We got a chance to get a better look at the new WiiSpeak microphone peripheral at Nintendo's West Hall meeting room. Nintendo had an Animal Crossing : City Folk demo system running with the WiiSpeak peripheral installed.
The demo station had the speaker sitting on top of the television, above the Wii sensor bar. The device plugs into one of the open USB ports in the rear of the console. Wii owners can use the microphone to chat with existing Wii Friends and in games such as Animal Crossing.
We didn't get a chance to check out the voice quality on the microphone because the person visiting our town didn't have a WiiSpeak on her end of the network, but she was able to type in responses to the random chatter and questions we asked out loud from our side.
The WiiSpeak microphone will be sold as a standalone product with a $30 MSRP. It should be available at the same time as Animal Crossing: City Folk, which currently has a Nov. 16 release date.