Xbox Karaoke game will charge by the hour

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CNET Editor

Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.

Karaoke for Xbox 360 will have an unusual business model: you'll buy blocks of times during which you can stream the music library.

(Credit: Microsoft)

Apart from being surprisingly popular, music games have always made you purchase the content outright, either via the original title or in genre-themed updates.

But Karaoke for Xbox 360 is going to do things a little differently. You'll have access to a library of 8000 streaming karaoke tracks, but only in blocks of two, six or 24 hours.

So, if you're having a few friends over for a karaoke night (do people really do that?) you'd just unlock the two hours with some Microsoft points. A bigger party might require six hours. We're yet to come up with a scenario where one might require a full 24 hours of karaoke access, but we're sure it exists.

Karaoke for Xbox will also include SmartGlass integration, letting you queue up tracks via your phone or tablet.

We haven't seen any actual numbers for how many Microsoft points the time blocks will cost, but this certainly seems like a novel business model that suits the games format rather well.

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GeorgeM3 posted a comment   

Good comment; "Were not sure if there is a scenario for 24 hour access." Too funny. Can't stop thinking about it.


Chandler posted a comment   

As long as you purchase "game" time, which seems to be the case, and not real time - i.e. you purchase a two hour block of "game" time, allowing you to jump in and out of the game as much as you like until you've clocked up 2 hours of usage, rather than you purchase a two hour block at 8pm, and you can't play the game after 10pm unless you buy more time, regardless of if you've even played the game or not.

I don't know how well the pricing format will work for this genre, but as long as pricing is reasonable it may well do... I would however love to see this payment system implemented in MMOs: I'd play my MMOs - WoW, EVE, Aces High... but I can't justify paying ~$20 per month given that I some months I may not play any of them at all...

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