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The Pains of SingStar

Saturday 12th January 2008

If you read my nonsensical blog, you might have seen my post, entitled “The Joy of SingStar”. I’d just got the game then and I was pretty excited about it, despite some of the network problems they were obviously having when the game first launched. I decided to give Sony and the developers of the game the benefit of the doubt, and bear with them on those problems.

Well I did, and now I’m not so forgiving.

SingStar launched in the UK and across other major European countries on 7th December. The game is a triumph of SingStar gameplay with new-school web 2.0 style YouTube/MySpace community features. Plus, having purchased every single PlayStation 2 iteration of SingStar, in addition to this new PlayStation 3 version, I consider myself a loyal customer.
But that loyalty has not been rewarded in any honourable way, and I find myself in a rather frustrating position of having a great new game, but one that doesn’t really do what it says on the tin.

So, here are the 3 main problems:

Network outages
The games launch week online service was a shambles. The online mode simply just didn’t work - presumably due to the volumes of users accessing the service. A call to Sonys customer service department would get you a rather patronising lesson in the basics of home networking, with no information of any real use. It was a full week before the service was useable, with a community rep on the forums finally offering some information on the network problems.
Even now though, over a month after release - the network mode of SingStar is never 100% reliable. It’ll occasionally log you out and won’t let you back in until your second or third attempt. The rating functionality of the online media now seems to work only when it wants to, and every so often it’ll lock up when you’re trying to quit a video, only freeing itself if you quit back to the main menu. It’s frustrating and it needs patching.

The SingStore isn’t getting updated
In 2007 we were promised the back catalogue of songs to download from the SingStore. Nearer to the games release date, a press release went back on that and said that the back catalogue would be build up over time. But this has not been well communicated and most people are wondering why the SingStore does not contain those 300+ songs to download. The official product page on states “Download the entire PlayStation 2 back catalogue of more than 300 songs - as well as new songs available online”. Well that’s simply not true. And frankly - it’s false advertising. Even within the game itself, some rather sloppy placeholder text may appear when online, stating “Hundreds of more songs to download”. It’s really quite shoddy.

Total lack of communication with customers
If you buy something with a fault, you normally take it back. But it’s different with SingStar. On the one hand, it works beautifully when you’re actually playing the game. On the other hand, there are the frequent online problems and the constant disappointment of not being able to download the songs which you were promised. It works, but just not perfectly. And you want it to work perfectly!
Communication could really help here. A blog post on ThreeSpeech, a press release announcing what songs are out and when, even an in-game message wouldn’t exactly be taxing - It’s really not hard to communicate these days and a simple reassurance for customers would be much appreciated. It’s poor.

Right now there are thousands of SingStar PS3 owners who want to download songs and spend money. And they get nothing in return for even asking.

I was kind of at breaking point today so I decided to make an online petition. I made an in-game video message, which read:

Unhappy with SingStar?
SingStore not available in your country?
In need of some SingStore updates?
Register your disappointment at:

...hardly rude, eh? It got one 5-star vote was removed within 15 minutes… Which kind of sums up the whole ‘communication’ issue.
I’m not the only one though. Upload your own video with a personal msg to Sony in - and it wont be there for long.

So if you’re reading this and you’re an unhappy SingStar PS3 customer, then sign the petition and maybe someone will hear it.

Let’s hope someone somewhere is actually listening…


The petition has picked up a fair amount of steam in it’s first 48 hours. With over 270 signatures it’s clear this issue is very important for SingStar customers. A few sites have started to report about the petition too, which might help see that number rise further. The rather fine has just posted an item about it, and PS3 Fanboy also picked up on it earlier today.


Well a full week after the petition and I managed to get a mention on PlayThree, PS3 Fanboy, Kotaku, The Guardian and Eurogamer.

After the snowball rolled for 5 days, Sony came out on Thursday to announce that there will be improvements over coming weeks. Eurogamer covered the article and mentioned the petition as a possible cause for their announcement.
It’s good that they responded, but it shouldn’t have come to this - a petition to get news to customers. And the update to the store of a small handful of mediocre songs isn’t exactly amazing, but at least it’s something.

Let’s hope the service sees further improvements sooner rather than later.



Well done for setting up a petition and doing something!

A lot of people just moan to other people.

I hope Sony does something to improve things.

They should of course.

Charlie Kiss

Posted 11 days 16 hours after the item.


i sometimes can log in to singstar, once im in thats ok, but half of the time i tried to log in i received an error code sso… i think i need to do something about the router of my network. any ideas? please email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Posted 30 days 9 hours after the item.