Xbox goes Karaoke

Posted by bink on September 23 2003, 4:47 PM. Posted in Xbox.

If titles like "NFL Fever 2003" and "Midtown Madness" don't excite you, how about "I Will Survive"?

As Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox enters its third holiday season, the company is hoping to broaden the appeal of its video-game console and online game service to customers by offering extras that have nothing to do with video gaming at all.

In addition to scores of new video game titles, Microsoft this fall will be selling "Music Mixer" - a package of software and a microphone that turns the Xbox console into a karaoke machine spouting the music of Gloria Gaynor and others.

The software also lets customers transfer their music files and digital photos to their Xbox consoles, which can play music and display photos on the TV screen.

"It starts to become more about a family purchase," said Cameron Ferroni, general manager of the Xbox Platform, as opposed to one just for hard-core gamers.

It's one way Microsoft is trying to gain more customers in the highly competitive video game industry, against the likes of Sony Computer Entertainment of America and Nintendo Corp. Microsoft has been spending billions of dollars building its Xbox video game console and Xbox Live online video game service, with the hope of a big payoff in the future.