Music goes hyper

A New Zealand company has combined CD-ROM, Internet and new 3D 'Virtual Realm' technologies with CD-quality music to deliver online music, video and games.

A New Zealand company has combined CD-ROM, Internet and new 3D 'Virtual Realm' technologies with CD-quality music to deliver online music, video and games.

Hypertainment has been launched after three years' development costing $1 million, with a major campaign featuring Kiwi rockers Shihad.

General manager Matt Coleman says his product, which retails for the price of a normal music CD, will be a "Godsend" in the music industry's battle against free MP3 music on the Internet and global music piracy.

When you buy the Shihad album The General Electric, you get a second HyperGameCD with a Macomedia Director application containing Web-linking, videos, music and clue data.

To play Hypertainment, you slip the "hyper" CD into your PC or Mac. The CD opens a link to a core Web site from where Information and clues are downloaded automatically to your computer. The computer interacts with the site through a futuristic game interface.

Music videos play as clues appear on a special display panel. By watching the videos and spotting hidden elements, you find cryptic answers. Points are awarded for every correctly-answered question and these can be traded for sponsors’ products or accumulated toward major prizes.

For now, the Hypertainment.com Web site provides a link to online sales through retailers who sell the HyperGame CD.

Hypertainment aims to release 12 to 20 top music acts before Christmas. Coleman says the New Zealand launch is the first step towards rapid global expansion. Offices are now opening in the US and Europe, with Asia following early in 2001.

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