The lights are on
This week was full of smaller tidbits again, but there is one thing to which I would like to call attention. Earlier this week, we shared the news that the PlayStation 4 won't be quite ready to support existing headsets at launch. At times, we need to refer to our sources as anonymous. We can't always detail how we were able to break a story lest we imperil those whose confidence we have promised to keep.
This is not one of those situations.
The news hit us on Wednesday morning. Astro Gaming (a high-end gaming audio company) sent out an email to all its registered customers to let them know how their existing products will work on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We could have run that story immediately, but as someone who has reviewed dozens of headsets, I'm aware that there are different methods to get chat and game audio from the console to the headset.
We immediately reached out to Sony to understand which devices would work and which wouldn't. While Astro products pull chat audio via USB, some transmit via Bluetooth. The answer we later received from Sony's PlayStation PR team was a bullet point list.
Sony-branded headsets, Pulse wireless headsets, and Pulse elite headsets will not work at launch. They will require an update coming at some point in the future.
Bluetooth headsets won't work for chat at all (chat is currently the only thing transmitted over Bluetooth connection). Any other third-party, USB-enabled headset will require a post-launch patch. Our understanding is that game audio over USB will also require a post-launch patch, but some headsets (like Astro's products) that use the Toslink port will work out of the box. Rest assured that as a user (and lover) of gaming headsets, I'm following this story closely with regard to both the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's promised Xbox One chat adapter.
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They have been hinting towards the headset compatibility issues since E3 this came as no shocker, but I am surprised that the PlayStation brand headsets will not work at launch. You would think Sony would want to market these a little bit while working out the issues with the more enticing brands out there like Turtle Beach and the expensive Astros.
Great recap, thanks Mike.