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MSFT: Xbox One Headset is a Must Have (But Not Included with Console)

By - Source: via Ars | B 35 comments

Who needs a headset when you've got Kinect?

Microsoft made big headlines last week with an about face on several features of the Xbox One. The company backtracked on a number of controversial points, including used games, the always-on connection, and regional locking. This week, there's yet more talk of the Xbox One and this time headlines are focused on the chat headset.

 

Microsoft has confirmed that those spending $500 on its brand new console won't be getting a chat headset for their troubles. If customers want that, they'll have to fork out extra cash to buy one separately, though Microsoft hasn't said how much, just yet. In a statement to Ars Technica, Microsoft praised the mics on the new Kinect sensor, which will be included with every Xbox One purchase.

"Xbox One does not include a pack-in headset accessory. 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," said Microsoft. "For gamers who prefer a headset, we have a variety of offerings that you can find on the Xbox Wire."

That language is interesting, considering Microsoft previously described the Xbox One chat headset as 'a must have' on its website. More specifically, Redmond says the headset is designed for long gaming sessions and clear voice chat.

"Gamers will love not having to take their hands off the controller to access the microphone mute and volume controls."

The Xbox One is due in November and will cost $499. For that price, customers will get the system, one controller, Kinect and a free 14-day trial for Xbox Live Gold (for new members only). Additional controllers will have to be purchased separately. Microsoft will also offer a limited-edition commemorative bundle for those that reserve their units ahead of time. This will guarantee you can get the Xbox One on launch day and will feature "premium" black packaging, a limited edition Xbox One Day One , and a commemorative Day One Achievement. There's also bonus content for those that reserve Ryse: Sons of Rome, Forza 5, Kinect Sports Rivals, or Dead Rising 3. No headset, though.

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  • 0 Hide
    shahrooz , June 27, 2013 6:09 AM
    Microsoft what are you doing exactly?
  • 0 Hide
    Joshua M Below , June 27, 2013 6:12 AM
    I wish Microsoft would bring back the old wireless headset. I still rock that thing. I have several friends that use newer types such as turtle beach or the newer garbage Microsoft one that I believes doubles as a bluetooth headset. Either way I'm curious if the old headsets will work with the new console, or is the same issue as the controllers, you have to buy a new one.
  • 0 Hide
    cirdecus , June 27, 2013 6:22 AM
    I honestly think the console is going to be fantastic, but for kids in college or kids at home who never watch TV or aren't responsible for a family, it will probably be overpriced with unused features.

    As a husband\father, the guide and set top box features are awesome and switching between games, movies and TV is going to be so much better.

    My guess is the Microsoft is trying to expand the XBox user base. Since a game console is going to sit in a living room anyway, they want it to be the center of the living room, which means it has to do more than just play kids games. It needs to absorb all of the functions of the devices in your living room, including TV, Music and Movies.

    Good direction, this is where things are going so you might as well get a head start on it. They tried to do this in 2005 but people weren't ready. A small niche of people still cling to the awesomeness of media center and have made some phenomenal living-room centric media centers using tuners from Ceton and UI mods like mediabrowser. Combine that with the bower of a PC running steam big picture mode and a PC XBox wireless controller and you've got an amazing system.

    Microsoft seems to be doing the same with the XBox One and I think its a fantastic idea. But for those kids out there who just want to sit in from of their TV alone playing games, the value may not be there. I still think Microsoft is going to sell a ton of these things if they market the other features correctly and to the right audience.
  • 0 Hide
    mobrocket , June 27, 2013 6:46 AM
    MSFT is doing great on their plan

    Trying to force kinect down our customers throat - CHECK
    Back track just days later after E3 on used games - CHECK
    Too cheap to include a $5 headset - CHECK
    Try to have the worst launch in console history - CHECK
    Let PS4 own this gen console war - CHECK
  • 0 Hide
    ingtar33 , June 27, 2013 6:51 AM
    so... the headset will be a required feature in online games even though we have kinect with the xb1... it's not included, and old xb360 headsets won't work with the new system. Really M$? $500 and you can't even throw in a "required" piece of equipment? Next we'll find out the xb1 doesn't have hdmi or any other plug features, and that you need to buy M$ proprietary adapter plug to connect your xb1 to a tv. This crap might fly with isheep but i doubt there are enough rich and stupid gamers to make this a winning strategy. This self destruction is hard to watch now.

