Today, on Major Nelson's blog, Microsoft showed off the Xbox One's new voice chat. But voice chat is voice chat, right? What could be different. Well, the quality for one. Listened to side by side, the difference is stark...
First listen to the quality of what we currently have on the Xbox 360...
Now listen to the quality on Xbox One:
Regardless of your cynicism about the console, that's a pretty clear difference. Apparently the increase in quality has a lot to do with Skype.
"Thanks to integration with Skype’s audio codec," says the blog, "which has a proven track record of high-quality voice through billions of hours of use within Skype, as well as dedicated audio processing (for Xbox One conversations via Skype and multiplayer party chats), Xbox One offers higher quality voice chat with the Xbox One Chat Headset compared to Xbox 360—whether you’re chatting in-game or through party chat with Skype on Xbox One.
"But the improvements don’t stop there. The Xbox One Wireless Controller’s new expansion port dramatically expands the data transfer rate between the controller and console. Combined with Skype’s audio codec, this enables crystal-clear digital audio with the Xbox One Chat Headset, both capturing and rendering speech at 24 KHz PCM, which is triple the rendering sample rate and a 50 percent capture rate improvement over Xbox 360 headsets. And, as we shared before, the Xbox One Chat Headset comes with every Xbox One console."
What are your thoughts — is the quality of voice chat important to you? I think it's great that voice chat has improved, but I'm not sure if it'll make a difference to my overall experience. Regardless, it's a cool upgrade.