So the Wii U
has a microphone and speaker built into the touchpad style controller and you would think that's all you would need to chat with your buddies online right? Wrong. Nintendo is asking that you plug in a third party headset
to the controller should you want to converse with your friends online, as reported by Ars Technica.
That seems a little silly considering all you need is right there in front of you when you play. Now, we all took a glance at the two headsets from Mad Catz and Turtle Beach at E3 and they are solid offerings, but really they shouldn't be needed for basic chat functionality.
And online chatting's still going to be limited on the Wii U as only some games will support this feature. Nintendo is letting third parties handle the online solutions for their own games, so don't expect any cross-game chat support.
It sounds like Nintendo just doesn't have a grasp of online integration yet as well as ease of use with chat functionality. Even if you're not going to do cross-game chatting, at least use the hardware you have provided to let others talk to each other in the games and applications that do support this. Don't make folks buy something else.