PS3 Chat is SO BAD I’m Resorting to Skype


This is what voice chat is like playing Borderlands with my friend Steve:

“Henning, I PFFFFFFFFFT PFFFFFFFFFT the ________ while PFFFFFFFFT and _________ ________.”
“Steve, what? I can’t hear you. Can you say that again?”
“Henning? PFFFFFFFFFFFT. PFFFFFFFFFT. _______ ________ ________ .”
“Sorry, Steve, I can’t make you out at all.”
“______ ________ ______”
“Steve?”
“______ ________ ______”
“Steve?”

This is what voice chat is like playing MW2 with a group of six of us:

“I see a guy around the ______. Ah! he got me!”
“Yeah, I _______. I don’t think he’ll be a problem anymore.”
“No, he’s back. I think ________ ________ ________ white truck.”

This is voice chat playing with Steve on MotorStorm: Pacific Rift (I think it was…):

“Whoa! Did you see that?”
“Yeah! Dude, you have serious control issues!”
“That barrel jumped out at me like it had frog legs!”
“You idiot. You just can’t see past the end of your honking nose. Good for me, though. I’m gonna win cause of that.”

So what’s the deal here? Why is Borderlands SO bad and Pacific Rift is SO good? And why does MW2 kinda fall in between?

I heard somewhere that Microsoft basically handles the voice chat for developers, while Sony devs have to do a lot more work. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but my experiences seem to corroborate that sentiment. And it’s really really starting to annoy me.

So a week ago when I was playing Borderlands with Steve I pulled out my iPhone, booted up Skype, and lay it on my chest. Steve had his laptop (I think) next to him running Skype. So Steve and I played Borderlands using Skype for voice chat. Did it work? Like a charm! I had no issues whatsoever. His voice was as clear as fiber optic glass. I never missed a word, and he didn’t ask me to repeat myself once. To be clear: Skype was running over the same internet connection I was using to play the game. So it’s not an internet bandwidth thing (in case any of you are thinking that).

Sony really needs to step up to the plate here. They need to improve the Bluetooth chat. Improve the USB chat. Make a rock solid library for ALL developers to use so that EVERY game has rock solid voice chat. Why bother with online gaming if you can’t communicate effectively?

Come on Sony, work with me here!


Written by: Blackstaffer - News Contributor


  1. #1 by premiersoupir on October 8th, 2010 [ 17020 Points ]

    Yes, annoying. Something that makes the problem even worse is that people can use the Eye as a mic, and it is terrible for that purpose. Also the Eye in particular tends to pick up game noises, so when I play MAG with people who are chatting thus, there’s a constant echo of gunshots, game announcements, etc.

  2. #2 by Oly on October 8th, 2010 [ 132360 Points ]

    I’ve never had issues as bad as you are saying, however there are definately issues with it. I might have to give skype or another program a try tho…

    Also great to hear you are playing BORDERLANDS!!

  3. #3 by derrickgott007 on October 8th, 2010

    That Sony blutooth headset you showed is AWESOME!!! I got it and so did my friend and when we play MW2 we both get HD audio and our conversation is clear. Alot of it has to do with the headsets people use.

  4. #4 by Flashray on October 8th, 2010 [ 90 Points ]

    Blutooth headsets aren’t the best for sound quality.. by far
    If you get a decent headset then sound quality will be extremely awesome with “3D sound” kinda because you have different speakers that work at different times etc depending on the current game situation. And the mics on them work very good.

    But I agree, sony fails with the chat function.

  5. #5 by Paranoimia on October 8th, 2010

    Yes, perhaps Sony should step in with default libraries. But I lay the blame squarely at the door of the developers.

    I mean, c’mon, this is simple voice chat – how hard can it be? A developer only has to create their own system once – that’s all, just the once – and use it in their future games. Something like this shouldn’t have to fall to Sony – any dev worth their salt should be able to do this with their eyes shut.

    Okay, we can say Sony should do it. But equally, it shouldn’t be beyond any half-decent developer to create their own libraries to use in their own games. If they’d done so right at the start, it wouldn’t be an issue now.

    One of the very first PS3 games – Resistance – still to this day has some of the best quality comms on PS3; game after game after game, it was just like being on the phone to my clan buddies. If Insomniac could do that back then, in my opinion there really is no excuse other than laziness, lack of ability, or a lousy “that’ll do” attitude on the part of other devs for the shoddy comms in their games today.

  6. #6 by Blackstaffer on October 8th, 2010 [ 7261 Points ]

    I have the offical Sony Bluetooth headset, and I also have the Tritton AX PRO’s. It doesn’t seem to matter which I use – the sound quality seems to be more game dependent than device dependent. That said, I think those devices are so good that they basically take device out of the equation. That is, the devices are as good as they can get, and so any issues I have are with the developer’s implementation of voice chat.

    Paranoimia: point taken. But I would rather have voice chat that works than to have headaches because there are lazy developers out there.

