Prepackaged codes ensure only new purchasers of the peripheral will have access to the Wii Speak Channel.
Nintendo's innovative group voice chat peripheral, Wii Speak, was released earlier this week either separately for $29.99 or in a bundle with Animal Crossing: City Folk for $69.99. The chat function for Animal Crossing: City Folk is immediately accessible for any players that have registered one another as friends.
For the first time, Animal Crossing fans will be able to interact through voice with a whole room full of people. Wii Speak acts as a large microphone that players set down on a surface with no worries of microphones or headsets.
Every new Wii Speak peripheral includes a code for the download of the new Wii Speak Channel. People will have the ability to chat worldwide with any registered Wii system friend. While users chat, they will see a Mii representation of themselves on the TV screen. Parents will also have the option to set controls on the device through the Wii, limiting their children's access to Wii Speak.
The peripheral seems to have become an issue of debate because of the methodology in which the Wii Speak Channel is acquired. MTV Multiplayer revealed last week that a code is being packaged with the peripheral to enable download of the channel, though it is only good for one download. Nintendo states in the Wii Speak pamphlet that the code "cannot be replaced by Nintendo or your retailer if it is lost or stolen."
This is a very large concern, because it severely limits the usage of the product if purchased used. Anyone who purchases Wii Speak used will not be able to download the associated channel when it becomes available in December. Because the code is only available in new Wii Speak packages, anyone who would like the channel will need to buy a brand new Wii Speak to use it. However, player will be able to use it in future Wii titles including Sega's first person shooter, The Conduit.
Other concerns such as performance malfunctions are also popping up from concerned consumers. Many customers have reported problems with echoing, screeching, and poor sound quality among other issues with Wii Speak. Nintendo has recently posted a Wii Speak troubleshooting section on their website, and enourages people having problems to read over their suggestions in order to get their Wii Speaks performing optimally.