[UPDATE]The Xbox One Won’t Support Current-Gen Gaming Headsets
This is according to an IGN source, which has claimed that the Xbox One controller will come equipped with a new, proprietary data port that serves as a replacement to the chat cable connector found on the current generation, and according to IGN’s trusted source this is indicative of a new Microsoft strategy to take control of the market for accessories.
The new port on the controller means that current generation headsets by leading accessory manufacturers, including the likes of Turtle Beach, won’t be supported by the Xbox One.
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They won’t work.
Furthermore, the source claims that the propriety data port suggests that Microsoft will be able to control the production of third party peripherals by use of licensing and authentication that manufacturers will have to meet by requirement.
A Microsoft spokesperson, when questioned on the matter, said that details on how third party peripherals will work will be shared at a later date.
“We are working with 3rd party headset manufacturers to create new headsets that will take full advantage of the Xbox One technology,” the representative said.
Right now all I can say is that I feel deeply sorry for anyone who splashed $100-200 (or R900-1800) on a high quality gaming headset for their Xbox 360.
Be sure to catch up on all the Xbox One coverage you may have missed.
*I apologise for a bit of a brain-goof. It’s not a new port on the console, but on the controller.
IGN did a bit of speculation on the matter. Although game audio will be available through the system’s optical port, thereby supporting chat communication, headsets will be required in order to make use of the new connection type. The possibility does exist that either Microsoft or third-party manufacturers and headset makers could develop an adapter to allow for backwards compatibility, but IGN’s source claims that the new port is part of a larger strategy to acquire the accessory market.
Personally, I find it strange to think Microsoft would be quick to allow for backwards compatibility when they’d probably want to market their own products. Well, unless the backlash forces their hand.
Part of the reason this will help Microsoft acquire the accessory market is because manufacturers will need to develop completely new products for the new connection standard, and on top of that will need to use Microsoft’s licensing and authentication, following the company’s protocols, which could lead to raised prices for consumers for these peripherals.
IGN also speculates that, on the flip side, the proprietary format may improve the chat audio experience. Reports suggest that the new data port has stereo audio support, perhaps for allowing game audio to come directly from the controller or to boost mono chat audio in current-gen to stereo.
At the moment it is unclear whether Microsoft is developing its own headset solution or if it will make use of Kinect’s noise cancellation and player detection tech as the main chat receiver.