Last month I shared that I have trying to get over my resistance to video games and find a way to join in the fun.
Dance Central, an interactive dance game that actually senses and rates your moves wirelessly via the Kinect, has definitely gotten me excited about the possibilities. I’ve been using it in Fitness mode and yesterday, unlocked a new song – “Call Me Maybe” – and two new dancer outfits. Woot!
(I can’t believe I, of all people, just used the word “unlocked” referring to a video game!)
But recently my husband gave me news that just may have tipped me over the edge into a full-fledged Xbox fantatic:
We’ve Got Karaoke.
Let it be known that I am a bit of a karaoke fanatic. Tales of my passion are legendary, such as the time that I threatened to punch another woman in the face for stealing the mic from another singer on stage (that’s just bad form!) (come on, I didn’t actually do it.)
Confession: if I could be anything in the world, I would be a singer for a cover band. Karaoke allows me to live out that fantasy a few minutes at a time.
My favorite kind of karaoke experience is lounge-style, also known as Korean, karaoke. That’s when you and a group of friends get together in a private room and command the songlist and the mic.
It’s great because people who would never sing in front of a crowded bar will go crazy on the mic in front of friends. Plus there’s no waiting and no suffering through multiple strangers’ renditions of “Send In The Clowns.”
But bottle service at karaoke lounges is crazy spendy, the closest karaoke lounge is two hours from my house, and they aren’t exactly family-friendly. Since I want to start teaching my kids about the fine art of karaoke early, I’ve been lusting after a system we can use at home.
Sure, there have been karaoke video games on the market for years. But generally speaking they cost kind of a lot for a very limited number of songs, and you have to keep purchasing add-ons to get access to new songs.Until now.
Here’s how the new KARAOKE Channel for Xbox 360 is different:
- Instead of purchasing a game and then buying additional songs down the road, you download the game for free and then pay for access on an as-wanted basis, in 2-hour, 6-hour and 24-hour blocks. You purchase access via Microsoft Points, and it’s around $20 for a 24-hour block (you only pay for the time you use – when you turn off the game, the clock stops.)
- XBox makes 5 songs free daily so you can try it out without paying or just have a little free fun if you aren’t up for a full-on karaoke sing-off.
- There are over 8,000 songs available. 8,000!
- The game works with your existing equipment. Got an old mic from Rock Band? It’ll work. Your current headset? As long as it’s Xbox 360-compatible, it’ll work too.
- You can use Xbox’s SmartGlass technology to look up songs and singers on your smartphone, and then queue up songs ahead of time so there’s no break in the fun.
- Songs are streamed, so no need to wait for downloads.
You can find out more about the KARAOKE Channel, requirements and features here.
I’ve given it a try and I’m already in love. I have a feeling I’m going to burn through a big chunk of that song list over winter break. And I love that we’ll have it available for our family to try during our annual New Year’s Eve party.
Video game systems aren’t just about stomping on monsters anymore! Our Xbox 360 + Kinect are more like full-on family entertainment systems. I’m glad I decided to give the Xbox a prominent home right in our living room.
Only problem? It keeps tempting me away from dishes and deadlines.