Americans Can Now Annoy Neighbors With SingStar PS3, Too

A version of American Idol was a hit on English shores long before the wail, weep and warble festival ever made it to North America. In the UK, they sure love their SingStar, too, and as Sony Computer Entertainment America reminded us, SingStar PS3 is emigrating to North America today.

SCEA's U.S. debut on PS3 features songs and videos from the likes of The Killers, U2, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead and Britney Spears. The release is bundled with a pair of USB microphones; SingStar PS2 fans can also use their old ones. This is the kind of thing you want to close your window shades for, lest anyone peek in and see you singing Britney Spears songs with a fake microphone.

Posting yourself looking foolish online is always okay, though — players can use the PlayStation Eye to record and share their performances via SingStar Online, where they can also view and rate others' videos. SCEA also says the UK players have been making good use of SingStar Online, registering 140,000 users with some 20,000 videos all told.

This actually sounds a little bit awesome. If you are into shameless, exhibitionist karaoke. 'Cause, y'know, I'm not. Yeah. I mean, no.

Full release follows the jump.

Multi-Million Selling Global Singing Franchise Grows Worldwide Next Generation Community with North American Debut of SingStar(TM) on PLAYSTATION(R)3

SingStar PS3 Elevates Social Gaming with Personalization and Community Functionality

FOSTER CITY, Calif., May 20 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) announced today the North American release of SingStar(TM) exclusively for PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)) computer entertainment system. Developed by Sony Computer Entertainment's Worldwide Studios, London Studio, SingStar PS3 takes the successful interactive singing experience established with the popular PlayStation(R)2 franchise to the next level by giving players access to purchase hundreds of songs and videos across multiple genres, build and customize party playlists and build a community of user-created performances.

With more than 12 million franchise units sold worldwide on the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, SingStar makes its US PS3 debut with a Blu-ray Disc(TM) containing 30 chart topping singles and videos from today's hottest artists and legends including The Killers, U2, Smashing Pumpkins, Outkast, R.E.M., Radiohead, Britney Spears and The Pussycat Dolls. In addition to the new songs available on the disc, SingStar PS3 provides players with access to a catalog of hundreds of downloadable songs featuring the real artists and videos, via the PS3 online SingStore(TM). Available at $1.49 for each individual track, players can choose from songs and videos across multiple genres to create their own personalized party playlists. Over 200 downloadable songs will be available within the North American SingStore on day one with the goal of adding approximately 25 to 50 new songs each month.

Bringing social networking and user-generated content to the forefront of social gaming, through utilizing the PLAYSTATION(R)Eye camera, players can become global stars with My SingStar Online(TM) where they can share their personal SingStar performances with the online worldwide SingStar community via captured video, audio and photos. Players also will be able to view and rate videos created by others, as well as check out the community's top performers with the newly added feature of weekly highest-rated videos. My SingStar Online already has proven to be a top destination for SingStar fans abroad following the game's European release this past holiday, attracting 140,000 registered users who, combined with visitors to http://www.singstargame.com, have shared over 20,000 videos of their SingStar performances that have been watched a total of 2.5 million times.

"The worldwide success of SingStar continues to spread across North America due in large part to its casual-friendly, social gameplay," said Jeff Reese, director, software marketing, SCEA. "PS3 has allowed us to evolve the SingStar experience, growing beyond simply expanding the library with new tracks. Adding new next-generation features such as the SingStore and My SingStar Online, SingStar PS3 is the complete party package with an

ever-growing downloadable catalog, global community-driven content and innovative, social networking features."

In addition to the inclusion of the weekly highest-rated video feature, a number of other enhancements were added to the game today via a free patch for North America. New features include enhanced harmony duets, separate Battle mode difficulty selections, a lag calibration feature for different TV types, and PSP Remote Play. The new Harmony Duet mode allows for scoring of melodies with specifically selected duet tracks, while the Battle mode difficulty selection lets players choose their own individual difficulty rating when in Battle or Duet mode. For those on-the-go wanting to have their playlist ready when they arrive home, they can now access the SingStore and My SingStar Online with PSP Remote Play. With Remote Play, players can browse, stream and remotely launch downloads from the SingStore, as well as check out their profile on My SingStar Online.

SingStar PS3 will be available both as a stand-alone disc and as a bundle packaged with two high-quality USB microphones. Fans who own microphones from the SingStar PS2 library can put them to use with SingStar PS3. Since the franchise launched on PlayStation 2, the North American SingStar catalogue has grown to 150 songs and includes a mixture of genres from 90's to pop.

The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has rated SingStar "T" for Teen. For more information about the ESRB visit http://www.esrb.org.