In yet another concerning announcement, it seems that you will in fact be able to open live voice chat with your friends, but with what seems like awkward limitations. IGN reported that the chat option will not be a universal tool as it is with nearly every other console on the market. Instead, it will be up to the game developers to decide whether or not to build it into each game they release.
Even more puzzling is that the mic already inside the GamePad will not even be the default method of communication. It seems that Nintendo has no plans in motion right now to distribute headsets for the Wii U, so you may have to rely on third-party equipment and plug those into the Pad instead.
“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.”
So what does all this mean? It means that you’re going to have to be tethered to the GamePad while also playing with the Wii U’s controller. Seem awkward yet? Especially if it’s a game where you’re playing co-op with a friend right next to you. To this Nintendo fan, the Wii U seems to rapidly becoming a risk factor for my wallet. Especially with Nintendo stating last month that the Wii’s eShop will be region locked, and not to mention all the other ways the system seems to be limited in multimedia use, you have to wonder if the console is worth the full retail cost.
What do all you fellow Nintendo die-hards have to say about this? Is the gameplay, music, and graphics worth the extra work? Are our favorite titles enough to bring us back for a new console journey? Or are you going to wait several months after its release this November to see just how many complaints there are?