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Nintendo’s Wii U voice chat mess: Console might not support wireless headsets

Updated Oct 22nd, 2012 10:05AM EDT

Other than the unique touchscreen-equipped GamePad controller, the Wii U is a console that isn’t too different from this generation’s Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It’s Nintendo’s (NTDOY) “catch up” console that finally adds high-definition graphics, a robust selection of video content through Nintendo TVii and an online gaming platform that the company says will finally compete with Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Both of those services support voice chat during gaming sessions online and they both support wireless headsets, but the Nintendo Wii U might not even have simple voice chat down without a convoluted setup, according to Kotaku.

According to Kotaku, the Wii U only supports voice chat with the Wii U GamePad for “select games” such as Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Mass Effect 3. That’s not even the worst part. The controller’s built-in mic won’t work on those compatible titles, either. Gamers will have to buy a licensed headset that plugs directly into the controller’s headphone jack.

And if that’s not jarring enough, gamers who opt to use the Wii U Pro Controller (the one that looks like an Xbox 360 controller), headsets still need to be tethered to the GamePad because the Pro Controller doesn’t have an audio jack. This complicated setup brings back awful memories of how the Wii’s Classic Controller had to be tethered to the Wii Remote in order for it work.

But by far the most upsetting part of Kotaku’s report might be that the Wii U might not be capable of supporting a wireless headset, which in this day and age is ridiculous.

Read [MCV] Read [Kotaku]

Raymond Wong is a technology reporter with a passion for cutting-edge gadgets and clean design. His writing has appeared on DVICE, Ubergizmo, G4TV, Yahoo News, NBC blogs. You might even have seen his videos on Xbox LIVE.