Details for how voice chat will work with the Wii U have been revealed, and they’re awfully head-scratch worthy.
A Nintendo rep revealed to Kotaku that in-game voice chat will be supported for “select games,” including games with online multiplayer modes like Assassin’s Creed III, Call of Duty Black Ops II and Mass Effect 3.
Despite the Wii U GamePad boasting speakers and a built-in microphone, those will not work for voice chat. A licensed headset from Turtle Beach or Mad Catz/Tritton that plugs into the headphone jack of the GamePad will be required. This means that there are currently no plans for any wireless headsets for the system. It also means that if one wants to use the Wii U Pro controller to play these games, they’ll still need to plug the headset into the GamePad to utilize voice chat.
The whole situation is made even stranger if we look at Nintendo’s Pre-E3 Direct video, which shows live video chatting with a friend. What exactly would serve as the microphone in this case if the GamePad’s microphone doesn’t work in that way?
Given the inconsistency of both first-party and third-party support for peripherals like the Wii Speak and the Headbanger chat headset, this awkward voice chat situation doesn’t sound all that surprising.