It was previously thought that Nintendo would implement voice chat using the built in mic on the Wii U Gamepad. Advertisements by the company themselves showed online game play using the built in mic. Nintendo recently stated that the system will not have an Xbox style cross game chat system built in to the Wii U. Nintendo will be leaving it up to the developers to implement in game chat in their games.
In a strange turn of events Nintendo has also stated they recommend players use a licensed Wii U compatible headset such as the Turtle Beach NLa to chat with friends. So far only Assassin’s Creed III, Call of Duty Black Ops 2, and Mass Effect will support in game chat. Things become more confusing from this point on as Nintendo’s Wii U Pro controller will not have a built in headphone jack meaning the player will be tied to using the Wii U Gamepad as a sort of chat hub.
This is truly contradictory from what Nintendo has led us to believe and in a sense takes a step back from the online social advancements being made by competitive consoles. For Nintendo to remain competitive and relevant on the Social gaming front they must be willing to make steps forward and in an ever quickly advancing technology world. Nintendo cannot afford to simply putt along at their own pace. They must make drastic changes to remain relevant in the eyes of evolving gamers and the world around them.