E3 2008: Nintendo talks up Wii Speak

New Wii microphone peripheral to ship with Animal Crossing: City Folk by end of '08.

Animal Crossing for the Wii was one of the most eagerly anticipated games expected to be confirmed at this morning's Nintendo E3 press conference, and the Japanese giant didn't disappoint with news that Animal Crossing: City Folk would indeed be released by the end of 2008. But there was one surprise that came along with that announcement, and that was news of a new microphone peripheral that would ship with the game and allow players to chat with others from around the world.

Dubbed Wii Speak, the new peripheral is a small semicircle-shaped add-on which was shown sitting on top of the Wii's sensor bar. Wii Speak will allow players to chat online and undertake activities in the Animal Crossing: City Folk world. One example shown at the conference included a four-player fishing game in Animal Crossing, with players happily chatting to each other as well as engaging in some trash talk along the way. Another quick example shown was four players going into an in-game restaurant and talking to one another over a meal.

Wii Speak is expected to ship as an optional accessory with the release of Animal Crossing: City Folk by the end of 2008. Check back with GameSpot soon for information about the Wii Speak attachment.

Written By

Randolph is the managing editor of GameSpot, and needs more time to play games.

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Discussion

66 comments
rakelhj
rakelhj

ehhh, I was kind of excited when I first heard about this... but dropping $70 for the game and the wii speak when I don't really have anyone but my sister to play this with, who is very busy with a little boy... we might as well just use the speaker on on phones for free (yay for sprint to sprint free calls). plus, you can't use this with older online games like mario kart.

Treifla
Treifla

i would LOVE a Wiimote made out of rainbows and smiles!

Ganon4Prez
Ganon4Prez

I don't know what you all are complaining about. The Wiispeak is obiviously filtering the stereos sound. And all of you people who say that with the wiispeak it will be hard to hear eachother.... if people on Xbox live headsets talk at the same time, will anyone understand. No. this will also be cheaper for gamers who have REAL friends that like to come to your house and play games. Won't have to spend $200 worth of d@amn headsets to talk on live with my friends.

hime93
hime93

When it comes out, Nintendo should release an update or something so it could work for brawl. If not all is well =D.

Wallstormer
Wallstormer

This is me waiting for a headset...must we kiddify (definition: to make "kiddy") even the headset? Really? Let's make the Wiimote out of rainbows and smiles next.

Redshark691
Redshark691

So The Wii is gonna be like x box live sweet!!!!

kilo1235
kilo1235

If Nintendo is competent at all they will make a head set later on probably in 2009 but this is something

jatly0
jatly0

Well... it's a start... I hope a headset option comes out at the same time...

Macgyver40
Macgyver40

i'm not sure that this will be a good thing

lettuceman44
lettuceman44

Interesting, but they need to come out with a headset too.

grambyte
grambyte

Voice chat for ALL those people in the room playing.... right.... necessary?!

Hyuzen
Hyuzen

Finally the friend codes come in handy. I wouldn't want to hear some 6 year old kid trying to trash talk while his mother yells from the other room at him. at least we'll only be able to talk with our friend code friends. yay?

LdyMienna
LdyMienna

I'm really excited about AC and I can't wait to see how well the microphone works, hopefully it will work well but it's not going to break my heart if it's not perfect. Hopefully they will support headsets once games like Call Of Duty gets going.

Wiitendo64
Wiitendo64

Will this thing work with Brawl and MK? If not then are we gonna have to wait for more developers to embrace this? God Im tired of waiting for stuff that XBX and PS gamers had for years now!!

grambyte
grambyte

Euhm... nonsense... Nintendo lost the war, that's obvious when they start to come with these peripherals. Shame Nintendo...

XXXRaiderXXX
XXXRaiderXXX

Well, I will assume it comes with the game. Nintendo usually packs new add-on devices with the first game to use them. (Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen + wireless transfer, Mario Kart Wii + WiiWheel, WiiSports 2 + MotionPlus) If it doesn't come with the game, expect many tutorials on how to hack up your own USB microphone for $5 as soon as the game is released, or sooner.

SonicTheMonkey
SonicTheMonkey

Wait I'm confused, so is this coming with the game or not? Other previews seem to contradict this...

mikemetroid5565
mikemetroid5565

Like hell im putting that near the sensor.. IM going to put it close to me and put the sensitivity down.

prankinyou
prankinyou

Took them long enough!!!! Finally voice chat!

