News Article

No Voice Support For Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed On Wii U

Posted by Martin Watts

Developer cites Wii U voice chat limitations as reason for omission

Developer Sumo Digital has confirmed that Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed will not have voice chat support on Wii U.

The news comes less than a week after a Nintendo representative confirmed that in-game voice chat will not be possible through the GamePad's built-in microphone. Voice chat functionality is not integrated into the Wii U's operating system, meaning that it is solely up to the developer to implement it into the game. Moreover, in-game chat requires the use of licensed, third-party headsets that plug into the headphone jack on the GamePad.

Executive producer, Steve Lycett, confirmed that the Wii U's limitations in this area were the reason why the game would not feature voice chat support:

We don't support voice chat on WiiU for those reasons, one of the side effects of being a launch title basically. Does support it on PS3 and 360 though!

With more time, it may have been possible for Sumo Digital to add voice chat capabilities. And given that we still don't know everything about the Wii U's online infrastructure, it is possible that this could be patched in at a later date. Other launch titles such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Mass Effect 3: Wii U Edition will support voice.

Nevertheless, future support will be wholly dependent on developers implementing the feature, as well as consumers forking out for third-party headsets.

[via eurogamer.net, board.sonicstadium.org]

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User Comments (51)

Whopper744

#1

Whopper744 said:

oh no... come on, really? I am getting this game at launch, and they still won't implement something that's been possible for years now? Nintendo is my favorite, but I'll admit, they should probably catch up on a few things, because this doesn't make them look too good. Something else haters can use against them.

rjejr

#2

rjejr said:

If I were making a racing game for a not-yet-released console that requires a separate headset purchase to chat online I wouldn't bother implementing it either.
Now if Nintendo wants to come out and say something different, that's fine, but until then I won't blame Sumo for the absence of voice chat in a racing game.

CanisWolfred

#3

CanisWolfred said:

Not like Voice chat in a racing game is good for anything outside of yelling obscenities at your opponents as loud as you possibly can for any reason whatsoever. This is a Godsend, trust me.

Chunky_Droid

#4

Chunky_Droid said:

Hmm, I really don't need people yelling abuse at me while I'm trying to enjoy a game, so this doesn't affect me personally.

Implementing Voice Chat does sound a bit like a chore for the Wii U so far, soI hope that gets sorted for those who would use it.

RCMADIAX

#6

RCMADIAX said:

Not a deal breaker for me. Voice chat is only handy for mmos in my opinion.

Late

#7

Late said:

I'd turn voice chat off in any case unless I'd be playing with my friends. And still would more likely keep it off.

Whopper744

#9

Whopper744 said:

Thinking about it, I probably wouldn't use the voice anyway for this against kids that have no business with a headset, talking to people they don't know, but I just feel like this is fuel for the fire against Nintendo.

LittleIrves

#12

LittleIrves said:

Personally, I'm more of a solo gamer, so this whole Voice Chat debacle doesn't affect me... but given all the garbage I've heard about the constant abuse people give each other over their headsets on the other systems, I can see Nintendo purposefully limiting the service so as to keep their system a more pleasant experience to use. Which is 100% fine by me, to be honest.

MAB

#13

MAB said:

What in the hell would you chat about anyway
'Hello my name is Mick and I'm driving da car and I'm f***in Sonic get out of ma f***in way oh no gonna crash look the f*** out RAAAARH!!!'
I don't get why this would be really beneficial in a racing game TBH probably more annoying than anything ;)

Lalivero

#15

Lalivero said:

I'm not sure why everyone is so happy about this when there would be plenty to talk about, like in any other situation. I agree with rjejr on this matter.

OracleOfTruth

#17

OracleOfTruth said:

I really don't care about voice chat. I get enough chatter from my bros when I race when them. Plus, I don't wanna talk with some random stranger.

ultraraichu

#18

ultraraichu said:

They can use this as a campaign to prevent talking and driving on cellphone. Driving 50+ mph while a monkey, a hedgehog, a dwarf, and a minor try to attack you while chatting to someone can cause an accident :P

JarredBuzzo

#19

JarredBuzzo said:

So, a side effect of this is that it's a launch title, and yet everyone is acting like it's completely on Nintendo...what a surprise. >.>

JarredBuzzo

#21

JarredBuzzo said:

"one of the side effects of being a launch title basically."

