Xbox One Headset

Xbox One HeadsetMonday, apparently the worst day of the week, has been and gone, for some that’s the first day of a five day week down before they can relax, for me it’s the day I check IGN’s Ask Microsoft Anything post for more updates surrounding the Xbox One from Marc Whitten, Microsoft’s Chief Xbox One Platform Architect.

The biggest news we’ve heard is that the Kinect won’t actually be needed with the Xbox One, but we’ll cover that in more detail soon. In this post I’m focusing on Whitten’s answer to the following question:

Is there cross-console Party Chat? i.e. since it’s all “Xbox Live,” can people on Xbox 360s Party Chat with their friends on Xbox One?

Whitten answered with the following:

For a variety of technical reasons – including the sound quality that I talk about below – we don’t support voice chat between the two systems. You will still be able to send and receive text messages to friends on both systems, however.

So, the basic gist of it is that the Xbox One allows you to have more than the capped 100 that the 360 allows you to have, you can still have all of your 360 friends on the Xbox One but as far as a conversation is concerned you’ll be limited to text chat only. The reason for this is due to sound compatibility as Whitten mentioned.

The Xbox One will finally come with the headset we’ve all had the pleasure of seeing beforehand. This headset “streams 24 kHz at a 16-bit resolution uncompressed both downstream and upstream compared to the Xbox 360 headset that streamed 16 kHz downstream and 8 kHz upstream at a 14-bit resolution compressed.” explains Whitten in the post. Therefore the voice chat you’ll receive from the Xbox 360 will be very poor quality as the console (I assume, though I’m no sound expert so I may be wrong) will be trying to convert it to the higher resolution sound which in turn will result in horrifically poor audio – either way, cross console voice chat is a no-go for whatever reason.

Will this influence those of you reluctant to get the Xbox One around launch change your mind? Depending on how the Skype chat is integrated (meaning that it’s basically the desktop app but on the Xbox One), I’ll be more than happy to use the text chat until I get an Xbox One. If it remains as awkward as it is right now to message friends, I may have to run and pre-order a console.

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