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It's been a long time coming, but it's finally here. Voicechat, sort of.
Nintendo's biggest announcement as far as WiiHD is concerned, is Wii Speak. But it's not just a stupid name, it's a stupid device. It sits atop your TV, doubtless picking up every ambient noise in the room. Expect to tell the other person to speak up, constantly. And hope the feedback isn't too bad.
The real question is whether the Voice Chat support will include a separate audio channel so that when 3rd parties create a real peripheral, they'll be able to route voices to the headset instead of to the TV. WiiSpeak includes its own speaker, so there is an audio channel to be used by headsets. We've certainly waited long enough , that it had better include another audio channel. This could be nice, especially for the clan community, to not have to trudge through Skype et al to be able to talk to their teammates. Trouble is, the friend codes are going to be as much hassle as lugging your laptop into the other room.
So is WiiHD happy with Nintendo now? No, we still despise them. Rather than simply provide tools to protect the kiddos, Nintendo insists on protecting EVERYONE. Adults should be able to opt out of the Friend code system and play with any other adult without having to spend hours mining Friend Codes. They can't. Why not? That's a good question.
So what 3rd party manufacturer is going to earn the love and affection of Wii gamers everywhere by making a real headset? Nyko? Logitech? Anyone?
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It was as if a million voices cried out and were suddenly silenced