Doesn't sound that way to me...

Ernest_The_Crab

#22

Ernest_The_Crab said:

Meh I already have a headset I can use.

The lack of voice chat I find is more of a combination of other factors.

As the article points out both Mass Effect 3 and Call of Duty will have voice chat. Now the thing is, in this case both of those titles are games that initially had voice chat so considering the supposed "easy portability" of games to the console it may have been a non-issue for those games.

In the case of All Stars Racing Transformed we're looking at a game that hasn't been released yet for a console that hasn't been released yet. Just getting the game ready on time, I know must be pretty tough as is. I seriously doubt it's just due to the limitations of the chat but more on the fact that there's not enough time to deal with it with their current time constraints (Call of Duty is an exception due to the size and resources of the developer and publisher but it seems they're just barely making it in time).

HaNks

#25

HaNks said:

its better to have choice than no choice at all.

OS level voice chat (parties) needs to be a feature.

C-Olimar

#26

C-Olimar said:

So the 3DS version MUST have voice chat! After all, they've had plenty of time to implement it! Definitely getting 3DS version now!

Ducutzu

#27

Ducutzu said:

If voice chat in most games is anything like in "Heroes of Ruin", then no thanks.

TwilightV

#28

TwilightV said:

It would be pretty contradictory of them to not implement voice chat for the 3DS version.

SCAR392

#30

SCAR392 said:

I don't see the purpose for fighting games or racing games to have voice chat anyway. Besides, they could have just put the program in there to support it like the other versions on the other consoles. It only takes like 5 minutes probably to add the program, and let consumers decide whether they want to use a headset or not. Saying it's just not going to be available is lazy. This is not because of Nintendo at all. Maybe Sega is getting revenge for 15 years ago? haha. Seriously though, it should have been a given the mic on the Gamepad wouldn't be used for voice chat when it was announced. They would have implemented a wireless mic program anyway, so this is just an excuse.I guess Nintendo did have their reasons when they said online wouldn't be supported as well, because the devs for other companies are cheap, even after Nintendo says go for it.

LeVideoGamer

#31

LeVideoGamer said:

Sometimes I wish Nintendo were not always striving to be different. You can't even blame Sega for this. Hopefully Nintendo will create a firmware update that integrates universal voice chat into the Wii U so we won't have to worry about developers making their own independent lobbies, but for a company that's trying to get some of the 360/PS3/PC market on board, you'd think voice chat would be one of the certainties.
Voice chat isn't just people screaming obscenities at you, that's a select group of people. What about friends that aren't available for local multiplayer, how will you communicate with them then? Because I don't want to stop playing a game to type numerous messages to them when I could've just been talking to them through a mic. When you race as a team, how will you form strategies? Again, typing is laborious. If you don't like the people online, don't talk to them, but the people that do want it will feel left out in the cold without it. I say the same thing with achievements; if you hate the idea, ignore it. But it should be there so the people who love them can enjoy it. How will it hinder your enjoyment of a game if it's there but you're not using it? Simple answer is it won't, but it will aggravate the people who do want it.

GameLord08

#32

GameLord08 said:

Is it just me, or am I interpreting this a lot differently? He said, "one of the side effects of being a launch title," and nothing even concerning the voice-chat limitations. Judging from what Activion's been muddling around lately with their own port too, wouldn't it mean that timing led to the omission of the feature? Am I missing someting here?


Remember Wii Speak, guys? ...Exactly. Be thankful for mandatory headsets.

MegaWattsAdmin

#33

MegaWatts said:

@GameLord08 it's a tad confusing, but if you check the original source (SonicStadium), you'll see that his statement is made in response to another forumer's question.

I completely agree with you on the headset front - Wii Speak was horrid!

