October 22, 2013, 6:00 AM —
Last week I made the argument that the Playstation 4's lack of support for USB and Bluetooth headsets was Sony's first major blunder in its launch plans for the new console. In that post I pointed out that Xbox 360 owners planning to upgrade to the Xbox One will have a similar problem, but the purchase of an adapter will solve it.
Well it seems I spoke too soon. While Microsoft is still planning to sell an adapter, it's another piece of the puzzle that is going to miss launch. The source of this new info is headphone maker Turtle Beach by way of CVG.
Turtle Beach sent out a press release saying its new Xbox One headsets, the XO Four and XO Seven, won't ship until early 2014 because the required adapter won't be ready until then.
Wait, what? Wasn't this adapter just for use with old headsets? Apparently not. Microsoft will provide Turtle Beach with adapters that they'll include bundled with their new headsets. CVG was confused by this too and they reached out to Turtle Beach corporate communications rep David Lowey, who confirmed that yup, third party headsets are going to require an adapter.
This is more "odd" than it is a problem, as long as the adapter comes packed in with your new headset. The problem here is that at launch the adapter won't be available for purchase for those of us who already own 360 headsets. We're all going to be setting those aside and using the packed-in chat headset or worse, the Kinect sensor, until the adapter becomes available in early 2014. (Remember originally Microsoft wasn't even going to include a headset with the Xbox One; I guess it's a good thing that plan changed.)
I feel like the closer we get to the launch of these new consoles, the less it makes sense to buy them yet. Between games like Watch Dogs (Xbox One and PS4),
TitanFall (Xbox One) [My mistake; I had it in my head that TitanFall was announced as a launch title last June, but I had that wrong.] and Drive Club (PS4) being delayed, and these hiccups with accessories, the smart decision is probably to wait 6 months and just enjoy all the excellent games coming for the PS3 and/or Xbox 360 this winter. It's just starting to feel like no one is quite ready for launch: not Microsoft, not Sony, and not 3rd party developers.
Unfortunately for me, when it comes to new consoles I'm not very smart, so my pre-orders for both will stand. But when someone asks me which console they should get this Christmas, I generally tell them neither and that they should wait a while until the libraries improve and these little details all get sorted out.
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.