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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Microsoft Finally Has A Good Music Idea

posted by on October 22 at 12:44 PM

lips.jpg

Lips, announced a few months ago, is Microsoft’s stab at karaoke for the Xbox 360. Comes with two motion-sensitive microphones, costs $70, hits stores “mid-November.”

So what’s the big deal? Some of the info in today’s Joystiq preview ranges from interesting (when you sing, the game will use “vowel detection” to bust would-be mumblers) to worrying (the motion-sensitive mics will be used for dance moves, which I figure will get old fast). Honestly, Lips’ nuts and bolts add up to an interesting twist on the music-games genre, and the emphasis on duets will make this stand out from the likes of Rock Band and Singstar. But check this out:

[Consider] the ambitious “Freestyle Mode,” which allows players to import their own music into the game. Provided the song doesn’t feature any DRM, you should be able to bring in music from any connected MP3 player.

Any song I want? Dude, this has been a long time coming. Recent music games charge, on average, $2 per song if you want to add new tunes to your party play. And if you want to be on the level, you can buy legit tracks either from Lips’ in-game shop or the Zune Marketplace and import them and blah blah blah. I’ll happily take this instead, which adds auto-karaoke volume adjustments to MP3s, along with other game integration tricks, so that you’re not merely singing along to a jukebox.

Seriously—I want a music game with the Beatles and Zeppelin. That’s not unreasonable, and Lips‘ll be the first to make that happen, even if in semi-hacked form. Plus, who needs the Zune store when you can sing along to all of these bands?

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