Recently, via an article published on Kotaku, it was alleged that gamers would need to buy headsets for their Wii U if they were set on utilising voice-chat while gaming online with others.
This is despite the fact that the GamePad has its own built-in microphone ready to rumble right from the get-go. While this will not necessarily affect other social aspects of the Wii U‘s online system, this sparked an unsurprising outrage from many gamers. Despite the fact that no official statement came from Nintendo directly, and that we know next to nothing of how Nintendo fully plans to integrate online into its new system, quite few have even gone to the extent of saying this mere fiasco has already deemed the Wii U‘s online network, and I quote, “incompetent“ and “shady.”
An integral characteristic of the company it is oft mocked for is how it takes drastic measures to keep its online systems child-friendly, and what with a major part of Nintendo‘s existing consumer base being children and family gamers, who could really blame it? However, with the Wii U‘s intention of stepping up to the hardcore fanbase in terms of general appeal, Nintendo will need to completely overhaul its online system to become more accommodating to core gamers, especially teens and adults. Now, while this may be so, Nintendo obviously still realises it does have the more casual children and families to cater to as well, maintaining an expansive yet safer experience for gamers of all ages, and forcing gamers to buy a headset to utilise in-game voice-chat may be one way of doing just that.
Essentially, with Nintendo forcing gamers to buy a headset for in-game voice-chat for the Wii U, it‘s inconspicuously improving the quality and security of the experience for everyone. There are enough immature gamers out there with headsets available to wreak mighty havoc; imagine having a lot more people yelling into the GamePad microphone and causing a headache-inducing disaster. It would be just like the ill-fated Wii Speak situation all over again – except this time, everyone would have one and you would not be able to just simply ignore it. By getting gamers to buy headsets, Nintendo are giving us an experience of optimum audible quality and raising expectations to engage in some actual decent voice-chat in games for prospective Wii U owners. As I said before, there are enough immature people with headsets as it is – let’s not let every 12-year-old Call of Duty player out there be able to take advantage with the Wii U.
So consequently, we as consumers will demand for cheaper wireless options to be available on the market – right? Well, I think our demands won‘t be in vain, as other third-party consumer electronics manufacturers will lunge at the opportunity to satisfy our demands. Why? Because it‘s a guaranteed business opportunity that goes three ways!
It‘s a win-win situation all-round; Nintendo is endorsing other areas of the consumer electronics market while in turn is getting support and product advertising for its system and we, the consumers, are getting what we need. I bet you, if all this really is true, we‘ll be seeing a range of quality $30 Wii U-compatible headsets available within a month. It‘s a problem solved within itself.
– Farida Y.