So, you all asked the questions and Paulina Bozek was on hand to give the answers. Sorry it took a few more hours than intended but there were a lot of questions. Over to Paulina.
1. Will all the tracks from SingStar Vol 1 & 2 be downloadable from SingStore and when will this happen?
‘Licensing music for digital distribution is a different process to that of the disc-based product. We are working hard at clearing tracks for the SingStore and will continue to clear as many tracks as quickly as possible. When Vol 2 is released a number of tracks from the disc-based product will also be available to buy in the SingStore.’
2. Will the Harmony Mode on SingStar Vol 2 be available to owners of the first SingStar blu-ray disk? Will this be as a downloadable upgrade and will user’s be charged for it?
‘The new Harmony mode will be available as a free upgrade via the PlayStation®Network. It will be compatible with the specially selected duet tracks. Once the upgrade goes out, we’ll be making more of these songs available in the SingStore, and there is a great selection on the vol. 2 disc.’
3. Will the new tracks be in HD?
‘SingStar tracks feature the artists’ original music videos. We’ve gone for a lot of classic party tunes from different decades on this vol. 2 disc so HD is not a possibility for many of these.
We’re continuing to work with Record Labels to get HD videos wherever possible. At the moment, there still aren’t a lot of Music Videos being shot in HD but when they are, we’ll have them. Otherwise, we do a lot of extra video processing to make sure we get the Standard Def videos looking as good as possible.’
4. Will SingStar Vol 2 include remote play and the option to upload videos to the PSP™?
‘Remote play allows you to browse, stream, purchase and remotely launch downloads from the SingStore. You can also visit your profile on My SingStar Online and view other people’s performances in the SingStar community.
The main point of this feature is to let players cue up their tracks, get them downloading during the day and be ready for them to play that evening. The access to MSO allows players to show and share their best and funnies moments via their PSP – it’s another window into the community platform, which has turned out to be very entertaining!
You can’t upload your videos via PSP though, that would require a PSP camera and it’s not something we’re focused on at the moment.’
Connectivity – SingStar Vol 1 & SingStar Vol 2
1. Will players need to swap between discs 1 and 2 or can tracks be uploaded to the PS3 hard drive? How / will the two discs work together?
‘As with SingStar on PlayStation 2, players can swap between discs and play the 30 tracks from each disc. This is done by entering the carousel, pressing select on the controller and following the onscreen instructions.
SingStar tracks from the disc cannot be stored on the PLAYSTATION® 3 hard drive. The main reason for not storing discs on the HDD is security – we need a system that reliably verifies that the songs have only been saved once – i.e. it’s not being passed around – very difficult to do reliably.
There is some benefit of having them on disc in that they don’t fill up your HDD! But we do understand the desire to play tracks from different discs so hopefully the disc swap feature makes this a little faster and easier. We’re going to continue looking for ways to make this easier and more convenient.’
2. Will songs already downloaded and accessed on the first PS3 SingStar be accessible when players use the second disc?
‘Yes, every track downloaded from the SingStore will appear in your carousel and be available to play as normal.’
1. How many tracks are available at present on the SingStore? The release claims there are 300.
‘Following the April 18th update the SingStore has 372 tracks available to download across the different languages. Over 200 of these are in English and players can access all of the different languages via the Search option. We expect another 80 tracks in the store by mid May.’
2. How frequently are new tracks going to be added to the SingStore?
‘New tracks are added every two weeks. Everybody behind the scenes is working really hard and fast to get more tracks added – we’re really happy to be at 372 songs and expect the SingStore to only get bigger and better over the rest of the year.’
3. How many tracks are you expecting to have on SingStore by the end of the year?
‘We’ll be adding approximately 50 songs a month to the SingStore, so if you do the math, we’ll be well over 500 by the end of the year. ‘
4. Why are there songs which appeared on SingStar in the SingStore?
‘We have had over 1500 songs on SingStar PS2 over the last few years. We’ve had some of the best songs and artists of all time and they all belong in the SingStore, regardless of whether or not they have already appeared on PS2. Our statistics show that players own an average of 2 or 3 of the PS2 discs, which means there are hundreds of songs which many players have never played or bought. Therefore it doesn’t really make sense to call these songs ‘old,’ or ‘recycled.’
The most downloaded song on the SingStore is ‘Europe’ The Final Countdown’ which appeared on SingStar 80s over 2 years ago. These songs are still the best, most fun and most wanted, it doesn’t matter if they’ve appeared on SingStar PS2.
But we are listening to current feedback and are busy behind the scenes to get brand new songs which have never appeared on SingStar into the SingStore. At the moment there are 90 new songs there and we’ll continue to grow this.’
5. Why should users buy SingStar Vol 2 when they already have access to SingStore?
‘We are allowing SingStar fans to make that choice themselves. SingStar appeals to a wide audience who like to consume media and games in many ways. While we have been overwhelmed by the success of the SingStore, we are conscious that there is a huge audience out there who still prefer to purchase their products on disc. Therefore we will continue to release downloadable and disc-based products.’
6. Are there going to be any developments or enhancements to the SingStore over the course of the year?
‘We are constantly working on ways to enhance the SingStar experience. Although
The most important thing to us right now is growing the SingStore catalogue with more great songs. That’s our #1 priority. There will also be feature and functionality enhancements to both SingStore and My SingStar Online and we’ll bring you more news on that in due course. ‘
1. When will wireless mics be available?
‘We know SingStar fans are enthusiastic about the possibilities of wireless mics. However, we want to ensure that we are using the best possible technology, while maintaining an accessible price point for our consumers.’
2. Will there be a SingStar Vol 3 on disc?
‘Yes, we will release a vol. 3.’
3. Will you ever phase out discs completely?
‘We want to ensure that consumers have as much choice as possible so as long as there is demand we will offer both options.’