Sony's Grand 'Give'em a Headset' Experiment

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#1 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (4329 posts) -

When PS4 was just being revealed it was coming without any obvious or viable plans to pack in a headset. Over the months before releases there was some outcry (earnest discussion) to have it packed in. Moreover, Sony responded by packing at least 'something' in in the form of a functional if somewhat cheap ear bud and mic.

Did that grand experiment ensure that more people used voice chat in online games?

Not really, from my vantage point, I don't see more PS online players chatting or caring about chat. I play some Call of Duty and AC Black Flag online and most people don't have their headsets plugged in let alone set up. As you cruise through the rooms of online game you see most people don't even have the headset set up to even work because they don't even have a grayed-out icon for chat.

I just don't think the bulk of Sony fans like to talk in games, or are not acclimatized to that idea. There are various reason why that might be so, but it just seems like when even given the chance to do it with a packed-in mic, most people just tossed it aside. People thought the issue on PS3 was that there was no pack-in, but I think people just didn't want wasn't part of the fan-scene of the PlayStation to talk in games.

What do you think? What has been your experience?

#2 Posted by GERALTITUDE (4977 posts) -

To be honest I feel there is less comm chatter in all the games I play these days.

Even the PC Titanfall beta was largely very quiet.

So I don't think it's PlayStation specific, but I get your point. It definitely could be that years without a headset has made the general PS crowd less likely to use a headset.

And while that sounds rightish, I stand by my first statement. I feel all the games I play have less people talking in them then they did 5 years ago. The only exceptions are obvious ones where voice chat is far more necessary (Arma, L4D off the top of my head).

I think what happened is that for a period lots of us did login with headsets, but you would just end up muting 99% of players and at some point you realize What's the point? and just forget about the headset.

To end a long post:

Unless voice chat is necessary or a massive advantage to the game, it makes sense that people wouldn't use it.

#3 Posted by Zeik (3649 posts) -

I have yet to use my headset because the majority of the random people who talk on those things are annoying as hell, and I just don't care enough to want to weed through them. I'm glad I have it, on the off chance I can actually round up some people I can tolerate, but until then, mutes for everyone.

#4 Edited by StrainedEyes (1358 posts) -

I don't want to talk to people when I play online.

#5 Posted by flippyandnod (538 posts) -

I think the experiment is just too late. It's been long since people valued ubiquitous vice chat in games. People are just jerks, end of story.

If you really have people you want to play with, you'll find a headset to use (you can use any phone headset) anyway. And when playing with randoms, you'll likely just not use it. On Xbox or PS.

#6 Edited by MariachiMacabre (7097 posts) -

I actually noticed that in-game chatter on Xbox One has fallen considerably as well. I very rarely see anyone talking in Titanfall.

#7 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (4329 posts) -

To be honest I feel there is less comm chatter in all the games I play these days.

Probably, true.... Less people talk online in all likelihood because the assumption is all talk is trash-talk in online games. Still I think everyone was saying PS3 had less talk because Sony didn't give out headsets, which might have been true six years ago. But now they they did give them out it didn't help or increase the use. The people who talk probably still do, and those that didn't/won't will never talk.

I wonder if a headset will stay packed in when there is the inevitable PS4 Slim? Does Sony keep packing in $1.50 worth of plastic and wires, or do they just say "Well that, headset, is not strictly necessary"

#8 Posted by Zeik (3649 posts) -

I don't see why they wouldn't if it's a minimal cost, if for no other reason than to check another box on packaged goods.

#9 Posted by Steadying (1884 posts) -

I don't want to talk to people when I play online.

Pretty much this. I don't really feel like getting super into the game with a bunch of people I don't know at all. It's just fucking awkward to me..........Aaaaand, on top of that, literally every single time I've ran into someone talking in a public match of a game, they were being a total asshole. So no thanks.

#10 Posted by Sherlock22 (42 posts) -

Im pretty sure that when the 360 came out and a lot of people got into game chat that they realized that a good chunk of the people who are playing multiplayer games, shooters especially, are not the kind of people you want to talk to. All that I hear now is young kids trying to be funny but back during original Modern Warfare there was a lot of people who would take the game way too seriously (competitive clan members), children and grown ups who dont talk but have their mic on so we can hear all of the ambient sounds of their run down Detroit apartment (crying children always included). Theres just nothing to be gained since no one is going to work as a team. I do use the PC text chat on BF4 to call out snipers, ask for help from engineers and things like that though which can work a lot of the time, but that is a pretty unique case.

#11 Posted by Nodima (1613 posts) -

It was nice when FF XIV was in open beta, me and two friends from out of town were able to party chat while we were all messing with it together and then afterwards when we branched off to NBA, FIFA and COD respectively which as a strictly Sony gamer was pretty awesome to do for the first time.

But I've noticed when I'm streaming out to no one but the void I can't avoid an echo on spoken word from games thanks to how close I am to the TV and the mic's range. If it had a left and right channel I could maybe tolerate using that shitty earbud for a second play stream but since it's just the one mono channel in a single ear that's really not an option when these Klipsch Image X10s are sitting nearby. I wonder if that's any better if you use the camera for your mic, but I can't really imagine it would be.

#12 Posted by shinjin977 (881 posts) -

@geraltitude: that is because the internet is a shitty place and most people knows not to engage with it on a personal level.

#13 Posted by Spoonman671 (5315 posts) -

Nobody wants to talk to strangers on the internet. You're all awful.

#14 Edited by Seppli (11233 posts) -

I've plugged it in once for the FFXIV beta, but apparently that doesn't have proximity chat. Since VoIP output per default is routed directly to the jack on the gamepad, anybody who doesn't use a headset doesn't hear anyone talk. I for one love it.

I still believe, if at all feasible, that there should be a microphone built directly into the gamepad, as well as a push-to-talk button on the underside of the gamepad, akin to what the Steam Controller has there. That's the only way VoIP would really catch on.

The only games I've been using VoIP actively are MMORPGs, specifically for PvP and group and raid content, and once in a while for Battlefield. It's been awhile since I had a steady squad, or a guild though.

#15 Posted by MikkaQ (10296 posts) -

Well it might be that Sony fans are used to not chatting from the PS3 days, but I also think the fact that the headset is an unacceptable piece of shit has a lot to do with it. Yeah Microsoft's isn't amazing, but it also looks like it's worth more than five bucks too.

#16 Posted by HatKing (6857 posts) -

That's a strange conclusion to draw from that. I don't think there is much dividing the mentality of Xbox and Sony purists other than which console their mom bought them first. If you want to say that, because the PS3 didn't have a headset packed in, that the Sony people who have already bought a PS4, are not used to the idea of talking on a headset, maybe you're onto something. But, the group of people who exclusively owned a PS3, bought a PS4 already, and actively play online is probably a fairly narrow margin to be attributing that to.

Frankly, having just recently spent some time playing the 360 online, I can say that most people on there aren't using headsets these days. I think it has more to do with mature gamers being disenchanted by the prospect of talking to other players. And the assholes who ruined it, chased away all the people they loved to annoy. So, now nobody bothers. I know I quit using a headset around the time my friends quit playing online with me. I have no desire to talk to strangers because they are either dicks or people who also don't want to talk.

I'm sure the pack in made some difference though. There are people out there who would have never bought a headset, who might use it occasionally now.

#17 Posted by Humanity (12928 posts) -

It's probably because Microsoft players are cool party doods that love to drink, go to parties and scream racist obscenities at each other while Sony doods are nerds!

#18 Posted by SSully (4894 posts) -

The only time I use a chat is when it's in a game that highly benefits from it (counter strike), or when with friends. Outside of that I have literally no interest in talking to random people in games, especially on consoles. I play my playstation in a very relaxed setting. The last thing I want to do is plug in my headset and talk to random assholes.

#19 Edited by Lego_My_Eggo (1101 posts) -

I used to use a headset for games like SOCOM to help strategize with my teammates to help win the match, but now i find i don't really care if i win or lose in a game, im just there for the fun, so there is no real reason to use it personally. I would probably use one if i was playing with a group of real friends online, or a clan that worked together somewhat seriously, but i don't really care enough anymore to work with a group of random people to win a match.

#20 Posted by The_EDJ (70 posts) -

The mic hookup is incredibly convenient. But online chat is just terrible in general. People hide behind the veil of anonymity on the internet and act differently than if they were talking face to face. When online, I'm usually in a party chat with friends grouped together in the game, or just going cross game.

#21 Edited by freakin9 (1193 posts) -

Hoorah for Sony trying to discourage headset usage.

#22 Edited by awesomeusername (4554 posts) -

That's great. My experience has been the same as yours and I couldn't be happier. If I ever play a game online, I'm in a chat with friends (most of the time) so it doesn't even matter. It's great that I don't have people calling me a ni**er or saying they porked my mum. Rejoice!

#23 Posted by MooseyMcMan (12176 posts) -

I'm sure part of it is that the "headset" that came with the PS4 is bad.

In my case, it has more to do with the fact that I simply don't want to talk with strangers that I'm playing games with. If I'm playing with a friend, then sure. But if not, then nope!

#24 Edited by bobafettjm (1840 posts) -

I generally don't like to listen to what has become most people that use headsets, and not only that I used the PS4 headset once and it was TERRIBLE.

#25 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (4329 posts) -

I talk less online than I used to, but I cannot pin point why. Maybe it just a trend for all devices. I bought a Switcheasy ThumbTacks Microphone for my controller so that I could do the voice commands with my PS4 without having a wire dangling off my DS4. But, I would often not want people hearing what I was saying when I was playing when it finally broke (after two months) because I dropped it, I just never replaced it.

So, even for me it came down to just not wanting other people to hear the stupid meaningless 'drivel' I would often spout during a game. Its a two way street: other people nonsense and you own can be just as annoying.

#27 Posted by ChrisHarris (277 posts) -

I still use a mic with friends. Otherwise, unless it's something like Dota 2, I don't want to hear what the Internet personified has to say about how the game is going.

#28 Edited by TurboMan (8465 posts) -

I haven't used a headset to play online games since Socom 2.

#29 Posted by Sergio (3080 posts) -

I am remembering things differently than you. It was known that PS4 was including a headset pretty early on, and it was the Xbox One that wasn't including one. Some people excused the Xbox One not including one because it had the Kinect, while others didn't like the fact that they were omitting it, since the Xbox 360 included one. In the end, the Xbox One included one, and I'll admit that Microsoft's late addition is superior to the one Sony had planned to include from early on.

I don't use the PS4 headset because earbuds don't stay in my ears. The Xbox 360 headset worked fine, but even then, I preferred not to use them. I don't think this was an experiment by Sony, but them remembering that the Xbox 360 included a set, so they should probably include one with the PS4.

#30 Posted by jag_stilvecchio (4 posts) -

So far the only online games I've played on my PS4 are Resogun and BF4. Out of those two games Resogun isn't the greatest example of an online game where chat is a necessity (though I did use the headset with another player I met online). That leaves BF4 and my impression of console based chat remains unchanged from the PS3 - it sucks.

Besides the chat functionality in BF4 being poorly implemented... squad based for regular troops; squad to squad for squad-leaders, err... I think!? Whatever it is the few people who're on are usually talking trash or blaring some terrible music. So if I play BF4 it's usually with people I know and then we're usually in a private chat session. Yeah, we can still get chatter from other players as occasional as it is.

#31 Posted by Akyho (1853 posts) -

When I play MP games like Cod or such on Xbox. I have my headset in..why? so i turn the volume down and never hear another voice. Same goes for GTA online right now I switch of chat.

I will do Dayz with voice cos...if you dont...your 100% gonna get shot. if you do then your 98% gonna get shot.

#32 Edited by Haruko (494 posts) -

Unless your online with friends there is no reason to use voice chat. All I ever hear is dumb asses with their mic shoved squarely an inch up their nose so all you hear is breathing and static or room noise including crying children fighting adults or better yet sex or drug noises. If I could pay extra to auto-mute every dumb ass I come in contact with online I would.

Seriously if your here to chat go do it in a damn chat room shut up and play the damn game.

#33 Posted by Rowr (5862 posts) -

I think it comes down to the games and is less about the systems. Although I do think a large portion of playstation owners compared to xbox are unintroduced and unfamiliar with it due to it not being around on PS3.

Microsofts successful early titles which transformed couch co-op to online, really lended to using a headset (Gears of War, Halo). I don't think we are seeing as many of those sort of titles in recent times, titanfall and the call of dutys in online public play are more of a personal game than a team work or cooporative experience - thus being entirely useless to the actual gameplay and derogatory to the experience in general.

I imagine you might see a lot of people start to pick them up again when playing something like destiny etc.