Bengals76

#34

Bengals76 said:

I have preordered this machine, but after hearing this and the fact that it will not do 1080p right now makes me think about canceling my order. Nintendo will have to earn my money at this point.

SMW

#36

SMW said:

This games got 5(!) player splitscreen WHILE playing online thanks to the gamepad! I will be more than satisfied with the lack of voice chat in the sequel to what I consider to be the greatest kart racer ever. 2 players while online was a pretty rare occurrence on the Wii, I'm still blown away at 5 players while online. Amazing!

Punky

#37

Punky said:

Voice chat would be nice for when you are playing with your friends...like party chat on the Xbox. Not great playing with friends online and you can't chat. Wonder were saga just lazy and rushing for launch seeing as cod etc. have voice chat.

SCAR392

#38

SCAR392 said:

@LeVideoGamer I blame it on Sega, because they could have just implemented the headset voice chat since it was confirmed, and added the Gamepad mic support, once it was announced(if it would have been).

@Wii Speak Haters- I actually liked the Wii speak no matter what anyone says, but it's probably because I actually used it. Sure there weren't that many games that used it, the whole room being heard was kind of annoying, and voices coming from the speakers was kind of annoying, but there's ways around all this. I think it will be transferred over to the Wii U too, because it IS part of your download list.

MeloMan

#39

MeloMan said:

Doesn't bother me as a whole, but I do still question why Nintendo's own voice chat feature would not be, well... featured. Ah well.

JarredBuzzo

#40

JarredBuzzo said:

@MegaWatts, right, that's kind of what I was implying. I'm not defending Nintendo's slightly odd choices with voice chat (although I don't really use the feature on either my PS3 or 360, apparently people care, so if it's that big of an issue I'm not going to act like I'm the only one that matters or that at least the option wouldn't be good for those that want it to have it). So, yeah, again, I was kind of more or less implying what you said.

sinalefa

#41

sinalefa said:

Personally I don't care about it, but seeing as other launch games can use it, then it is not Nintendo's fault.

Besides, I find odd that people kept complaining about Wii using Wii Speak instead of a headset, and now that headsets are mandatory they go "it should use the mic instead, what a wasted opportunity, etc." . If you care about voice chat, you should be able to buy a headset for it.

Urbanhispanic

#42

Urbanhispanic said:

I guess it comes down to what players feel about it and what kind of games would benefit from voice chat. Judging from my cousins and other people I know who have a PS3/360, they either don't use it or create rooms with people they frequently play with and then turn on the voice chat.

Personally, if people are going to be dips**ts while using it, then I'd shut it off and play in peace. :)

DarkNinja9

#44

DarkNinja9 said:

well yeah chat on a racing game might be weird but if no one support it on the release games then we might not have voice chat support for later games that we might want to have it least thats how i see it... o.o

Jeremyx7

#46

Jeremyx7 said:

This news is no real biggie for a racing game like this. But for games like Monster Hunter Ultimate and team oriented games they totally should implement voice chat! I think an interesting use for voice chat in a racing game would be to have players within so many meters of you in game only listen to what you're saying as if you were right beside them on the road in real life. Everyone else somewhat near by would hear it distorted or at a distance barely.

MegaWattsAdmin

#47

MegaWatts said:

@Daisaku36 It's a shame because voice chat has become such a "key" feature for people, yet every time I play my 360 online, no one seems to use a headset. And when there are people who are plugged in, it's usually just abuse.

Bring back the good ol' days of Halo 2 where people actually made something of an effort to communicate and work as a team.

JimLad

#49

JimLad said:

It may not seem like a big loss for a racing game, but it's still a cross in the box when weighing up different versions of the game.
This is entirely Nintendo's fault and yet another example of them making third parties to do all the legwork trying to bring their version of the game up to scratch.
And they wonder why they have less third party support...
Trust me this will not end with Sonic.

vio

#51

vio said:

And here we are 2 years later and still no voice chat patched in and likely never will be. What's sad is that you don't even need a third party headset either. Earbuds with a built in mic, like the ones you often get with smartphones work just fine as well. I use the ones that came with my Galaxy S4 with Black Ops 2 and Ghosts.

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