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New Xbox game charges by the hour

A new Karaoke game for the Xbox 360 follows the monetization model of its real-life karaoke bar counterparts, charging players by the hour for unlimited access to a large sing-along music library.
Microsoft is hoping it's found a new way to monetize games on its Xbox 360: charging players by the hour. The company announced this week a new Karaoke application that, much like a karaoke bar, charges participants by the hour for unlimited access to a library of over 8,000 songs. While it's not exactly a major shift for the company (don't expect a pay-as-you-go Halo anytime soon), it does follow Microsoft's recent trend of finding new ways to monetize the Xbox 360. The company is running its first free-to-play game, and a recent pilot program resulted in a nationwide rollout of a steeply discounted console with an upfront cost offset by a two-year monthly fee contract similar to how many mobile phones are sold. Karaoke's song library comes by way of a partnership with The Karaoke Channel. The game is developed by iNiS, the Japanese studio also responsible for Microsoft's earlier karaoke game, Lips. More on the Play XBLA blog.

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