The Wii U will be hitting stores in Japan on December 8th, almost a month after its launch in the US and over a week after its release in Europe and Australia. Not exactly to make up for the delay, Nintendo announced last week a preinstalled game that will be included in Japanese Wii U's, Nintendo x JOYSOUND Wii Karaoke U.
The game will allow users to enjoy singing karaoke on their console in the privacy of their own homes. Basically, it's like Rock Band without the instruments. The game is preinstalled, but playing it is not free: Players can pay for play time by the hour, day, 30 days or 90 days. For the Wii U game, players do not have to purchase a microphone, but can instead use the mic in their Wii U GamePad, although a Wii U microphone will be available, as well as a bundle package which contains a demo disc that allows players to use the karaoke service offline for one month.
This is not the first time that the karaoke brand JOYSOUND has collaborated with games. The Karaoke JOYSOUND Wii game is already available on the Wii as is the PlayStation 3 game, JOYSOUND DiVE.
Obviously it's understandable why these games are not available outside of Japan. Karaoke is not as big a part of the culture in other countries as it is here (you could almost call it a national pastime). Also, as the brand is a Japanese brand, most of the songs in their quite extensive library (their latest karaoke machine boasts over 200,000 songs) are Japanese songs, and interestingly enough, the demand for such songs decreases dramatically outside of Japan, wouldn't you know.
As ingrained as karaoke is in modern Japanese culture, it's still rather fascinating that a karaoke program (pay required or not) would be preinstalled into a new console. I too enjoy karaoke as an output for relieving stress from time to time, and while it isn't a decision-maker for me, I would be lying if I said the game doesn't spark my interest in the Wii U at all. It's just a shame that most homes and apartments in Japan don't have the soundproof walls karaoke joints do, which is probably a reason why these games don't sell more than they already do. They should add a deluxe set with soundproof padding.
Wii U | Nintendo×JOYSOUND Wii カラオケ U [Nintendo]