year.
Seems like a great idea to me. I highly doubt many people would actually buy a karaoke game, especia;lly if they then had to buy the individial songs that they wanted. Even Rock Band style games, which have more of a concentrated game style experience that cam be played both solo and in groups aren't selling these days.
With a service like this, you can look around at who you happen to have over, decide if you want to go for 2 or 6 hours of service, and then just stream it. If you never plan to use it again then that's cool because you didn't have to actually permanently purchase a game or individual songs.
Would be an instant hit in Japan if anyone owned an xbox over there. :D
considering how much karaoke systems cost on their own, plus the soundchips/cds, this is a great alternative for people who don't need a karaoke system, or want to deal with club audiences who don't have the same tastes
Hey I got a better idea! How about you bring back 1 vs 100? Seriously what was wrong with that? Me and my friends would play that all the time!? Bring it back!
I remember the first pay as you go system... they were called arcades