We've wondered how voice chat would be implemented since the Wii U was was revealed. Being able to talk with other players during party-centric games like Call of Duty is a must have feature for many players. Unfortunately, it looks like Nintendo is dropping the ball... sort of.
Wii U will, in fact, support voice chat between players, but Nintendo is going about in a very strange way. Other consoles have gotten us used to chatting with friends regardless of what game we're playing. However, Nintendo has decided that rather than making voice chat a system-wide feature, they're instead going to leave it up to game developers.
Here's the official statement:
"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."
The strangest part of all this is the fact that the GamePad has a built-in mic that Nintendo has decided not to use. Instead we'll have to go out and purchase a headset separately and hope that the games we play support it. Not only that, the headsets must be plugged into the headphone jack on the GamePad. Meaning those of us who want to use a Pro Controller will have to have the GamePad siting next to us with the headset plugged in, even if we're not using the GamePad to play the game.
Even with Nintendo's official statement, the details are still a bit murky. As we move closer to Wii U's launch (less than 30 days!) we're hoping Nintendo has more to share regarding player communication.