A friendly heads-up for Wii owners: If you plan on buying Wii Speak, make sure you get a new one, because second-hand devices won’t be given access to the Wii Speak Channel.
The new Wii peripheral is a microphone that’s placed near the television to allow for voice chatting between online groups during gameplay. MTV Multiplayer was given one of the devices to try along with Animal Crossing: City Folk, but it can also be used for stand-alone voice chat over the Wii Speak Channel, which opens to the public in December.
But there’s a bit of a dirty trick here. New Wii Speak devices will come with a 16-character “download ticket” that will allow buyers to download and use the Wii Speak Channel, and that is the only way – the only way – to access it. A Nintendo rep confirmed that the channel won’t be available by any other means, including the Wii Shopping Channel, and according to the device’s manual, the code “cannot be replaced by Nintendo or your retailer if it is lost or stolen.”
So obviously it would be wise to be careful with your code when you get it, but just as important is to make sure you get one in the first place. Buying the devices used could very well net you a Wii Speak without the code, and while it will presumably still work with games that have the functionality built in, like Animal Crossing: City Folk, without the Wii Speak Channel you’ll be missing out on a lot.
Wii Speak goes on sale on November 16 in North America and December 5 in Europe.