News Article

Nintendo Issues Full Statement Regarding Uncensored Lyrics In Wii Karaoke U

Posted by Damien McFerran

"Nintendo does not restrict which songs are included in the catalogue"

Last week, we broke the news that Wii Karaoke U contains uncensored versions of songs with offensive lyrics, and that these songs can be downloaded and accessed by anyone using a Wii U console.

Nintendo of Europe has now given us an official statement regarding this matter, which is replicated in full below:

Wii Karaoke U offensive lyrics

Wii Karaoke U by JOYSOUND is intended to provide users with access to a large catalogue of songs from a broad range of music labels across a variety of musical genres – designed to appeal to all music tastes. As such Nintendo does not restrict which songs are included in the catalogue of songs featured within the Wii Karaoke U by JOYSOUND application.

We are aware that some songs contain explicit lyrics and deal with adult themes which some audiences may find unsuitable. As such the Wii Karaoke U by JOYSOUND application currently includes a notice which informs users that music downloads are not rated by PEGI. Wii U owners also have the tools to restrict access to the song catalogue using the Parental Controls feature (Online Interaction in Games). For more information on Parental Controls please visit http://www.nintendo.co.uk/Support/Wii-U/Parental-Controls/Overview-678628.html

It is however very important to us that all users of Wii Karaoke U by JOYSOUND understand that some lyrics contained within songs may not be suitable for all audiences and as such we will immediately be implementing an additional message within the Nintendo eShop (prior to downloading the application & ticket purchase) as well as on the Wii Karaoke U by JOYSOUND website pages.

In the near future this message will also be incorporated within the notification that is displayed as the Wii Karaoke U by JOYSOUND application is launched.

Age ratings are usually a safe way of warning users of potential issues, and Wii Karaoke U is rated PEGI 3 in Europe. This is misleading, as it suggests that all of the content included within is suitable for anyone aged 3 and up — although confusingly, the game states on the loading screen that none of the songs themselves are subject to this rating.

The parental controls mentioned by Nintendo actually disable Wii Karaoke U unless you enter a pin code for every song you download — not just the ones with explicit content. This basically means that the game cannot be played by unsupervised children, as the only way they can download a track — objectionable or otherwise — is to have an adult on hand to enter a pin code for every single song.

Nintendo's admission that stronger warnings are required proves that Wii Karaoke U should never really have been released in this form, but is the company doing enough? Should Nintendo be leaning on JOYSOUND to provide only clean songs, or should better controls be put in place to lock away the explicit tracks and only grant access to acceptable material, unless parental controls are employed? The present controls are rather like throwing the baby out with the bathwater — turning them on effectively disables Wii Karaoke U and means it cannot be played without an adult being present. There's also no way for parents to see which songs could potentially contain swearing or questionable themes without downloading them first.

Let us know your thoughts on Nintendo's statement and current situation with Wii Karaoke U by posting a comment below.

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User Comments (46)

ikki5

#1

ikki5 said:

Good.... now do something like this with SwapNote and bring it back

Sephariel

#5

Sephariel said:

@ikki5 They wont bring it back. If you go to Gonintendo you can read there that Swapnote was used for Child pornography. And i think Nintendo wont bring back someting that was used for that.

ikki5

#7

ikki5 said:

@Sephariel

there is a simple fix for that. remove the picture functionality. I am pretty sure everyone will understand Nintendo if they remove it because of that.

Nareva

#8

Nareva said:

This is as it should be. Karaoke is for singing songs you already know, so it should be easy to avoid inappropriate songs if that's a concern.

Sephariel

#9

Sephariel said:

@ikki5 Well sure but still Swapnote would be associated with it. And that wouldnt help them. So they ended it and now they have to put out MiiVerse for 3DS soon

Zach

#10

Zach said:

I won't be happy until all the Wii Karaoke U songs have offensive lyrics

ultimate321

#13

ultimate321 said:

Such a big scandal. Kids by kindergaarden are swearing and pushing each other around. Of course exposing them to more explicit material doesn't help but we can stop acting so exaggerated about these things.

Kirk

#14

Kirk said:

I guess this ones a bit tough to decide really.

I don't want Nintendo restricting the songs but obviously they need to make sure parents don't have to worry about their children listening to explicit lyrics too.

I think what they are doing seems pretty reasonable.

Maybe what they should do is tie stuff like this into the user profile and if a child is using it then restrict certain songs and if an adult is using it then allow all songs.

Something like that would make it simple for users and something they don't really have to think about too much when they download songs.

Parents would just need to make sure the child is using the child profile and parents are using the parent profile.

AddDavey

#15

AddDavey said:

They shouldn't offer only censored versions of songs but, where available, offer both clean and explicit versions, and for the songs that don't have a censored version clearly label it as explicit like the iTunes store does.

Unca_LzStaff

#16

Unca_Lz said:

@ikki5 Allow child porn to be distributed without any restriction? Okay, but you're liable for this decision.

rjejr

#18

rjejr said:

So if I make a Paper Mario game and in that game Mario and Luigi are siting in their house watching XXX porn in the game it can still get a PEGI 3 rating b/c I didn't make the porno movie, I just added it into the game? Sounds like a money making idea to me. ;-)

CDs (yes I'm that old) in stores always carry "offensive lyric" labels, sounds like this game should as well. I'm ok w/ the cursing, I just dont see how they can give the game a PEGI 3 rating w/ that much vocal and written obscenity.

AJWolfTill

#20

AJWolfTill said:

Explicit censorship for what seems like refreshingly open software, would be bad, I'm glad Nintendo aren't overreacting about this. Why would a kid do Karaoke for a song they have never heard? Obviously some music can be inappropriate for certain audiences but its not Nintendo's job to police peoples music taste.
@ikki5 This does seem like a logical solution to me...

