The Wii U will support in-game voice chat, but you'll be forgiven if you're not sure exactly how that will work. Nintendo hasn't shown an official headset for the WIi U and the Wii U's Pro Controller—the one that looks a lot like an Xbox 360 controller—doesn't even have a port to connect one.
So how does it work?
The new Nintendo console will support in-game voice chat for "select games", a rep for the company tells Kotaku. Among the games supported will be Assassin's Creed III, Call of Duty Black Ops II and Mass Effect 3, all games with significant online multiplayer modes and all which support in-game voice chat on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
The Wii U GamePad—the console's signature twin-stick controller that contains a 6.2-inch screen—contains a microphone and speakers, but that mic does not actually work with the voice chat. Nintendo tells me that users who want to be able to talk to each other can use a licensed stereo headset from Turtle Beach or Mad Catz (Tritton). The headsets plug into the GamePad's headphone jack.
At least one of the aforementioned games, Black Ops II, supports the Pro Controller, but that controller's lack of a jack will require Pro Controller gamers who want voice chat to do something a bit counterintuitive. They'll have to plug their headset into the GamePad, the controller they are otherwise not using, according to a spokesperson for CoD publisher Activision. That rep believes that gamers might be able to use a standard set of headphones that contain a mic (iPhone headphones, for example) with the GamePad, but that's not something I've been able to clarify yet with Nintendo.
Forget about kids I want that option for me. Online gaming seems to bring out the worst in people. If I don't know you as someone to play games with I don't have shit to say to you. I think virtually 100% of my friends list on XBL is people I met on forums or know in real life.
@Stephen Yeah, I agree that I want that option - I'm just saying that from Nintendo's perspective, it should be a priority, unless they want to see reports of parents complaining about their kids hearing all kinds of horrible things when they play online.
@carlosrox It's not about Nintendo playing Mommy and Daddy. It's about them providing a safe online experience for the whole family. I have to imagine that a huge reason that parents love Nintendo is that they can feel comfortable knowing that their kids can play games in a wholesome manner. Nintendo is like the Disney of video games - it might not be a good idea, from their perspective, to make things as open as they are on other consoles. Like Stephen said, it's not an excuse for them limiting gamers who want options, but these kinds of filters/options only allow more people to feel safe while playing online.
All I'm really saying is that in absence of a party chat system, I'd like to just have a Voice Settings tab with a list that says "Enable Voice Communication For..." and then a couple boxes that say
a.) All b.) Friends c.) Friends and Friends of Friends d.) None - disable Voice Chat
If we all just tick off "Friends and Friends of Friends," it would essentially be the same thing as party chat on 360, but we just wouldn't be able to talk until we get into a game lobby. And that would be offset a little bit by a messaging system, assuming that it is much more immediate than Swapnote on 3DS.
"Safe" online experience? Someone calling you a faggot isn't going to make you unsafe. How many pedophiles are actually meeting people through video games (Mayor Tortimer excluded) and even then, they can't actually do anything to you from afar.
@Jargon Maybe safe is the wrong word. How about appropriate? I know that if I had an 8 year old kid who wanted to play Mario Kart online, I don't want people dropping awful profanity and slurs all over the place. I have to imagine that parents probably don't mind their kid playing against people online (heck, look at all of these junior MMOs that are popping up all over the place), but I'm sure they don't want their kid to be called a nigger every 30 seconds. It's awful out there.
I was in a party chat with a couple of my fellow Space Marine players that I'd met online & there was a third friend of theirs in the chat too...but except for the fact that I was hearing a one-sided conversation between the other guys and this third person, I wouldn't have known he was there. He had his chat settings to friends only or something, meaning that even though we were in the same party chat, neither of us could communicate with the other, even though we could both talk to our mutual friends.