It looks like Wii Speak may become just another note in Nintendo's storied history of barely-used accessories - the company has apparently told at least one interested developer not to use the device.
It doesn't get much more blunt... Eric Nofsinger, chief creative officer of High Voltage, told Bitmob, "Nintendo told us to not use WiiSpeak." High Voltage's Conduit 2 will encourage use of a third-party headset instead.
Wii Speak was introduced with the Wii version of Animal Crossing. Marketed as a new way to communicate online, the device sits on top of the player's TV and records all sound in the room. The idea was to create a more social experience for online gaming, instead of requiring players to be tethered to headsets.
Conduit 2 players will go back to the basics. Peripheral maker PDP has introduced the Headbanger, which is more like the traditional headsets that Xbox 360 and PS3 players have been using for some time.
Sega also expressed surprise that, despite the Wii's online infrastructure (and who is really going to defend it?), The Conduit continues to have multiplayer success.
"Usually, online modes [on the Wii] die pretty fast after launch. Two, three, four weeks and you've got five guys left," said Fabian Doehla, a Sega PR representative. "We still have clans out there. The actual hours they're playing...it's kinda impressive."
To build on that success, Conduit 2 will be bypassing some of Nintendo's multiplayer rules. According to Bitmob, the developers have received a "waiver" which allows them to include a Friend Code-free "Rival" system. Players will be able to compete with non-friends, and speak to each other over headsets. Scary stuff for Nintendo!
Nov 15, 2010