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Cross Game Voice Chat – Why the Delay? |

PS3 gamers are divided into two camps. The “what good is cross game voice chat?” group and the “I want it now!” group. I am within the painted circle of the latter group. If you don’t know how nice 360 users have it with parties, then maybe I’d understand why you don’t care about voice chat. Or maybe you are a non-online gamer. I’d understand that too. However, if you play with friends online even on a semi-regular basis, then cross game voice chat is a feature you’re likely wanting. If only to be able to talk to friends in games that have a bad voice chat implementation (I’m looking at you Borderlands).

Frankly, I don’t want to have this feature so that I can play MW2 and talk to a friend who is playing Gran Turismo. No. I just want to be able to talk to my friends (a) reliably and (b) whether or not I’m in the same lobby as him. I want to get in a party with a friend and talk to him as the game is loading. I want to discuss what we’re going to play – what maps/tracks/modes/etc. And I don’t want the audio to drop out. When we leave a mode, I still want to be able to talk to him. And then when we switch games together, I want to be able to talk while in the XMB. Etc.

So there’s my motivation. You can see why I want cross game voice chat. I have to wonder why Sony is taking so long on this feature. I can see several reasons:

  1. Technical Difficulties
    Maybe the Sony engineers are having trouble shoe-horning cross game voice chat into an operating system that never had it. When you’re in a game and bring up the XMB, you can see how the interface chugs. Maybe adding voice chat to the SPU’s load is just too much. (Sony reserves one SPU for itself – the rest are available to the developer.)
  2. Political Difficulties
    Sure there are lots of us asking for cross game voice chat, but maybe there just aren’t enough of us. Or maybe Sony doesn’t think that it’ll sell any more systems or games. After all, they’re in this to make money, just like everyone else.
  3. Sony’s Getting it Right
    On the 360, you can set up a party and talk to the people in your party. Outside of any game. Then you can go from game to game with that party. Or within a game, you can stay in that party. Creating a cross-game party system is more than just creating a cross-game voice chat system. Maybe Sony wants to do it right and is working out all the software and legal ramifications.

Did I miss one? And which one is it? Frankly, I think it’s a mix of (1) and (2). I think they’re having difficulties making it work, and so the political motivation isn’t there to get it done.

And when am I getting a party system on the PS3?

  • I’ve got an xbox and I still don’t use the cross game chat much, mainly because it kills the in game chat. It is nice to have though.

  • Lan

    oh i’m so looking forward to cross game chat; too bad you have to be a playstation plus member

  • If the ps3 would add crossgame chat there wouldn’t be a reason to own a 360… In which I hate!

  • Kicks

    I’m patiently waiting for this feature as it makes it easier to find your friends when gaming as well. I’m not as worried about cross-game party invites. Just the private in-game chat.

  • I’m a member of the first group, I’d rather not swear at my firend while I’m playing MW2 and then have to explain what was wrong. Text chat is fine for me. However, I know A LOT of people want this feature. So I hope Sony is just making sure it works, because I’d rather have something at a later point in time, then get it sooner and have it be absolutely horrible.

  • Cross game chat is not always a good thing, especially those type of games where you only have only 1 life in multiplayer and the game depends on the last survivor, like search and destroy on COD and Gears of War, etc.

    Because I can party chat with a friend and just tell him exactly where the enemy is (since most of those games have a “free roam” camera)

  • I’m not too sure that Sony will do that because of the backlash, which is why all mention of it disappeared into the void. Still, based on the PSN+ Cross Chat rumors:
    1. It seems the PS3/PSN CAN support 4 person cross-game chat. Or as I like to call it, Bad-Game-Chat Band-Aid. BaGaChaBA for short. Pronounced Bag-a-cha-ba. Say it. You know you want some Bagachaba. A big bag of bagachaba. 🙂
    2. If regular gamers DIDN’T get it, they would riot (online). I’m still kinda pissed I can’t activate automatic updates. Bastards.

  • “I’m not too sure that Sony will do that because of the backlash” I meant pay for cross game chat with PlayStation +.

  • It’s probably because online gaming isn’t that big in Japan, and it’s SCEJ that does the firmware.

    I read an article somewhere recently – may even have been on this very site, I can’t remember – which had an interview with someone at SCEA. They said that the social side takes time to get implemented because online gaming isn’t big in Japan (outside of MMORPGs) and so the firmware guys didn’t see any need for it.

  • Eddie

    I’m in the camp that I don’t care if its there or not, but can see that it belongs there and that there isn’t a good excuse not to have it when so many others want it.

  • weatherman_

    I think it’s #1 and they missed the boat from the design stage. They were probably overconfident from the PS2’s success and never even bothered to try Xbox Live (v1) to see if they could make something better.

  • Kicks

    weatherman_: I think it’s #1 and they missed the boat from the design stage.They were probably overconfident from the PS2’s success and never even bothered to try Xbox Live (v1) to see if they could make something better.  

    I think that is truly it. They truly did enter this generation quite cocky. They’re just now living up to the hype they promised at launch.

  • Heemz

    Very much needed, but I’d also ask for the ability to join a friends game from the friends list? You can do that on xbox right?

  • I can see why people want cgc and although I’m not a big fan of it, I do beleive it would be very useful and I would love to try it out but people would buy a system for the sole reason of getting it!? Give me a break and get a grip, its not that important. People always want what they don’t have instead of being happy with what they do have.
    People are already complaining about having to pay for it which makes absolutely no sense since you have to pay for it on X-Box Live. Why should Sony be any different? We already get to play online for free and I figure if people want it so bad then Sony should charge them for it and they she just be happy they finally got what they wanted.
    Cgc reminds me of that feature on the X-Box that allowed you to play your music off the hard drive when your playing a game from last generation. Everyone made a big deal about it because the PS2 couldn’t do it and the X-Box could. It was an ok feature but I wasn’t that impressed with it but for it to be that feature that made people buy the X-Box over the PS2 is idiotic.

  • Programming stuff like that and avoiding slow downs is probably the biggest issue. It is not that they can’t do it, it is just that there are trade offs, possibly limitations in ram is the main issue for this.

  • Sony launched PS3 with massive OS footprint, probably not because the memory was actually being used, but Sony did not know what extra features they’d want to cram in and how much they would require.. Sure, they should have done some optimizations, but most of the memory was given away after they could stick in features under the planned budget.

    Sony constantly reduced the OS memory footprint, and they have kept the audio chat as a separate feature (if you use it, you have X mb’s less for your game’s other resources) If they had kept this within the OS footprint (that is, the memory required would always be reserved whatever the game is), we’d have more chance in having the feature. Since this was kept outside the OS footprint, it will be much harder to cram that up, unless there’s still some unused OS memory space..

  • im also in the camp who could care less about this feature. but i like for the PS3 to have as many features as possible whether or not i use them. so i guess technically i do support the feature.

  • derrickgott007

    There was an ad for PSN Plus that actually listed Cross Game Chat as a feature…Let me dig for the picture…

    This was actually put out from sony on an overseas sony site. Once people started freaking about cross game chat coming out, SONY pulled the picture…but not until screen shots were taken.

  • i’d quite like this feature if it was to get enveloped into the system and also at not extra cost! its getting a little out of hand with the constant purchases nowdays lol