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Xbox One: Microsoft Explains Lack Of Pack-In Headset

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Headset, Kinect, Microsoft, Xbox One

Xbox One: Microsoft Explains Lack Of Pack-In Headset

Microsoft has stepped up to explain why Xbox One won't ship with a headset, suggesting that Kinect's microphone will handle that side of things without the need for an extra peripheral.

Yesterday's news raised a few eyebrows, but Microsoft were quick to remind consumers that voice communication is built into the Xbox One system in a fundamental way. “Xbox One does not include a pack-in headset accessory," a spokesperson restated to Ars Technica.

“Each Xbox One includes the new Kinect sensor, with a highly sensitive multi-array microphones designed to enable voice inputs and chat as a system-level capability, both in-game and with Skype and other experiences. For gamers who prefer a headset, we have a variety of offerings that you can find on the Xbox Wire.”

The current Kinect sensor is capable of acting as a voice chat microphone, though quality is questionable at best.

We can see the logic behind encouraging players to interact with the newly-redesigned motion control peripheral, since it's a core part of the experience, though many punters are wondering why £429 couldn't stretch to a plastic headset with mono sound.

Add a comment7 comments
Late  Jun. 26, 2013 at 11:16

Oh, that's okay then. Kinnect has a high power multi-directional microphone built into it.
I'm sure the wife and kids won't mind me playing cooperative multiplayer online into the early hours with my team's voices blaring out of my tv's speakers.

Hello Microsoft. Sometimes your ideas are great, but sometimes you forget about the customers and real world implementation of your products.

Jamie10  Jun. 26, 2013 at 13:00

Completely agree with what Late said! Also wouldn't help if your Xbox is in the same room as other people as it'll just pick up people who aren't playing the Xbox's conversations too.

imdurc  Jun. 26, 2013 at 16:15

As much as I've disagreed with a lot of MS's recent Xbox follies, I actually don't mind this explanation. The Kinect mic makes sense in this case.

Playing at night? Use headphones. Need a mic for communication, there's one built into the Kinect.

I've found the current Kinect (gen1) mic to be pretty sensitive when I've played at night (when others are asleep). And when I needed to bark orders over the comms, again, it worked well. And I say this with knowledge that my fiance is a very light sleeper.

Try it and see if it works. If not, buy a cheap headset. MS's headset is not going to break the bank. Or get something expensive. Choice!

On a final note, yes, MS have made terrible choices with the Xbone. But as much as I agreed with all the furore surrounding it, THIS headset thing is not a real issue.

Tsung  Jun. 26, 2013 at 18:56

I think all game developers live in a bubble when it comes to in-game chat. A lot of the games default to on when off is actually the preferred setting for customers. I shouldn't have to be hunting for the mute button when people decide to play their choice of music down the mic, or start getting abusive, or decide to go the toilet with their wireless headset on. (yes it's happened before).

So no headset with the console is not a big issue really so long as the default setting for voice chat is MUTE/OFF. That setting can be switched on by those who want to use it, or just kept to party members (best option). To be honest I don't expect that, I expect the default will be on as the developers think it's an "awesome" feature.

Late  Jun. 26, 2013 at 19:37

Playing at night? Use headphones...


I do that with my current Xbox. With the headset that came bundled with the machine. At no extra cost.

It's probably a cheap piece of crap headset*, just like with the 360, costing about a quid or two to produce, and they'll probably charge about £10-£15 for it. There's no excuse for not including it, other than ripping people off.

*i.e. works just fine and perfectly adequate for most folk - but audiophiles will detest it.

McGreenwood  Jun. 26, 2013 at 19:59

Playing at night? Use headphones...


I do that with my current Xbox. With the headset that came bundled with the machine. At no extra cost.

It's probably a cheap piece of crap headset*, just like with the 360, costing about a quid or two to produce, and they'll probably charge about £10-£15 for it. There's no excuse for not including it, other than ripping people off.

*i.e. works just fine and perfectly adequate for most folk - but audiophiles will detest it.


This... Really don't understand it in any way other than money spinning. Personally, I detest using kinect for party chat.... It picks up every little sound, if one person in a party has it it can be very difficult for everyone to talk to one another. I can't use it myself either because I find that even after altering game and voice settings I can't hear anyone over the noise of the game =\

Lankymart  Jun. 28, 2013 at 09:59

Oh, that's okay then. Kinnect has a high power multi-directional microphone built into it.
I'm sure the wife and kids won't mind me playing cooperative multiplayer online into the early hours with my team's voices blaring out of my tv's speakers.

Hello Microsoft. Sometimes your ideas are great, but sometimes you forget about the customers and real world implementation of your products.


Here here! +1

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