  • 0 Hide
    ethanolson , June 27, 2013 7:05 AM
    Any serious gamer knows that you need a high quality set to hear well enough to win, so this little chat headset is very sub-par for FPS games. There'll be cheap adapters for people to use their awesome gear they currently own, so don't flip out.
  • 0 Hide
    ethanolson , June 27, 2013 7:05 AM
    Any serious gamer knows that you need a high quality set to hear well enough to win, so this little chat headset is very sub-par for FPS games. There'll be cheap adapters for people to use their awesome gear they currently own, so don't flip out.
  • 0 Hide
    ethanolson , June 27, 2013 7:05 AM
    Any serious gamer knows that you need a high quality set to hear well enough to win, so this little chat headset is very sub-par for FPS games. There'll be cheap adapters for people to use their awesome gear they currently own, so don't flip out.
  • 0 Hide
    ethanolson , June 27, 2013 7:05 AM
    Any serious gamer knows that you need a high quality set to hear well enough to win, so this little chat headset is very sub-par for FPS games. There'll be cheap adapters for people to use their awesome gear they currently own, so don't flip out.
  • 0 Hide
    antilycus , June 27, 2013 7:11 AM
    CONSOLE gaming has pretty much died in the past year for me. I've been deep into EVERY system that has come out but with XBOX One and PS4, i have ZERO urge to own either one. My OUYA has me playing games that I enjoy playing (not just rehashes of the top 10 sellers) and my PC helps me with everything else.
  • 0 Hide
    Johnpombrio , June 27, 2013 7:18 AM
    Both the XBox One and the PS4 new controllers will cost $59 each (Amazon has them) so nothing is going to be cheap on these guys. At least I will not have to shell out $150 or so for the new Kinect which is bundled in.
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , June 27, 2013 7:23 AM
    If the One release is like the 360 release, you don't want the 'Day One' edition because it will stop working shortly thereafter.

    Give it a year and get the 'Day 366' edition.

    And who cares if XBOX One doesn't come with a headset. It's not absolutely necessary since voice input works through the Kinect and sound can channel through your PC or HT Speakers.

    The press, in general, is picking apart the XBOX One big time. Anything they can criticize, they are; whether the PS4 is the same regarding any particular aspect or not. It's getting old.

    Sony doesn't need to make commercials for the PS4, they just need to keep paying reviewers and people writing articles big bucks.
  • 0 Hide
    ingtar33 , June 27, 2013 7:25 AM
    Quote:
    If the One release is like the 360 release, you don't want the 'Day One' edition because it will stop working shortly thereafter.

    Give it a year and get the 'Day 366' edition.

    And who cares if XBOX One doesn't come with a headset. It's not absolutely necessary since voice input works through the Kinect and sound can channel through your PC or HT Speakers.

    The press, in general, is picking apart the XBOX One big time. Anything they can criticize, they are; whether the PS4 is the same regarding any particular aspect or not. It's getting old.

    Sony doesn't need to make commercials for the PS4, they just need to keep paying reviewers and people writing articles big bucks.


    i just thought it was interesting m$ is saying the headset is required.
  • 0 Hide
    cirdecus , June 27, 2013 7:37 AM
    I honestly think the console is going to be fantastic, but for kids in college or kids at home who never watch TV or aren't responsible for a family, it will probably be overpriced with unused features.

    As a husband\father, the guide and set top box features are awesome and switching between games, movies and TV is going to be so much better.

    My guess is the Microsoft is trying to expand the XBox user base. Since a game console is going to sit in a living room anyway, they want it to be the center of the living room, which means it has to do more than just play kids games. It needs to absorb all of the functions of the devices in your living room, including TV, Music and Movies.

    Good direction, this is where things are going so you might as well get a head start on it. They tried to do this in 2005 but people weren't ready. A small niche of people still cling to the awesomeness of media center and have made some phenomenal living-room centric media centers using tuners from Ceton and UI mods like mediabrowser. Combine that with the bower of a PC running steam big picture mode and a PC XBox wireless controller and you've got an amazing system.

