The next game in Sony’s smash video game music series SingStar is released this week, and it will be free to download.
The PlayStation company is reducing barriers to entry for the game to encourage more customers to download it and then spend money on its licensed tracks - something it says provides “loads of opportunities for the music industry”.
There are currently over 3,000 songs on the firm’s SingStore. The new SingStar will come with short demo versions of songs to get fans started. And users will be able to sing to the game by using microphones or the PlayStation Eye camera accessory on the PlayStation 3 console. The free offer is currently only available in Europe.
Senior producer for the franchise, Chris Bruce, told Music Week: “Obviously we on SingStar haven¹t done this kind of thing before. We are very, very excited about it, making it available to everyone in Europe.
“There’s still certain barriers of entry for it, you need an audio input device of some kind to play the game and obviously you will need songs.
“It is a logical next step for us to take with SingStar. We've been lucky to be around for eight and a half years now not many franchises can say that and since 2007 we’ve been delivering our content via the SingStore, there’s over 3,000 songs on the store now. And there are loads of opportunities for the music industry to get involved.”
However, despite the new download play, Bruce says there is still a role for retail. The High Street will still be needed to sell the microphones, and Sony hasn¹t ruled out the possibility of future discs.
“A few years ago we released the SingStar Party Pack, which featured two microphones and a voucher for 20 songs from the store. So we have already been doing things at retail and testing things out in the market.
“We are always looking at new opportunities, disc and stuff, to bring better content to our users in the most appropriate form.”