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Hudson details Karaoke Joysound Wii ahead of release

WiiWare version still on the way.


Prior to tomorrow's release of Karaoke Joysound Wii, Hudson has shared full details on the title for those who might be interested in turning their Wii into a karaoke machine.

Packaging for the game/mic combo and the separate mic.

Karaoke Joysound Wii will be released tomorrow as a retail package bundling the game disc with a USB microphone. This package will be priced at 6,090 yen. Hudson is also making available tomorrow the USB microphone as a separate peripheral costing 2,940 yen. A second microphone will be helpful when performing duets.

The game disc includes 70 songs selected amongst the most popular tracks from Xing's Joysound karaoke system. Xing collaborated with Hudson on the development of the title. A full list of the included songs can be seen at the Karaoke Joysound Wii official site.

On top of the included songs, players can also access a catalogue of 30,000 songs for download. Hudson will be adding 1,000 songs, focusing on new releases, per month to this catalogue following the game's release. A growing list of downloadable songs can also be found at the official site.

Accessing the downloads require the purchase of all-you-can-sing tickets, which let you download as many songs as you like over a fixed period. Pricing for the tickets is set at 300 WiiPoints for 24 hours, 500 WiiPoints for 72 hours, 1,000 WiiPoints for 30 days, and 2,000 WiiPoints for 90 days.

To help deal with the large catalogue of songs, the game offers a number of search features. You can find songs by genre (anime, western, enka, TV drama, medley, duets, children's songs, and more), ranking (on anime, TV drama, western, and enka) and through seasonal featured songs. Players can also register up to 20 songs in a favorites folder.

While one person is singing, other players can search through songs for queuing up. The game lets players queue up at most 19 songs per person.

The menu screen showing options for karaoke, lesson, party, purchase ticket, options, and song battle. The interface is set up like the reception of a karaoke shop.

On top of the search features, the karaoke part of the game appears to have most of the features one associates with real karaoke. You can adjust mic volume, echo, key, and speed and can also forward through sections of the music. The game also lets you adjust the volume of the melody between low, medium, and high, in order to make following the song easier.

The game does a couple of things to help bring the performance to life. Your Mii appears against one of six backgrounds (one of which needs to be unlocked) and dances along with the game's built in characters as you perform. The game also includes three video clips for play in the background as you sing.

Other players can also help to liven up the performance. The Wiimote can be turned into 20 "shaberi-mono" items including cymbals and maracas (some of these have to be unlocked).

Left: To select a song, you point to the tablet in front. Right: Selecting a song while someone else sings.

For those who aren't too good at karaoke, the title include a lesson mode offering training in tone and rhythm. This mode also offers quizzes, testing players in music notes and instruments. Clear these, and you earn more shaberi-mono items for your Wiimote.

Those who are in group settings can take advantage of the game's Party Mode, which features five mini games. These support up to four players and can be played with a single Wiimote.

Mini-games in the party mode.

Hudson originally announced Karaoke Joysound Wii as a combo package and WiiWare release. The WiiWare version is still on tap for 2009 and will include three trial songs. In addition to the missing songs, the download version lacks the Lesson Mode, the Party Mode, and a few of the background settings. Pricing for this version has yet to be announced.

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