PSU Interview: SingStar

While we’re currently working on bringing you our impressions of the North American version of SingStar, we thought we’d tide you over with an interview with the producer behind the game. We had the chance to interview SingStar Producer Aaron Orsak about the recently released title as well as the future of My SingStar Online and Home integration. So if you’re curious as to what to expect on the horizon, your questions should somewhat be answered below.

PSU: What separates SingStar from the vocals in the recent hit Rock Band?

Orsak: The difference between SingStar and Rock Band vocals is our vocal engine.
It’s been designed from the ground up solely as a voice recognition engine, so we spent a lot of time perfecting things like pitch recognition and voice duration. Plus, you get to sing over the videos from the actual artists, so that’s a cool added bonus.

PSU: Does it ship with the same tracks as the UK/European version?

Orsak: Approximately half the tracks are exclusive to the US version.

PSU: This seems like the ultimate version of SingStar, given the ability to download tracks. Does that mean there will never need to be a new SingStar title in the future? What are your thoughts?

Orsak: Well, there’s still a large contingency of gamers who do not have access to online content, so, though we haven’t made any announcements, I think it’s fair to say we will continue to see SingStar on physical media.

PSU: How will videos be uploaded from your performance to My Singstar Online? Will videos need to be saved to your hard drive first to be uploaded and if so, how much hard drive space will it require?

Orsak: The videos are stored solely on the servers, so, once the video is uploaded, there will be no hard drive space needed to store them. You upload the performances via the PLAYSTATION Eye, which is an incredible peripheral that I think is absolutely essential for the full SingStar experience.

PSU: With Singstar Online, players will be able to view, rate, and upload their own pictures and videos. What are your thoughts on vocal scouts finding talents through Singstar?

Orsak: Wow, that’s an incredibly interesting question and one that I’ve not thought of before. I guess the possibilities are really endless when it comes to aspects like this, as the performances are out there in the world for all to see and listen to. I think with the popularity of TV shows like American Idol, SingStar would provide an excellent vehicle for new talent to show off their stuff.

PSU: Are there plans to host events/competitions on Singstar Online?

Orsak: We are indeed working on many campaigns such as this, but nothing has been firmed up at the time of this writing.

PSU: Once a performance has been captured with the PlayStation Eye, can players customize their videos using something like Eye Create before uploading to Singstar Online?

Orsak: I don’t specifically know about Eye Create, but I have seen some really creative stuff on My SingStar Online. For example, there are several videos where people pause the game at various points, move around actual set-pieces and change positions, and unpause the game to give a sort of stop motion effect to the video. Very cool indeed!

PSU: What are some of your plans for PlayStation Home and integrating Singstar? For example, will players be able to give live performances from their Home apartments?

Orsak: We are excited about the possibilities of Home but have made no announcements regarding the integration of SingStar into PlayStation Home at this time.

PSU: Anything else you’d like to add?

Orsak: If I were to add anything, it would be that SingStar really is the ultimate casual game for PS3. Literally anyone can pick it up and have fun with it. I’ve seen kids who can barely speak mumbling Depeche Mode tunes into the mic (which is hilarious). Conversely, I’ve seen 80-year-old grandmothers dancing around to the beats of David Bowie and Billy Joel. It really just shows you how varied the people are who seem to really enjoy SingStar and particularly My SingStar Online. SingStar is currently available, so give it a shot and, most importantly, have fun!

PlayStation Universe would like to thank Aaron Orsak for taking the time to answer our questions and we hope everyone enjoys their latest release, SingStar.