Earlier this evening, while attending a Sony Computer Entertainment America party at Chicago's House of Blues, we had an opportunity to sing along with the latest work-in-progress version of SingStar. The PlayStation 3 game's most publicized improvement over its PlayStation 2 predecessors will be the ability to download songs from the "SingStore" for an as yet undisclosed sum. Tonight we were able to check out some of SingStar's other online features and, although the list of 30 songs that will be included with the game is still being finalized, we can tell you that the following 15 will definitely be among them:
Monster by The Automatic
Toxic by Britney Spears
Lets Dance by David Bowie
Do You Want To by Franz Ferdinand
Mr Brightside by The Killers
So Sick by Ne-Yo
Hey Ya by Outkast
Here Comes Your Man by Pixies
Go With The Flow by Queens of the Stone Age
No Surprises by Radiohead
Losing my Religion by REM
I Don't Feel Like Dancin by Scissor Sisters
Beautiful Day by U2
Buddy Holly by Weezer
Love Train by Wolfmother
We can also tell you that SingStar's support for the new PlayStation Eye camera (we're now told that the original EyeToy will be supported) is pretty slick. At this evening's event, players were invited to sing along to their favorite tracks while the new PlayStation Eye recorded their performances for posterity. In addition to decent quality video of the players, the camera also snapped a series of around 10 stills during the song, one of which you'll be able to set as the thumbnail image for the clip. Those clips can then be uploaded to your "My SingStar Online" profile which, if everything goes according to SCEA's plan, will be one of countless such profiles that form a giant online, and active community.
As a member of said community you'll be able to share your clips with friends, and check out other players' profiles in much the same way that you would on a social networking website. Another feature, which we understand is currently under consideration, will be the ability to rate other players' video performances so that the really good ones end up featuring more prominently on SingStar's equivalent of a homepage. Simple "quick polls" that ask the community to vote for their favorite songs and artists are in the works as well, and their results will presumably help Sony to pick and choose which songs to add to the SingStore. We were afforded a brief look at the SingStore, incidentally, and can tell you that the "hundreds of songs" promised for day one will almost certainly have a little something for everybody. Among the genres that are already represented on the work-in-progress version of the SingStore are pop, rap, RnB, indie/alternative, and soundtracks. Song packs from previous SingStar games will also be made available, of course.
There's really not a whole lot else to say about SingStar at this point. It does everything that its popular predecessors do, but it does it in HD, it does it online, and it does it with an ever-growing song selection that we're assured won't break the bank. As announced this evening, SingStar will be released in North America on November 13. We look forward to bringing you more information on the game as soon as it becomes available.