news\ Oct 18, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Wii U supports online voice chat, but it's quite strange how it works


As we slowly near the Wii U's November 18th release date, more and more of our questions are being answered. The most recent being how Nintendo plans to approach voice chat for online play. In short, the publisher does plan to implement online voice chat, but they do so seems a bit convoluted.

Rather than being a system-based feature, Nintendo has allowed developers to include the feature on a game-by-game basis. This means, only certain games — Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Assassin's Creed 3, and Mass Effect 3 to name a few — will have in-game chat functionality.

Additionally, the GamePad's built-in mic will not be the default voice input. Instead, the feature will be supported by "licensed stereo headsets", like TRITTON and Turtle Beach, that plug into the GamePad itself.

"Wii U will have in-game chat functionality for select games, including, but not limited to, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Assassin’s Creed III and Mass Effect 3. This feature will be supported by licensed stereo headsets that plug directly into the headphone port of the Game Pad.  Licensed headsets are available from Turtle Beach and TRITTON," Nintendo said in a statement.

That's not all. As it turns out, only the GamePad has the option to plug in a headset, and not the Pro controller. That means if you wish to use voice chat while using the Pro controller you'll need to plug the third-party headset into the GamePad and talk through that while playing through the Pro controller.

So while it's nice that the Wii U will support online voice chat, the way in which it does so is somewhat strange. Why the confusing method? We've reached out to Nintendo to see if they could elaborate on the reasoning behind such a structure and we'll be sure to update you with anything we hear.

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