The popular social singing game series SingStar is headed to the Playstation 4 according to Sony Computer Entertainment officials at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. The franchise, which launched just over ten years ago with SingStar for the Playstation 2, has released dozens of titles over its decade-long history featuring a variety of artists and music genres in several different languages until moving to a game client that is free with no disc required, model in 2012 supported by the purchase of individual songs for use with the game.
The SingStar franchise is based around the relatively simple concept of integrating karaoke and video gaming. By using pitch recognition software combined with USB microphones, the game is able to score players against the actual song, adding a competitive aspect to singing with friends. The game’s popularity prompted the release of several additional versions of the game dedicated to a specific genre of music. In October 2012, however, this model was abandoned in favor of including SingStar as free software with Playstation 3 consoles and charging players for each song on an à la carte basis, making the upcoming Playstation 4 release the first new entry in the series in two years.
The Playstation 4 SingStar brings a number of new features to the series, mostly aimed at further enhancing the social aspect of the game. Most notably, the game now includes an iOS and Android app that allows smartphones to be utilized as microphones for the game rather than a dedicated USB device, although that option remains open for players who prefer it. The smartphone app also integrates with social media such as Facebook and Twitter, allowing players to share their singing and their scores with friends following their performance.
Sony has also announced the upcoming release of SingStar: Ultimate Party, which is scheduled to follow the release of the main game some time “later this year.” The disc, which features thirty currently unknown tracks, marks the first release of a physical SingStar disc since its free-to-play conversion. The game’s online music shop will remain open, however, so it seems unlikely that Ultimate Party signifies a major shift in SingStar’s business model.
SingStar is slated to launch on the Playstation 4 in late 2014. Playstation 3 users will also receive an update to their version of SingStar that includes the new features launching with the upcoming game. You can watch the official trailer for the new SingStar below or on YouTube.