Sony's Ranyard croons about SingStar

DEVELOP '09: Karaoke game's director talks about competition from Lips, what he's learned from the community, and a new Clubs mode for the PS3 series.

BRIGHTON, UK--When Sony London Studio introduced PlayStation Eye support to SingStar on the PlayStation 3, it had no idea how popular the feature would be or how much data it would collect from the community. That was one message SingStar director Dave Ranyard had to share in his Develop conference session today while also commenting on the series' competitors, such as Lips.

Who doesn't love singing along to "Bohemian Rhapsody"?

"We didn't really learn that much from Lips," Ranyard casually replied when probed on the subject of Microsoft's rival to his title. "We definitely analyse all competitors, and we've seen Rock Band and Guitar Hero enter our space. But all competition is healthy, as it brings more people to the genre."

Fans of SingStar will definitely be excited to hear about one new feature that was announced at the session--a new Clubs mode that will allow users to group together according to interest. According to Ranyard, players will be able to join a group based on high scores or an interest in publishing videos, for example. He also hinted at the possibility of finally reinstating the Career mode--last seen in the original SingStar on the PlayStation 2--and taking it online.

The main topic of the session was video uploads and, specifically, how the "walled garden" that Sony created allowed them to set the tone of voice within the community. "People want to buy the song after they've seen someone else singing it, so we know that we need to implement that feature into the video player," said Ranyard.

"Also, data is king," he said. "Through online [feedback], we know that people play the game on a Saturday night. We also know that in Scandinavia, where alcohol is expensive, people play the game before going out. In the UK, where it's cheaper to drink out; they play when they get home."

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Discussion

16 comments
SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

@InnerSenses: I agree with you. I don't think a person who likes karaoke games can go wrong with any of the games available on the market today. It's nice that popular features like Co-Op are included in the music games. After all, Co-Op is a feature that we have come to expect in the era we currently live in. To answer your question about microphones. I really didn't have a choice about which microphones to use. I bought the American Idol game for Xbox 360 when it was released, and it came with its own microphone, which connected via USB cable. Lips was released at a later point in time, and it included two wireless microphones. It definitely is necessary to play Lips with the "Lips Microphones" because the custom microphones included with Lips have special types of motion sensitivity similar to the Wii controller. And yes, the lights on those microphones are really cool. ;) I can tell you that at this point in time not all of the karaoke games on Xbox 360 work with the Lips microphones. I recently read an article that said Microsoft had enabled a couple new games to work with the Lips microphones, but there was at least one game listed that still didn't work. I hope Microsoft gets that fixed, because the Lips microphones are the best of all.

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

@brendanhunt1: Lips is a really cool game the way motion-sensitivity works with the wireless microphones. I suppose you could say the Lips microphones have technology similar to Guitar Hero -- but even more advanced because the Lips microphones sense your movements in a way that add a lot of depth to the game. For example, some songs might require you to do dance motions such as moving your arms vertically up and down. There will also be motions that require you to put your arms up at approximately a 45 degree angle. Other dance motions require you to move your arms out horizontally to the side. It really depends on the song you are singing and how well you are doing in the game. The better you do, the larger number of dance motions you will see. One good example is the new Vanilla Ice song "Ice Ice Baby" that is on Lips. I can't sing that song very well at all, but my sister can sing it great. I usually only see one or two different dance motions. But she saw about five or six different dance motions while singing that song -- some of which I had never seen before in any song. I hope that helps you understand Lips and the Wii-like motion-sensitivity used for the wireless microphones. It really is a cool game that I recommend giving a try. If you like karaoke games, you will love Lips because it really does have the best microphones ever, and for such a low price it comes with two wireless microphones with motion sensitivity and cool lights.

blackace
blackace

scottiescott238 I think its time for a Michael Jackson singstar. ******************************************************** That's never going to happen. Sony wouldn't even allow some of M.J. music to be used on So You Think You Can Dance. Sony doesn't own ALL of M.J. music. I'm sure MJ's family has a say in it as well. I would rather see a Rock Band or Guitar Hero's World Tour M.J. game. That way every platform would get a chance to enjoy the game and music.

Fenriswolf
Fenriswolf

Sensing lip movements, since Lips does grade based on that.

MamoruNoHakkyou
MamoruNoHakkyou

2 things... One --- analyzing data is one thing but does the time of day, week or month (heh) even matter regarding the game's release, adverts, or production? Two --- I sincerely hope GameSpot has some form of coverage as the next in the Karaoke Revolution series is getting closer to release. Those games, while not featuring original songs (aside from a select few Motown classics) do everything better from the pitch meter to the scrolling lyrics and the multistage gameplay. It gives us all a goal to work toward instead of just the high score even if there are still diamond records to strive for. Thank you. That is all.

NuKkU
NuKkU

Never been a fan of these singstar games or the lips games either

InnerSenses
InnerSenses

@SalarianChemist I agree with brendanhunt1, what are the sensors for? And SingStar has Co-op too, as does The Beatles: Rock Band, they just don't call it Co-op. And have you really bought separate microphones for every game? All of those games generally function with the same type of mic... (I only know from using the GH World Tour mic with Rock Band 2)... But anyway enough of my ranting... I hope you have a good time staring at the lights on your Lips mic! =D

danciu
danciu

OMG a Michael Jackson singstar would be huge man.

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

i dont know alot about lips but what would you do with the motion sensitive microphones?

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

Lips definitely has the best microphones of any karaoke game ever created. The way the microphones for Lips are wireless, motion-sensitive, and feature lights is awesome and very fun. I love the way Lips allows people to have Co-Op karaoke so that they can sing together. It's always fun when I can get someone to play with me with some of the songs where a guy and girl are matched; it is so realistic and fun. I also really like the American Idol games. Those ones are fun. The microphone isn't nearly as good as the ones packed with Lips, and it lacks Co-Op, but it has a great way of showing your decibal level on the screen, and exactly what you are doing wrong -- which is something Lips lacks.

hiryu3
hiryu3

@scottiescott238 yes sir. As much as I enjoy SingStar 80% of the music is not my style. Need more old school or even some Boyz 2 Men style music

MafiaBroad82
MafiaBroad82

lol @ MissMorphine I'm with you on that one

MissMorphine
MissMorphine

is it just me or the guy on the cover looks like a total DB?

xxxarlow
xxxarlow

O yeah, openly stating that they will be tracking and analysing my behaviour is a real turn on for buying this game. :@/