SingStar Rocks! problems / technical issues
I describe the problems I have had playing SingStar Rocks! on my otherwise perfectly functional PS2. My conclusion is that the cause is a technical problem with some of the SingStar Rocks! discs now in circulation, and that Sony should give us an explaination and replacement discs that actually work in our PS2s.
If you have had similar problems, I’d appreciate it if you would leave a comment at the bottom of this page. Please list the model number orf and serial number of your PS2 if you want to – I’ll add them to this page (see mine at the bottom). Hopefully this can make it easier for Sony or someone else to figure out the cause of this problem.
I pre-ordered SingStar Rocks from online retailer BlahDVD. I got it on release, but soon discovered my PS2 wouldn’t play the game like it should.
Briefly put, some of the tracks exhibited these problems after playing for some time (ranging from 30 seconds into the song to near the end):
- The video freezes (variation: the video skips a bit before eventually freezing)
- The audio starts playing in a short, 4-5 second loop (variation: It skips a bit before finally entering the loop)
- Lyrics and notes are still displayed as they should, and it is possible to sing along and get points. Eventually, you get the menu (“end song”, “quit”, “resume”, etc)
These are some of the songs I had problems with:
- The Cardigans – My Favourite Game (freezes early)
- Keane – Everybody’s Changing (freezes early)
- Franz Ferdinand – Do You Want To (freezes late)
- Coldplay – Speed of Sound (freezes late)
- Bowling for Soup – 1985
- Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water
- The Killers – Somebody Told Me
- Queens of the Stone Age – Go With the Flow
What’s the problem?
First, I assumed something was wrong with the disc itself, as the PlayStation machine has no problems playing other PS2 games (including SingStar, SingStar Party, SingStar 80s, and SingStar “Norske Hits”). However, the disc surface looked perfectly fine – no smudges or scratches. Considering that all other discs played 100% fine, I decided that it was probably just one bad disc. I made plans to return my copy to BlahDVD and buy another one from the local EBGames instead.
Unfortunately, the disc from EBGames had exactly the same issues, and mostly in exactly the same places in the tracks. I went back to them two times for new discs, so that in the end, I tried a total of four Rocks! discs on my PS2.
None of these worked. Since there was no internet uproar about default SingStar Rocks! discs, I started to think that something might be wrong with my PS2. Indeed, I was able to try playing the Rocks! disc at a local games shop, and it worked without a hitch. However, I spotted some complaints at the Gamespot forum for SingStar Rocks! – more people were having the same problem I was. Lately, several people have commented on my weblog that they have the problem too.
I have also tried cleaning the PS2 and adjusting its laser using this PS2 cleaning/calibration guide from ArsTechnica. We ended up changing the level of the laser by six “clicks”. This helped a little bit – we got about 50- 60 seconds further into some tracks that froze after just 20 – 30 seconds previously – but didn’t solve the problem.
There seems to be something wrong with the manufacture of a batch of the Rocks! discs. The error, whatever it is, only causes problems on certain PS2 machines. I’m lucky – I was able to swap my PS2 with a friend, so that I now have a PS2 that can play Rocks! while she doesn’t – but that’s not an option for most Rocks! owners.
Sony should come clean and tell us what the problem is, and print a new batch of SingStar Rocks discs that actually work.
- My first post about SingStar Rocks! problems, with comments from people experiencing the same issue
- My second post about SingStar Rocks! problems, with more comments from people experiencing the same issue
- Gamespot forum for SingStar Rocks!
- Thread from the GameSpot forums with people having problems with SingStar Rocks!
- Another GameSpot thread with a poster having problems
- ArsTechnica article on how to get rid of PS2 read errors
- Page with info about various PS2 revisions
Andy’s PS2, model number SCPH-30003.
Aus Rocker’s PS2, model number SCPH-70002. serial number AA0448598.
Bertil’s PS2, model: SCPH 70002, serial: FA2295789. Also can’t play his 80’s disc – maybe a slightly different issue?
Birken’s PS2, model 77004 black slimline.
Bocklin’s PS2, model: SCPH-70004. Has tested with both UK and German version.
Carl’s PS2, model SCPH-70003.
ChrisF’s PS2, model number SCPH-30002A.
GrooveyGirl’s PS2, model number SCPH-75002 (New Zealand).
Honeybear’s PS2, model number SCPH-30003.
Jay’s PS2, model number SCPH-75003.
jillenajosh’s PS2, model number SCPH-75002-SS.
Karen’s PS2, model number SCPH-30003.
Laura’s PS2, model: SCPH-30004, Serial: C2191262.
Neil’s PS2, model number SCPH-30003.
Ollyrose’s PS2, model number is SCPH-30004R, serial number is C3373304.
Ollli’s PS2, model number SCPH-30004, serial number C0467010.
Phoebe’s PS2, model number SCPH-50002.
Sarah’s PS2, model number SCPH-70003.
Sean S’s PS2, model number SCPH-75002 (brand new slimline model).
Sean S’s PS2, model number SCPH-30002.
SGP’s PS2, model SCPH-75003.
singstar wannabe’s PS2, model number SCPH-5002, serial number FAO697896.
Victoria’s PS2, model number SCPH-35002.
Wasptor’s PS2 (slimline), model number SCPH-70002, serial number FA2291774.
My PS2, model number SCPH-30004, serial:C0599254, barcode: S01-0599264-L. Backplate: