The Xbox One won’t ship with a headset like the Xbox 360 did, but the Kinect sensor works for voice chat with friends, Ars Technica reports. A one-ear mono Xbox One headset is available for purchase separately from the console at launch, but it won’t be included in the box. Kinect, meanwhile, has a multi-direction microphone and can reportedly filter out TV and background noise and pick up even quiet chatter from players.
Third-party accessory makers like Turtle Beach and Polk will offer wireless stereo and surround headsets for Xbox One that will cost upwards of $200. Turtle Beach is also making an adapter that will make Xbox 360 headsets usable on the Xbox One.
The PlayStation 4, on the other hand, ships with a headset in the box. No doubt, both companies have their reasons for these choices; Microsoft is likely trying to keep costs as low as possible with a price tag already $100 higher than Sony thanks to the mandatory Kinect sensor, while the PS4 has no Kinect equivalent to speak of. A newly updated PlayStation 4 Eye camera can be purchased separately, but it lacks much of Kinect’s advanced functionality.
After the initial report came to light, Microsoft provided a statement confirming the details. “Xbox One does not include a pack-in headset accessory. Each Xbox One includes the new Kinect sensor, with a highly sensitive multi-array microphones designed to enable voice inputs and chat as a system-level capability, both in-game and with Skype and other experiences. For gamers who prefer a headset, we have a variety of offerings that you can find on the Xbox Wire.”