Voice chat will not be an out-of-the-box feature for Wii U, Nintendo has confirmed.
That’s despite the fact that the high-tech Wii U GamePad actually houses a microphone. However, this will not be used as a default option for voice chat, Kotaku reports.
Instead, users who wish to use the functionality will need to use a licensed headset, which at the moment is only offered by either Turtle Beach or Mad Catz. To use these they must be plugged into the GamePad’s microphone port.
This suggests that wireless headphones will not be supported, though this has not yet been confirmed. Those manufacturers who are releasing Wii U headsets don’t have any wireless versions planned.
The best bet for wireless seems to be the GamePad’s Bluetooth compatibility, but Nintendo has been resistant to confirm this.
Games with confirmed voice chat functionality include Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Assassin’s Creed III and Mass Effect 3.
Of course this presents a further problem. Games like Call of duty: Black Ops II support Nintendo’s Xbox 360-like Pro Controller. But the Pro Controller doesn’t have a microphone port. This means that those wishing to shoot and chat will need to have a GamePad to hand into which they must plug their headphones if they wish to use the Pro Controller.
Wii U is released in the UK on November 30th.
UPDATE: Venom has contacted MCV to say that it is offering an official stereo headset for Wii U at launch in the UK. It will cost 24.99.