Patent hints at new external device
Nintendo may finally be introducing voice chat to its hardware.
Though it’s unclear if this relates to current or upcoming systems, Nintendo has filed a patent for an external device designed to enable in-game voice chat.
The patent, which was filed in March 2015 in the US, is convoluted and a little difficult to understand, but the device is said to have “exemplary embodiments [that] relate to a computer-readable storage media, information processing apparatuses, information processing systems, and information processing methods, and particularly relate to computer-readable storage media, information processing apparatuses, information processing systems, and information processing methods that enable chat between users at distant locations.”
It’s that last bit — “enable chat between users at distant locations” — that’s interesting.
Here’s some more:
In the above game system […] chat box for displaying a character string received from the other user, are displayed on a screen of a monitor. This makes it difficult to view the game image.
Also in the above communication system, since the image of the broadcast program and the information about the message exchange are displayed on the screens of the image display devices, it becomes difficult to view the broadcast program.
An object of the exemplary embodiments is to provide a computer-readable storage medium, an information processing apparatus, an information processing system, and an information processing method that allow, without affecting playing of a game or viewing of a television program, users at distant locations to communicate in real time with each other while viewing images displayed on screens as in the case of video chat and text chat.
There are also further filings that include details on eco-friendly operating modes, and real-time changes to gameplay (such as in-game difficulty scaling depending upon how good/bad you are).
Too little too late for you to jump to Nintendo, or are you delighted that Nintendo are finally seeking to introduce chat? Is this external voice chat peripheral likely to go the way of last generation’s Wii Speak peripheral? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.