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Wii U voice chat could be a hassle for your players
Wii U voice chat could be a hassle for your players
October 19, 2012 | By Mike Rose

Those studios planning to integrate voice chat into their Nintendo Wii U games should be aware that there are certain caveats -- such as the fact that the GamePad's microphone cannot be used for this purpose.

Nintendo talked to Kotaku about the use of in-game voice chat, stating that the likes of Assassin's Creed 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Mass Effect 3 will utilize the functionality.

However, gamers will not be able to talk to each other via the Wii U GamePad's base features, but rather, it will be necessary to purchase a licensed third-party headset from either Turtle Beach or Mad Catz, to plug into the GamePad jack.

When it comes to the console's Pro Controller, it's a different story altogether, as the controller does not have a jack for a headset. Instead, gamers will be required to connect their headset to their GamePad, and leave the GamePad lying within range, cable-permitting.

Notably, there is currently no wireless headset available for the Wii U. A rep for Turtle Beach did note that the Wii U supports Bluetooth and can pair with its own accessories, and Nintendo says that this may be a possibility in the future.

Gamasutra contacted Nintendo to confirm that voice-chat via the GamePad's microphone is still available for actions outside of the games (in Miiverse, for example), and was told, "We will announce details on Voice Chat and other functionalities of Wii U at a later date."

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Thom Q
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Ow no.. Nintendo... What are you guys doing?

I really hoped there weren't going to be any of these mistakes. This is the kind of stuff that will wipe out all the buzz around the wii-u for hardcore gamers. At least until there are 3rd party controllers available..

The gamers that wanted to try the new CoD on the Wii-U will now think twice. And can you imagine what players that didn't believe in hardcore gaming on the Wii-U in the first place will think when they start seeing players sitting on their couch with their headset connected to that game pad that's lying beside them?

There's only 1 option: To give the Pro controller a jack input, and bury all the ones without one in a landfill in New Mexico..

Eric Geer
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The fact that you can't use the controllers mic/speakers is just silly.

As for the Pro controller with no jack and plugging into the Gamepad is just plain stupid.
(Though my guess why they did this is that their assumption that most people,if playing an Online multiplayer game, would be using the Gamepad opposed to the Pro controller. ) Either way, they should have thought about this--it is way too far into the online multiplayer generation to have shit like this happen.

Adam Rebika
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Wait wait... How comes the gamepad's microphone can be used for voicechat OUTSIDE games but not INSIDE games? I don't even see the logic behind that.
Hopefully the bluetooth speaker / headphone will come VERY quickly.

Chris Hendricks
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I guess I can understand why, technically. Whenever I use Skype and there's a net connection issue, the video gets choppy but the sound tries to stay clear. With all the work Nintendo's gone through to have no latency, the Wii U controller doesn't have that option.

However, even if that's the technical reason for it, the immediate response from most everyone will be "I have a microphone, why can't I use it?" The only good news is that, since there is a microphone attached to the controller, there is a possibility that this functionality could be added in the future, even if it's in some limited sense (horrible audio compression, perhaps).

Maurício Gomes
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That does not make sense, because to use voice chat you attach a microphone on a jack on that said controller.

So it still has to transfer data in the same way.

Alex Leighton
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That's a bit bizarre, I would like to know the reason for it.

David Thany
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Not a big deal, PS3 uses bluetooth so I don't see what the difference is here except that the developers are responsible for having voice chat included in their games. I'm sure a bluetooth headset will be available for Wii U. At least I can use a headphone with the gamepad unlike with the dual shock.

daniel birchal
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I think that can actually to be a problem since if it depends on the developer to add support, then each developer will do it in their on way, meaning that voice chat within players playing different games will probably be impossible.
Aditionaly you will expirience a different sound quality depending on witch game you're playing.

Patrick Davis
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It's probably so that, by default, you have to listen to the crap you hear on XB Live or otherwise. It IS built with kids in mind, so you have to think of it with that mindset. It's mostly the hardcore gamer crowd that cares about being on voice chat all of the time. Many casuals don't, nor want to deal with the cesspool in online gaming chat. I doubt they would want their kids exposed to it either. This way, you can choose whether your kids even have access to chat, or not, with a headset.

Chris Hendricks
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I thought about that, but Nintendo could, say, limit voice chat to only people on your friends list for a particular game. I think it's a technical constraint rather than an ethical one.

A Anson
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This IS pretty silly. I'm pretty sure I remember a trailer for Ghost Recon on Wii U at E3 that demonstrated multiplayer with everyone using the built in mic. Seems silly to have a mic built in and then not be able to use it for its most obvious and basic function. Hopefully the Nintendo rep they talked to was just an uninformed idiot and they'll clarify... hopefully.

John Flush
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Or in otherwords, Nintendo's Wii U still doesn't have voice chat. Just like the Wii didn't. Yes I know they eventually made a device for it, but unless it comes standard it really doesn't have one because the install base will be too small to even call it the ability to voice chat.

wes bogdan
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So NO :achievements / trophy equivalent,cd,dvd,bd playback or VOICE CHAT?!! The wii u is leaving me cold even if i could use default or set up my control scheme on the wii u not covering your basics is just sad....and yes i'll continue getting all multi-plat titles on ps3 due to my specially design
ed custom layout i can use in every game because it overrides the horribly designed excuse for southpaw simply by leaving the options as default my gamepad scheme is the master scheme.

OTHERWISE I SIMPLY COULDN'T PLAY ANY TRUE DUAL ANALOG GAMES even smash tv twin stick style dual analog i'm screwed.

Anyway while i like everyone else am forced to buy nintendo hardware to play nintendo games the wii u
might take 2nd place next to the virtuial bomb as worst nintendo disasters ever.

Bob Johnson
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They should have put a port in the Pro controller. But somehow I don't think the market for playing CoD with Pro controllers and headsets is going to be that huge on the Wii U.

If it is ....then BT support for headsets will be enabled. Problem solved.

Craig Hauser
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You can't use the mic built into the controller, but you CAN use one plugged into it. That makes no sense at all and is going to piss a lot of customers off.

Vincent Antonelli
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There's no reason why the built-in mic would be usable for regular games and video conferencing, but not for voice chat. It must be the software isn't ready yet to record and send while receiving and playing at the same time. Wait a few months until the "later date" and it will be working, but this article will still be here.

We should know better than to repeat things from kotaku too quickly.