Microsoft Announces Xbox 360 Karaoke App, Charges You By The Hour

Microsoft has announced that a Karaoke app will be added to the Xbox 360 this holiday. The app will be powered by the Karaoke Channel and will boast 8,000 different playable songs, which don’t actually need to be downloaded to play, as they can apparently be streamed straight to the console. The pricing structure is a pay-by-the-hour arrangement but the Microsoft we all know and love, the Microsoft that forces users to buy its Microsoft Point currency in inconveniently incremented amounts has decreed that users must purchase playtime via either 2-hour, 6-hour or 24-hour session tokens. The actual prices haven’t been revealed as of yet.

The app will follow Microsoft’s recent widespread integration of Smartglass support by allowing users to cue up songs, change the pitch and tone and enable supporting vocals.

Now, what exactly can you use to belt out those power ballads? Well the app supports the Xbox 360 Headset, the Xbox Wireless Microphone and any Xbox 360 compatible USB microphones.

Following the success of the free-to-play Happy Wars, it seems that Microsoft is looking to test the waters yet further with this freemium app. This initiative is the first time Microsoft has attempted to monetize an Xbox Live app in this fashion, and they will no doubt be watching its performance extremely carefully to determine whether this direction will provide a lucrative new avenue for the Live service to take. There can be little doubt that casual gamers will respond well to this app, but the percentage of players who will continue to invest money into playing it after the novelty wears off will ultimately be the litmus test Microsoft will use to judge the potential of any future freemium endeavors.

Is the allure of Karaoke enough to persuade you to spend your hard earned cash in this app? Let us know in the comments.

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