A new Wii Chat Channel is coming to the Nintendo Wii in December, Nintendo announced today. News of the new Wii channel was buried in an update release regarding Animal Crossing: City Folk, which will be the first game to support in-game chat using the new Wii Speak peripheral.
The Wii Speak Channel, an independent channel in the Wii “dashboard,” will allow friends and family members to chat even outside of Animal Crossing: City Folk whether they live across town or across the globe. It’s essentially like the current independent chat channel on Xbox Live. When users are chatting with the Wii Speak Channel, they will be able to see one another’s Mii on the television screen.
The new voice chat function uses the new Wii Speak accessory, a microphone that sits on top of the television and allows entire rooms of people to communicate with one another. Only users who have traded Friend Codes can connect with one another using Wii Speak. The accessory is sold separately at an MSRP of $29.99 and will also be available as a $69.99 bundle with Animal Crossing: City Folk.
The Wii Speak accessory will ship with a code that lets users download the Wii Speak Channel from the Wii Shop Channel at no charge.