You heard me. After months of rumors and speculation, Microsoft has announced that they do intend to release a motion control. Is it the rumored Wii-style remote that will work with the upcoming Banjo Kazooie sequel? Nope, instead it's a motion sensing microphone that is used to play Lips, Microsoft's upcoming SingStar rip-off.
Okay, so by now you've figured out that headline is more than a little misleading. The Lips microphone uses the motion sensing to recreate a tambourine, cowbell and other similar instruments. In other words, instead of hitting the microphone (like you do in Rock Band) you shake it. I haven't tried it out yet, so I have no idea how well this actually works.
Thankfully the game itself is more interesting than the motion sensing angle. It is, essentially, SingStar, Sony's super popular karaoke simulator. The game gives you a microphone and has you singing some of the biggest songs of the last few decades. Like all games with singing, Lips shows you the lyrics and tests your pitch. The game itself looks almost exactly the same as SingStar, both with the interface and the video playing in the background.
Of course that doesn't mean it's bad or anything. Let's face it; people love to sing … especially when it's in a party atmosphere. The video shows a bunch of attractive twentysomethings partying it down in some dude's living room. Before long a metrosexual guy starts singing to what is a rather attractive woman. Then she chimes in. The fact that it's Peter Bjorn & John's catchy song Young Folks didn't hurt any. However, right after that the girl started singing some annoying rap song and her stock plummeted.
Before the end of the demonstration Microsoft brought out a musician named Duffy. Maybe I'm just really out of the music scene, but I didn't have a clue who this 24 year old singer was. I wasn't a big fan of the song, but it's always nice to see somebody come out and perform for you. However, she wasn't hitting many of the notes the game wanted her to hit, and if she can't hit those notes, then why should I be expected to do that? What's more, she was confused when the game wanted her to perform the back-up parts, something she's not used to doing.
All in all Lips looks like it will be fun, and I'm intrigued that you can use your iPod and Zune to add to the library. But it's hard to look at this game and not think that this is just SingStar on the Xbox 360.
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