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Nintendo Screws Up Voice Chat On The Wii U

Posted on Thursday, October 18 @ 11:09:41 PST by

Let me preface this article: I'm buying a Wii U at launch. I see a lot of potential with the GamePad, I think Nintendo TVii is genius, and I honestly cannot wait to play classic Nintendo franchises in HD. And although I don't plan to spend much time playing online multiplayer on it, it pains me to see that Nintendo has already hurt the Wii U's online gaming potential, by making voice chat a real pain in the ass.

The newest, most exciting thing about the Wii U is the touchscreen-enabled GamePad. It's got a lot of tech in the one controller, including NFC, motion sensors, a microphone, and speakers. Except you can't use that built-in mic for voice chat.

The Wii U itself does support voice chat on select games like Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Assassin's Creed III; even the Wii U Deluxe set doesn't include a headset, so you're left to use officially licensed headsets that work through the GamePad's headphone jack.

This Controller is No Pro

The option is there, but here's the problem: The Pro Controller—which was designed specifically for games like Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed—doesn't have a headphone jack like the GamePad does. So if you want to voice chat, you're stuck using the GamePad, which admittedly takes some getting used to to play Black Ops II. It's possible to use the GamePad, and it does have its own set of advantages, but it's not exactly ideal for the hardest of hardcore Black Ops II players.

Those same "Pro" players who'd be better suited to play Black Ops II on the Pro Controller are probably going to play their Black Ops II on the Xbox 360 or PS3 and not the Wii U anyway, but the step forward Nintendo took with the Wii U by allowing for local splitscreen-less multiplayer, just took a giant step back by making voice chat a chore.

It's Time to Cut the Cord

Wireless headsets are possible in theory, either through the console's built-in Bluetooth or via a USB port, but the option isn't available at the moment. Even these first-run officially-licensed headsets only work via the GamePad's headphone jack. What's worse, Nintendo's lack of clarity on everything ensures confusion will ensue.

I know that Nintendo has never really embraced online gaming, but I truly thought that was going to change with the Wii U. And while it still very well may, my faith in them has been challenged by this voice chat blunder.

Tags:   Nintendo, Wii U

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