#34 Posted by Jesus_Phish (2166 posts) -

I've only used the headset when playing with friends and in private parties. I'd use it for playing in a group if people asked me to and if they're friendly, but I don't want to use a mic/listen to others use a mic who are jerks.

#35 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (4329 posts) -

I do find that there are certain advantages to playing with a nice headset, not just the mono pack-in junk.

- The player experiences the excellent sound design of some games.
- Game like CoD without a doubt are easier to play against people without headsets, if you have a headset...clomp, clomp, you come.
- If you 'DO' want to talk, every once in awhile, you can on a good headset.

The reason I don't always use my Astro A40s is the wire is a pain sometimes. The A50s came out in 2012, so it might be they will put out another headset with some slight improvements in a year, so I'm holding off with a new purchase.

#36 Posted by Shadow (5121 posts) -

How is this an experiment? Xbox consoles have always come with a headset. It just seems like the natural thing to do.

#37 Posted by kylekrueger (132 posts) -

The ability to make a party basically killed game chat.

#38 Edited by Ocelot237 (6 posts) -

Does the PS4 have a party chat like system to just talk with people on your friends list or to people you invite? That may help in getting headset usage up because some people just don't want to keep talking to random people online, but may be encouraged if they have a couple of their friends to solely talk to at first.

#39 Posted by phantomzxro (1608 posts) -

@monkeyking1969: While i'll agree there is not much increase in talking online i still believe it was the right call. Everyone still has the option to chat without spending any more money on the system. I believe most who game on PlayStation may already be trained to not brother to talk to strangers. I also feel more people just talk in party chat vs live on the MP game.

#40 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (4329 posts) -

@shadow said:

How is this an experiment? Xbox consoles have always come with a headset. It just seems like the natural thing to do.

Actually, you had to buy the first XBL headset for the first Xbox. It came in its own box, and it came out a full year after Xbox came out.

#41 Edited by spraynardtatum (4245 posts) -

The earbud is pretty bad to be honest. It picks up all of the background audioz.

I like talking to random people but not like this.

#42 Posted by Shadow (5121 posts) -

@shadow said:

How is this an experiment? Xbox consoles have always come with a headset. It just seems like the natural thing to do.

Actually, you had to buy the first XBL headset for the first Xbox. It came in its own box, and it came out a full year after Xbox came out.

I meant to say since the last generation, but still. It's been a thing for nearly a decade at this point. Sony isn't experimenting

#43 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (5219 posts) -

I don't want to talk to people when I play online.

This is how I am, my XBL days have made me tired of trying to work together with humanity online through voice chat, even on the PC.

#44 Posted by Jedted (2704 posts) -

On the topic of voice chat in general: I was surprised when i played a game of Wolfpack in AC4 on PC and no one else was talking. Since PC gamers tend to be more mature console "kiddies" i thought that more of them would have their headsets plugged in.

#45 Posted by Devil240Z (4810 posts) -

personally I think more games should be designed with people not using mics in mind. cause most people don't.

#46 Posted by -Cipher- (118 posts) -

Wait, I got a microphone? I don't think I had one packed in.

#47 Posted by Shirogane (3609 posts) -

@-cipher- said:

Wait, I got a microphone? I don't think I had one packed in.

It's one of those earbud things that you get with phones. In fact, it's probably is the exact same, maybe they changed the logo a bit or something, but it looks the same as the one i got with my xperia.

#48 Posted by -Cipher- (118 posts) -

@-cipher- said:

Wait, I got a microphone? I don't think I had one packed in.

It's one of those earbud things that you get with phones. In fact, it's probably is the exact same, maybe they changed the logo a bit or something, but it looks the same as the one i got with my xperia.

Have no idea where it is now, lol.

#49 Edited by Sammo21 (4506 posts) -

I think the only thing that including a headset proves is that children are more likely to get on and use voice chat.

#50 Edited by ThatOneDudeNick (1134 posts) -

It's a shitty headset. I wonder if I could hook my Blue Snowball to my PS4 somehow and just use headphones. It should just read as a USB mic, like when I hook up a mouse and keyboard? Should...

I'm all for light voice communication in games. I don't want to have a conversation, but "hey, they're flanking us" is pretty damn useful.

Has anyone tried Sony's $99 headset yet?


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