AlexSora89

#21

AlexSora89 said:

I find the timing between this and the whole Swapnote SpotPass-stop fiasco very suspicious, to say the least. It's still nice Nintendo hasn't forgotten about the... um, orbs they've always had in the first place.

mercurio2054

#22

mercurio2054 said:

i THINK, that nintendolife is exaggerating, as a parent, i know what kind of music my daughter like, and she can play the game, if she is present and some one want to sing a rare song, i just say no!....
OMG... like some one says here, it's a KARAOKE GAME! YOU KNOW what have the song!

MegaWattsAdmin

#23

MegaWatts said:

That's "Mii" in the picture at the top!

(Sorry, just felt the need for some love and attention...)

JellySplat

#24

JellySplat said:

I'll be honest with you, I have zero intentions of buying this game anyway. Much less listening to explicit songs.

adrenochrome

#25

adrenochrome said:

nothing should be done from nintendo or from joysound
if parents want to prevent their kids to be deadly shocked, they should keep them locked in an empty room : that's the only way to avoid them watching tv, listening to radio, using computers&consoles or hearing people singing in the street. any form of culture(news, museums, debates,....) should be avoided too

DarkKirby

#26

DarkKirby said:

Nintendo is way overreacting. They need to stop trying to advertise themselves as the uber casual company if they want a chance for the Wii U to compete at all. It worked for the Wii, but the Wii audience is long gone.

ueI

#27

ueI said:

Honestly, this is the best thing they could have done. Though I bet the songs are crap.

erv

#28

erv said:

I can't stand our moralizing, condescending western hypocrisies when anything sexual or explicit is mentioned or available, but I have to admit: nintendo usually handles every silly issue honorably and with class.

Morph

#30

Morph said:

Is this really that bit of a talking point, seriously who cares?

Just like swapnote, parents should be aware of what their kids are getting up to, it's a karaoke game and i'm sure the kids hear worse on the school playground.

DimetriWarrior

#31

DimetriWarrior said:

Nintendo make a console that's tailor-made for you. (All Ages)

  • Nintendo is bashed for not being 'clean'

Nintendo is heavy handed to keep their products 'clean'.

  • Nintendo is bashed for not getting with the times

The Big N can't seem to win, can they?

wombatkidd

#32

wombatkidd said:

@DimetriWarrior Ninja'd sort of.

I was going to say that when they censor something they get based for being to strict, and now that they're not censoring something people are complaining about it. Really the same thing. No matter what they do people will just complain.

Uberchu

#34

Uberchu said:

@rjejr LMAO good point there, but they wouldn't use that logic there even if you didn't make the XXX movie because clearly thats bad material.

Marioman64

#38

Marioman64 said:

every song is somehow dirty, and kids are exposed to them on the radio all the time. although for the longest time I never noticed the line in thnks fr th mmries "he tastes like you, only sweeter" until I listened to my little siblings singing it in band hero
and then I was like "........................."

SneakyStyle

#39

SneakyStyle said:

Like 95% of songs have dirty underlying meanings and just chicks singing about their chachas. I thought everyone already knew this, any music can be bad, but to be honest when younger you don't really pay much attention to the lyrics meanings you just go with it to the beat. lol

uhhhhhhhh

#40

uhhhhhhhh said:

please stop with the chastity articles already!!!

everyone knows that all good songs are BAD!!!! ;-P

Capt_N

#41

Capt_N said:

People saying b/c it's a karaoke game, that the gamer knows the lyrics, that is mostly the case. But, not always. There are gamers that will buy a karaoke game, & either they, &/or their family/friends/roommates/etc. will play not knowing all the lyrics to all the songs, or even most of them. Granted, most games of this type list some of the more "popular" songs on the game box. It's up to the consumer to know what content is in their purchases. It is also up to parents to be all over what ever their kids are into, & actively playing/watching/etc. Again though, not every gamer is going to be discerning enough to check ahead on content of (any) purchased media, even karaoke games. Although, for karaoke games, I would agree that most of the time, gamers do know what lyrics are in there, but not always like I originally said.

As for Nintendo, simply giving more obvious warnings to the consumer, before purchase, about the possibilities of certain songs in any dance/karaoke/etc. games having questionable themes/lyrics/etc. is all they really need to do. Furthermore, when, & if I ever become a parent, I am going to do everything I can to be involved with my child/children, be on top of things they're interested in, etc. That, is being a parent, as far as I am concerned.

gregrout

#42

gregrout said:

This rests 100% on the user, if there's a single complaint about this it should be directed at the person that didn't setup parental controls, entered their password to gain access to purchase "offensive" song(s), paid for the "offensive" song(s) and downloaded the "offensive" song(s). I don't see how Nintendo has anything to do with this at all. The steps involved in actually getting an "offensive" seem VERY end user intensive. If they went through all those extensive steps to get these offensive songs and still think it's someone else's fault they should immediately pack up their Wii-U, head over to the retailer and exchange for something more their speed, like an empty can of beans or a stick without pointy bits.

Il-Fortissimo

#43

Il-Fortissimo said:

Did Nintendo have any involvement in this game, like publishing or developing? If so, then this situation makes sense...but it doesn't seem like they had any part of making this game...how is this their problem?

Finntendo

#46

Finntendo said:

and the same time we have tv shows,where kids sing these songs.... HMMMM.

Okay, even I will never use this, but it's N's way to cover its donkey...
it's ll for the stupid parents, y'know, the ones who also save their credit card numbers, passwords and leave their accounts open and then they complain how their little Joe bought DLCs to games etc. for 200€ and blame the manufactorer.
Or the ones that buy GTA for their kids and then are "shocked" about it contents.. hmm, rating didn't ring any bell?
Please watch the profanity — TBD

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