  7. #7 by Smegmazor on October 8th, 2010

    Some games have crappy voice chat and others don’t. It’s been like this since PS3 launched. The skype method seems like a good alternative to communicating in game with buddies/ teammates, however, not everyone does skype.

    premiersoupir,

    I hate it when people use the camera for a mic on MAG. lol. For that matter, any shooter.

  8. #8 by premiersoupir on October 8th, 2010 [ 17020 Points ]

    Skype’s a great option for playing with friends (or clanmates), but it’s no good for casual games, obviously. Or MAG — you gonna skype with 127 teammates? Wish the PS3 VoIP tech would just work properly.

  9. #9 by donifar on October 8th, 2010 [ 890 Points ]

    i just dont understand why voice is hard to implement. it has been around forever, and is required for any multiplayer game.

  10. #10 by derrickgott007 on October 8th, 2010

    Alot of it depends on the host of said game in question also. Ping times have a crap load to do with voip quality. I’ve seen voip work perfectly on 33k speeds because the ping time was 1 millisecond. So it doesn’t matter if you have 30mbs internet, if your ping time is 350ms it’s going to sound like crap. (I know for a fact because I handle a cable system of 22,000 customers, and I handle the distribution of both voip and internet.

    So in closing remember, when the game was being developed it was tested on a closed system (sub 10ms ping times) and when the game is released it depends on hosts and their ping times. I’ve seen people play ps3 on satellite Internet and that ping time is at the least 350ms. I’ve also seen people play on junky routers which give them 200ms ping times. Mine runs a constant 23ms.

    Our limit for pingtimes in my cable system is 45ms. Any more than that and digital phone is affected. What is digital phone you ask?? VOIP.. plain and simple. So if a stand alone digital phone doesnt work past 45ms, how do you think your voip in the game will work past 45ms?

    Go to http://www.pingtest.net and check your ping time and jitter, you might be suprised what you find.

  11. #11 by Emrah on October 9th, 2010 [ 7319 Points ]

    Cross game audio chat would override game’s own chat features, and would unify the quality, hopefully in a good way. Ps3 fan[boys] continuously underrate its importance.

  12. #12 by Tosh on October 9th, 2010 [ 1102 Points ]

    Mine is 68ms jitter is 11ms, is that decent derrickgott007?

  13. #13 by UbeRamza on October 9th, 2010 [ 915 Points ]

    derrickgott007:

    Alot of it depends on the host of said game in question also. Ping times have a crap load to do with voip quality. I’ve seen voip work perfectly on 33k speeds because the ping time was 1 millisecond. So it doesn’t matter if you have 30mbs internet, if your ping time is 350ms it’s going to sound like crap. (I know for a fact because I handle a cable system of 22,000 customers, and I handle the distribution of both voip and internet.

    So in closing remember, when the game was being developed it was tested on a closed system (sub 10ms ping times) and when the game is released it depends on hosts and their ping times. I’ve seen people play ps3 on satellite Internet and that ping time is at the least 350ms. I’ve also seen people play on junky routers which give them 200ms ping times. Mine runs a constant 23ms.

    Our limit for pingtimes in my cable system is 45ms. Any more than that and digital phone is affected. What is digital phone you ask?? VOIP.. plain and simple. So if a stand alone digital phone doesnt work past 45ms, how do you think your voip in the game will work past 45ms?

    Go to http://www.pingtest.net and check your ping time and jitter, you might be suprised what you find.  

    ^

    Damn dude, thanks for breaking that down. That answered alot of my questions right there.

  14. #14 by UbeRamza on October 9th, 2010 [ 915 Points ]

    Emrah:

    Cross game audio chat would override game’s own chat features, and would unify the quality, hopefully in a good way. Ps3 fan[boys] continuously underrate its importance.  

    ^

    I have been adamantly opposed to cgc since everyone started begging for it but if that helped raise the quality of voice chat during all online matches then I’m all for it.
    I really want the official Sony blue tooth headset and I have wanted it for a long time. It looks awesome and people say it works really well. I want it damn it!!! Luckily I have a Jawbone Icon that I use until I get the official headset and it works great for me.

  15. #15 by derrickgott007 on October 9th, 2010 [ 871 Points ]

    Also if you have multiple devises on your network and the ps3 isn’t set to receive the best QOS on your router you will get jitter and high ping times. Keep in mind most people never set up their networks correctly. If you have 5 devices sharing the network it will usually put the ps3 last in QOS.

  16. #16 by Emrah on October 9th, 2010 [ 7319 Points ]

    UbeRamza: CGC (XGC?) really has the potential to provide a better experience not only for unifying the quality, but it will be beneficial for continuous communication even after leaving a server in a game..

  17. #17 by Eddie on October 9th, 2010 [ 44542 Points ]

    My bluetooth has always worked fine for me in game chat for every game I’ve used it for. I have a Plantronics Discovery. I think the bluetooth quality plays a larger role in this determination then anything.

  18. #18 by kennygk on October 9th, 2010 [ 25823 Points ]

    Yah i have the bluetooth headset and its worked fine for me


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