    Microsoft seems to be doing the same with the XBox One and I think its a fantastic idea. But for those kids out there who just want to sit in from of their TV alone playing games, the value may not be there. I still think Microsoft is going to sell a ton of these things if they market the other features correctly and to the right audience.
  • 0 Hide
    macpeteo , June 27, 2013 7:57 AM
    I'm currently leaning towards the PS4 but it's way too early yet to make any commitments! I probably wont be buying anything until after the holidays.
  • 0 Hide
    paleh0rse , June 27, 2013 8:21 AM
    Quote:
    And who cares if XBOX One doesn't come with a headset. It's not absolutely necessary since voice input works through the Kinect and sound can channel through your PC or HT Speakers.

    First, most people don't want voice comms to broadcast over speakers -- it's awkward. Second, some of us can't have ANY sounds broadcasting over speakers if/when we play late at night when everyone else in the house is asleep.

    And then there's the horrible language and "conversations" that take place on XBL between matches. There's no frickin' way I'd allow that garbage to broadcast within earshot of my kids!
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , June 27, 2013 8:24 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    And who cares if XBOX One doesn't come with a headset. It's not absolutely necessary since voice input works through the Kinect and sound can channel through your PC or HT Speakers.

    First, most people don't want voice comms to broadcast over speakers -- it's awkward. Second, some of us can't have ANY sounds broadcasting over speakers if/when we play late at night when everyone else in the house is asleep.

    And then there's the horrible language and "conversations" that take place on XBL between matches. There's no frickin' way I'd allow that garbage to broadcast within earshot of my kids!


    You are a perfect example of why people buy a headset. When the PS3 came out, no one complained about a missing headset.

    In some households, where multi-player isn't a must, a headset isn't needed for games the whole family can play together in the same room.
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyHundo , June 27, 2013 8:41 AM
    I have X1 on pre-order with Amazon.... but I'm going to wait until later to decide if I actually buy it. I've had my Gold membership for near 10 years straight now and I definitely enjoyed the 360; Problem is I haven't really games on the 360 for a year now (besides Mass Effect 3); I built a sweet PC gaming rig and spend all my time on that. I might just save my $500 bucks on the X1 and get a top line PC sound card and a Sennheiser gaming headset.

    Every piece of negative information pushes me toward my better graphics, better sound, better everything PC world. There are only a couple of games I can't get on my PC ... and I don't know if I care about playing them anymore. I better see some pretty impressive stuff from the TV/Multimedia side of things is all I can say. I mean if my wife doesn't love it and use it (she dominates the living room TV) - it's a non-starter for me.
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , June 27, 2013 8:52 AM
    Quote:
    I have X1 on pre-order with Amazon.... but I'm going to wait until later to decide if I actually buy it. I've had my Gold membership for near 10 years straight now and I definitely enjoyed the 360; Problem is I haven't really games on the 360 for a year now (besides Mass Effect 3); I built a sweet PC gaming rig and spend all my time on that. I might just save my $500 bucks on the X1 and get a top line PC sound card and a Sennheiser gaming headset.

    Every piece of negative information pushes me toward my better graphics, better sound, better everything PC world. There are only a couple of games I can't get on my PC ... and I don't know if I care about playing them anymore. I better see some pretty impressive stuff from the TV/Multimedia side of things is all I can say. I mean if my wife doesn't love it and use it (she dominates the living room TV) - it's a non-starter for me.


    I'm feeling the same way and am in the same boat. I've been on XBOX live since the original XBOX with a year break for MS to work out the hardware issues with the 360.

    First, the initial build quality is a concern for me as the 360 launch was a disaster from a hardware standpoint. I have a 360 in the living room that really serves the purpose of any smart TV since I built my PC witha 3930K and two 780s in it. No gaming on it, but simply using it as a media/entertainment hub. The features outside of gaming are what are going to drive the rest of the family to push a sale for us.

    A MS store is opening up soon near us that will probably tip the scales when the family sees what it can do.
  • 0 Hide
    headscratcher , June 27, 2013 8:54 AM
    As usual with XBOX One news, this is much ado about nothing.

    Scenario 1: Microsoft includes cheapo headset with XBox One. Gamers say "this base headset is crap. I am going buy this cool one to use."

    Scenario 2: Microsoft does not include a cheapo headset with XBox One. Gamers say: "no headset, I am going to go buy this cool one to use."

    Microsoft haters always looking for anything to bithc about.
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