Archive for the ‘Singstar’ Category

Parental controls stopping you from playing tracks in SingStar?

February 14, 2009

After swapping in a PS2 Singstar disk when playing PS3 Singstar, I was suddenly stopped from playing some of the songs. Ironically, the first song Singstar refused me was “We all stand together” – the rather child friendly Paul McCartney number…

Seems Singstar suddenly started to pay very close attention to parental control settings – or perhaps these were changed in a recent PS3 system sotware patch? I don’t know, but I found the solution on this forum: http://boardsus.playstation.com/playstation/board/message?board.id=ps3home&message.id=554051.

Here’s the solution, courtesy of dadog102:

Go to your security settings of that master account then select Parental Controls

>then put in 0000 (thats the standard code if it has not already been set)

> select OFF as the control setting after you hit accept it will show a screen after that with a check box saying restrict starting a game with no parental control settings uncheck that box and select ok

>You should be all set. You can then go back in and turn the parental settings back to normal later on.

Open letter to Sony: Why the limited multiplayer game modes in Singstar?

February 29, 2008

(Sent to Sony’s London Studio, makers of the Singstar games.)

Dear London Studio,

thanks for bringing us Singstar – a great party game. After having played Singstar for a long time I do, however, have a couple of issues with your game’s design that I believe you should address.

The 2-8 player Pass the Mic game mode is a good idea: Let people team up and play against each other. But why cap the number of players at 8? I can see no technical reason why you should have to place a limit on this number. It is very frustrating to have 9 or 10 people to visit – but only 8 can join, because of an arbitrary limit you set. Yes – having 20 players might make for boring games, because you would have to wait for a long time – but give the player that choice. How we set up our parties is our business.

My second issue is with the forced randomization of songs. It is no secret that not every song on every disc is a crowd pleaser. The random track selection should have been optional. I cannot see any reason why you should continue to force players to sing songs they don’t like. (Sorry – the 5+5 shuffle tokens do not solve the problem.)

Interestingly, this sort of unnecessarily restrictive game design is also present in the Buzz series of games – another social gaming giant. It is tempting to suggest that your common failure to provide customizable gameplay is a consequence of lacking competition – it would not require much code to add the functionality described above, yet the Pass the Mic mode has remained largely unchanged for the previous 10-12 Singstar titles.

I sincerely hope you will address my concerns in future editions of Singstar – and maybe with a patch for the PS3 version.

Best regards,

Singstar fan Are Wold

Oslo, Norway

Awesome stuff is happening!

April 4, 2007
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No, I’m not talking about my master’s thesis nearing completion – unfortunately, it is quite far from being awesome.

However, as if to compensate me for having to stay indoors and staring at OpenOffice when the weather outside is brilliant and sensible people are having their Easter holidays, the worlds of games, music and technology have dropped me three presents!

Games first! Some readers might be aware that I’m a big fan of SingStar, that game where people who tremendously enjoy singing in the shower can finally do so outside of the shower as well. Many times after playing (yeah, it is really playing and not singing it’s about, right?) I’ve said “wouldn’t it be awesome if we could have more voices going at the same time, or the entire band?”. The potential was obvious, and my prayers have been heard. Harmonix, the guys behind Guitar Hero (which I, sadly, have barely played) are creating a game called Rock Band where four players can take part. Vocals, guitar, bass and drums! YEAH! The potential awesomeness is completely off the charts. I can barely contain myself!

I’ll go in more detail some other time, since I have two more pieces of awesome news I want to share with you.

Music! In my previous blog post, I complained about DRM on music – in short, music files bought over the web that you can only play X times or only on this or that device. It seems someone was listening, because starting in May, EMI (the record company with Robbie Williams, Coldplay and lots of other big names on contract) are starting to sell music on the internet – without DRM. The price will be slightly higher than on the tracks already retailing on iTunes, but the quality will be higher as well. This is the beginning – I am confident the other record companies will have to follow EMI on this one. Yeah!

