February 8, 2007 - At a panel held during DICE 2007 in Las Vegas, Phil Harrison gave the audience a taste of the upcoming PS3 version of SingStar. The popular karaoke game has earned a powerful facelift for PS3 with an intuitive and, quite frankly, beautiful interface. Sadly, Harrison did not play SingStar, so we didn't get to hear the singing voice that brought Europe to tears. Instead, Harrison demonstrated some of the cool features that gamers can look forward to.
Leveraging Sony's monstrous song library, and including songs from other labels to boot, SingStar offers hundreds of tunes for download from the PlayStation Store and instantly integrates them into SingStar. Each video includes a streamed preview and downloads in the background as you play SingStar. That's right, downloads won't prohibit your ability to use the PS3. Imagine that.
Along with songs, both free and premium wallpapers can be downloaded. Harrison added a lovely image of the ocean at dusk to the background. Animated birds flew at the edge of the horizon for added "oohs" and "ahhs."
The interface itself is slick, colorful and could easily be mistaken as an Apple product. Yes, it looks that good. Graphics heavy, the interface offers quick and easy access to all of SingStar's functionality.
My SingStar, clearly inspired by MySpace, is geared towards community interaction. The dynamic homepage provides the ability to meet gamers with similar music interests, enter weekly contests ("It's Elvis Week!") and upload video performances. Users can also rate and rank other gamers' videos. These features speak to Sony's desire to expand the PS3 to include more community interaction. It looks very promising.
Harrison's demo was brief and didn't delve too deeply into SingStar's offerings. Still, it gave enough of a glimpse to show the potential for greater interactivity in future Sony titles. As for a change to the PS3's Cross Media Bar, that may just be wishful thinking. Harrison told IGN that he liked the current look of the Media Bar very much, but that some improvements were coming soon.