E3 08: Lips - Details from Microsoft's demo

-The first songs which have been announced are: Mercy by Duffy, Young Folks by Peter Bjorn and Son, and Bust a Move by Young MC.

-The game will come with two Wireless mics, one white and one black. The mics contain motion sensors and LEDs that light up in time with the music and other events. The motion sensing capability can be used to play instruments while singing (such as a tambourine), as well as to enter the game as a second player (shake the mic twice). They take two AA batteries, and we were told that the battery life is “pretty good,” though the developers are still working with prototype models.

-Official music videos will play in the background for songs included with the game. Songs added by the user will have something else in the background - they hinted at the inclusion of dancing avatars or perhaps minigames which involve the motion sensing capabilities of the microphones, but nothing is confirmed yet.

-Singers are scored on pitch, rhythm, and phonemes - the game actually detects whether or not you are saying the correct words. You can just hum along, but you won’t score as high.

-Rap songs are handled a bit differently. Instead of bars which light up as you hit a pitch, the words are just dots, and you’ve got to say the right words in the correct rhythm.

-You can use songs from your Zune or iPod, however, the songs must be DRM free (not purchased from iTunes). We have been told that user added songs will be scored in some way, despite not being manually integrated into the game. No word on how this will work.

-It is possible for the mics to be used with Rock Band and Guitar Hero, but we were told that it is up to the developers to implement this. We heard a rumor from someone outside of Microsoft that they will definitely work with Rock Band 2.

Above: Shiny

-The game includes a voice reduction feature, which will dynamically quiet the singing on the track while you are singing. This can be adjusted to your liking.

-There are audio effects available, such as reverb... in case you want to emulate singing in your bathroom.

Jul 16, 2008

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer