A Rhythm Game co-developed by Konami, Blitz Games, and Harmonix, where players must sing along to popular songs while being judged on if they're singing on the right pitch or not, as indicated by a piano roll and pitch bars accompanying the scrolling lyrics.
The original version of the game was released in November 2003 on the PlayStation 2, followed by several Mission Pack Sequels ("volumes") that added features such as ports to other consoles (Xbox on Volume 2, GameCube on Party), duets (Volume 3), and dance pad support (Party). There were even a few American Idol home game editions.
The popularity of the series would begin to tamper off once Harmonix released Guitar Hero, it too morphed into a phenomenon, but this time it was one much greater than what Karaoke Revolution achieved. Going up against Activision's acquisition of the franchise, Harmonix would throw together what it developed for both Guitar Hero and Karaoke Revolution (along with one more instrument inherited from another Konami franchise) to create the Rock Band franchise.
Konami would reboot the series, sans Harmonix, in 2009 with a new release for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii simply titled "Karaoke Revolution", now featuring only master tracks, better multiplayer, and other new features. However, they didn't take the logical route of adding guitar and drum support to the game either, since they wanted to protect Rock Revolution from having to compete with it.
Games in this series include:
- Karaoke Revolution
- Karaoke Revolution Volume 2
- Karaoke Revolution Volume 3
- Karaoke Revolution Party
- CMT Presents: Karaoke Revolution Country
- Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol
- Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore
- Karaoke Revolution (2009)
- Karaoke Revolution Glee
This series provides examples of:
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: Well, you gotta earn something to put on your virtual you.
- Cover Version: Then again, most real Karaoke (and American Idol too, with a live band) is done to covers. The 2009 release would only use master tracks to be more in line with its competitors.
- Downloadable Content: The Xbox/Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 versions would receive this.
- Dueling Games: Mainly with Sing Star
- In Name Only: "Karaoke Revolution" games were also released in Japan by Konami on the PlayStation 2; however these are literally just a karaoke box in a box ... err, DVD case (a karaoke box is a facility where groups can rent private rooms with karaoke systems in them), with straight karaoke rather than having any sort of gameplay like the Harmonix games.
- Licensed Game: There were American Idol and Glee versions. Both are music-oriented series broadcast by Fox, and both make perfect sense for this kind of game.
- Product Placement: The opening themes from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Silent Hill 4 are playable tracks on Volume 3.
- Recurring Extra: As typical, music by Freezepop (a band with a few Harmonix staff members) ended up in Volume 1, specifically "Science Genius Girl"
- Shout-Out: Harmonix based several backgrounds on spots in their hometown of Boston. In particular, the subway level, where your singer appears to be busking as trains goes by, is the red line side of Park Street Station, down to using the same signage.
- Spiritual Successor: Vocals in Rock Band borrow heavily from the mechanics of Karaoke Revolution, integrating the Guitar Hero scoring system and Star Power (re-named "Overdrive") into it. Later versions went further by adding three-part harmonies (The Beatles: Rock Band and Rock Band 3) and improvisation features (Rock Band 4).