Sony has announced new features for the June update to SingStar, including the ability to instantly edit playlists remotely from a PSP.
Sony is justifiably proud of SingStar. It's sold over 17 million units. Over 4 million songs have been bought and downloaded. It's also almost universally adored by critics. Everyone at Eurogamer plays SingStar, for example, often to the exclusion of Guitar Hero and Rock Band. SingStar's brilliant, and it's a success. So it's slightly bizarre that the highest score it's ever had on Metacritic, across 26 individual disc releases, is 82, with the majority languishing in the mid-70s, if not lower.
Three Speech has just reported the news that all Singstar fans wanted to hear: full backwards compatibility for Singstar PS3 arrives tomorrow.
MTV Multiplayer has clarified that the SingStar disc-swapping feature announced by Sony Europe boss David Reeves last night won't allow you to rip songs to the hard disk.
Singstar is a bit of an oddity from a reviewer's point of view. When the first versions of the game were released, we could write about how it worked; how solid the microphones felt, how well the game picked up people's voices, how much fun the competitive modes were. Even after the original game, a couple of innovations like duets and the (admittedly somewhat dodgy) rap meter remained to comment upon in subsequent versions.
Now, however, with seven Singstar discs already on shelves in the UK and an eighth sitting in my PS2, things are trickier. There is absolutely no substantial difference to the technology or presentation of Singstar Pop Hits as compared to the last four games in the series. All of the reasons to like Singstar remain solidly in place. At heart, it's still the best karaoke game ever made, with an astonishingly compelling central mechanic which will magically turn the most shy and reticent partygoers into hyper-competitive divas. That's a good thing.
However, it's also an old thing, which presents a dilemma. Singstar Pop Hits features thirty new music tracks, so the content is entirely fresh, but the execution is exactly the same thing as we've seen before from the series. If this was a traditional videogame, right now we'd be grousing about the lack of innovation and the failure to build on previous successes, and we'd be justified in doing so. A sequel - let alone a seventh sequel - which just featured new levels but no new moves, puzzles or weapons, would be slammed.
Gurgling mouth wash this morning was Sony, who has finally belted out the full SingStar Pop Hits track listing into our appreciative faces.
You already know that you can expect to be singing along to Baby One More Time by Britney Spears, who's currently going a bit off the rails, as well as screech in time to the likes of U2, Jamelia and Scissor Sisters when the game is released in Europe in April.
However, what you didn't know, unless you're a bit psychic, is that Lily Allen, Corinne Bailey Rae, Jennifer Lopez, and a host of other pop-warblers are also included. So, given that, you might want to eyeball this list:
Off to Voicelab this weekend? Or are you just going to drop it into conversation occasionally so people will think you listen to Radio 4? Either way, doing so will get you in good shape for the PlayStation 2's April release of SingStar Pop Hits.