Microsoft very quietly announced a new Xbox Live Arcade game today called Karaoke. On the surface, it sounds rather harmless; partnering with The Karaoke Channel, it lets users stream around 8000 songs from a central library, and you can use SmartGlass to queue up tracks and save a favourites list.

The weirdness comes in when you learn how you pay for the thing. It's not an up-front purchase. And you don't pay for songs. Instead, there's a small rotating library of free songs. To access the entire library, you pay, by throwing down for blocks of 2, 6 or 24 hours.


In other words, you're renting the game. Or paying by the hour. However you want to put it. It's certainly a novel approach to a console game. Let's see if it actually pans out (I have my doubts, since for some reason it doesn't support Kinect, meaning you need a compatible microphone).