Finally, technology. Last year I heard some rumblings about wireless power, and how it was physically quite possible and probably would happen, you know, inside our lifespans, at least. Well, guess what. Philips are coming to market with a wireless LED light bulb this year, and next year we’ll see a wireless power receiver in phones, keyboards, mice etcetera. At this stage, the range of the “power waves” is about 1 metre, and the power transmitted is sufficient for, well, LEDs, mice, keyboard, cell phones, but not larger devices such as laptops. We’ll get there. This is awesome.

I love the feeling of progress! Collaborative gameplay never seen before, finally music in decent quality available legally without DRM – and wireless power. Bring on the future, I can’t wait! Yeah!

More SingStar Rocks! problems

April 23, 2006

A few days ago, I posted about my faulty SingStar Rocks PS2 disc. I thought I’d post an update, as I have been to my local EBGames and bought a new copy – which didn’t work. It had the same problems with the music video freezing, at exactly the same places in the songs. I went back and swapped it, and the disc has the exact same problems.

Meaning: I’ve now tried three different discs and they all have the same problems. I’m wondering whether this is just the PS2 we have here, or if it’s a manufacturing defect. Hopefully Google will have indexed my original post soon, so that people searching for information about this issue will find my blog.

Singstar Rocks! skips!

April 19, 2006

I got Singstar Rocks! in the mail yesterday, from BlahDVD. Unfortunately, there’s a problem with my disc – some tracks play just a few seconds before the music video stops playing. Others work until the end of the song. The notes and lyrics continue, but the video freezes and the sound loops. Apparently there’s a problem with accessing the information on the disc. Restarting the song, the game or the PS2 doesn’t help. The disc looks fine, and the PS2 doesn’t have any problems playing other (Singstar) discs.

In addition to having problems with some of the tracks (among them “Everybody’s Changing” and “My favourite game”), the menus are very slow in places, especially when starting the game. Before I get to the main menu there’s an approximately 30-second pause when the screen’s just white.

If someone has any good suggestions or has experienced this themselves, I’d appreciate it if you let me know. I’ve had problems with humidity and DVDs before, where just letting the discs “dry” made them work again, so I’m going to wait a few days before I return the disc to Blah DVD. Just in case it was stored in a very humid place somewhere during transport. Fingers crossed. (Yeah, I’m optimistic now, I know.)

The game itself is exactly like Singstar 80s, except the ping-pong mode is missing. There might be a few other minor differences as well that I haven’t noticed yet. I like the song selection quite a lot, and that’s what it boils down to; if you like the songs (and enjoy Singstar) you’ll like the game.

SingStar on the PlayStation 3 “speculations”

March 24, 2006

Yesterday, GameSpy mentioned a video displayed at GDC showing a Sony "vision" of the video gaming future:

Finally, we were treated to a view of what the future might look like, as players instantly download music to the PS3 version of SingStar (Sony's karaoke game), sharing videos and photos with their friends across the world.

That's exactly what I've been hoping to hear. One of the biggest complaints against the SingStar series of games is that they never include the song you want to sing from a particular artist – they always include that other song you never really cared that much for.

Imagine having friends over and being able to purchase and download songs immediately, choosing from a selection of hundreds of songs. I can't wait. Also, the PS3's fast hardware should mean that the annoying waits in SingStar (while the game loads data and when it stores information to the memory card) will be eradicated.

Also – hook up the EyeToy camera and broadcast the entire "show" to your friends somewhere else in the world. What a way to spread the fun. Ouch, that almost sounds like an advertisement punch-line.

Of course, no SingStar for the PS3 has been announced yet, but it's just one of those things that will happen for sure – just imagine the nice revenue stream Sony can create from all the players constantly buying new songs. Sony, I'm looking forward to it! (That is, if I can afford a PlayStation 3 to begin with…)