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

I'll pass this microphone aside. I don't need it

Pumpkin-Head
Pumpkin-Head

Voice Chat Finally! :D But..Why the PowerBrick? USE THE USB PORT FOR GOD SAKES NINTENDO! BLUETOOTH ANYTHING! at least some communication, oh well : O

psychojosh
psychojosh

OH!!! Voice chat in online games, what a REVOLUTIONARY IDEA!!! Go f*** yourself Nintendo.

jlee14
jlee14

Finally Nintendo is doing something about there communication problem. I cant wait

Chris_555_TK
Chris_555_TK

Hey cool. Room noise. No noise cancelation. People talking in the background while you play your game and the person on the other end saying "What!? Huh?" Good job Nintendo

darth-sithious
darth-sithious

it sounds interesting and who knows maybe it will work really well , wait and see .

MrSoda
MrSoda

At least they have some form of a way to speak to our Wii friends other than using a Cell phone.

nintoushiko
nintoushiko

It's going to be embarrassing talking across the room. D:

Dr_Corndog
Dr_Corndog

Well, that's good. But why couldn't we have gotten this before Smash Bros?

ctg867
ctg867

I'm glad they announced Animal Crossing, and it looks promising, but I'm very disappointed how they're going the route of a pack in for voice chat, and not saying "we're going to support USB and Blutooth headsets", both of which the Wii could potentially be compatible with. This thing is great and all for the casual audience, but the hardcore and semi-hardcore will just want some actual mic support. Hopefully that will be revealed as a feature sometime soon. Anyway, like I'm said I'm glad that it's been announced, and I'm looking forward to seeing if the game is any good. It's been a while since I've said that about a Wii game.

rc_lars__nor
rc_lars__nor

Agreeing with Mr_Tweedy; What were you thinking Nintendo!? Seriously, every background noise, in addition to the TV itself will ruin its function, and, whats the point? With FCs ruining online hard, who am I to talk to? The 1-2 people I have on my friendslist who is never online?? First of all, give the FCs the boot...THEN we can speak about voicechat! Nintendo, I LoL at YOU!

KingSigy
KingSigy

The speak thing is just stupid, but hooray for Animal Crossing!

Mr_Tweedy
Mr_Tweedy

Worst idea ever. Online audio is already sketchy with a headset. It's compressed. It drops out. It gets garbled. Audio over X Box live is functional, but not pretty to listen to. Now imagine the compression and drop-out made even worse because of Nintendo's sketchy online support. Now image this mic picking up all the ambient noise in the room. Imagine this mic getting feedback from the speakers. Imagine it picking up the whine from your CTR TV. Now imagine 4 people at once trying to talk on it. A mic on top of the TV is quite possibly the worst conceived peripheral ever. The only market for this is (maybe) old people who live by themselves in an empty house where there is no noise and no other voices to compete with... And possibly very small children who think shouting over each other is fun, much to the annoyance of anyone in the house over 7 years old. Poor show, Nintendo. Poor show indeed.

JackfnBurton
JackfnBurton

You know, I still kind of wish they'd called it the 'Revolution' instead of the 'Wii'. But that's just me. LOL

Hungry_bunny
Hungry_bunny

I will wait and see how well this works before I comment on it.

Anonjv07
Anonjv07

@JiminycricketX i think the wii motion plus is a good idea. but it should've been something that was with the wii in the first place.

carstairs
carstairs

I'm concerned about sensitivity. If it's across the room, will I have to speak up?

JiminycricketX
JiminycricketX

This is pretty cool, but I'm more excited about the precision attachment. I was less than blown away by the wiimote swordplay in games like Twilight Princess and Red Steel, and it's nice to see that they've finally made an attachment that could improve upon that in future games.

Chico_Azteca
Chico_Azteca

well i at least hope some king of update to use it in Mario Kart at least because seriosuly what game is going to use it? Animal Ccrossing and what?

1005
1005

Took awhile buts its coming now i guess.....

xblane
xblane

I agree with westsiderz28...

fkbwii
fkbwii

"Wii Speak is expected to ship as an optional accessory with the release of Animal Crossing: City Folk by the end of 2009." 2009? I thought the press conference said that it'll come at the end if this year. "Animal Crossing for the Wii was one of the most eagerly anticipated games expected to be confirmed at this morning's Nintendo E3 press conference, and the Japanese giant didn't disappoint with news that Animal Crossing: City Folk would indeed be released by the end of 2008."

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

Eh, I liked Animal Crossing a LOT, but it demands too much from the player... I'd go on vacation and all my animals would have moved and my village would be covered in weeds and debris. I'll stick with Harvest Moon instead, thanks.