Sing Like A Star

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

It’s no secret that record labels have discovered video games are a valuable outlet for promoting music. According to theWashington Post, 40 percent of American adults play on gaming consoles. Celia Hirschman, founder of Downtown Marketing says that “video games are a perfect way for consumers to discover new music and for bands, especially those of the post-modern punk, hip hop, funk and heavy metal variety, to reach their typically rabid fan base.”

It’s no secret that record labels have discovered video games are a valuable outlet for promoting music. According to theWashington Post, 40 percent of American adults play on gaming consoles. Celia Hirschman, founder of Downtown Marketing says that “video games are a perfect way for consumers to discover new music and for bands, especially those of the post-modern punk, hip hop, funk and heavy metal variety, to reach their typically rabid fan base.” Music not only colors video games – it also inspires them, in titles like Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

A new game in this vein, the British SingStar, has recently been made available in the U.S. for PlayStation 3. London Studio, a division of Sony, originally developed this competitive karaoke game. Players are scored based on how well they change pitch and stay in sync with the rhythm. The game has some unique features that give it an edge over karaoke games typically found around bars, such as different modes like solo, duet, and group battle. Also, original music videos play in the background, not just makeshift versions tailored for the game.

SingStar pales, unfortunately, in music selection. The game comes with a sparse couple dozen songs, and the purchasable catalogue currently contains only about 200 songs. This leaves some major holes and limits variety. Sony is trying to add 25-50 new songs to the catalogue monthly, but part of the issue with limited selection may have to do with licensing. Such a small sampling of songs means that players will master them quickly and look to buy new ones, and the process for doing so is simple. The machine will remember credit card information, much like iTunes, so after an initial purchase, players can easily download songs, costing about $1.50, to their games.

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