If you have a rather expensive gaming headset that you were planning to use with your brand-new PlayStation 4 or Xbox One next month, I have some bad news. Two separate reports have confirmed that third-party headsets won't work on either console at launch.
Last week, Turtle Beach announced the continuation of an ongoing partnership with Microsoft and the upcoming release of two Xbox One headsets, the XO Four and the XO Seven. Turtle Beach says both headsets aren't coming until 2014 because that's when Microsoft will have its headset adapter ready (the adapter will come with each model). CVG confirmed with Turtle Beach that that adapter will be needed for all old and new headsets on Xbox One, due to the proprietary data port on the system.
On the PlayStation 4 side, GameInformer confirmed with Sony that third-party headsets are a no-go at launch. A system update will be required to use a Sony-branded headset, Sony Pulse gaming headset, Sony Pulse Elite, or any headset that needs a USB connection. That system update has not be given a tentative release date. Bluetooth headsets will not be supported at all, with no fix on the horizon. Third-party headsets that use the digital optical port will work for game sound, but not chat.
Both systems do come with cheap headsets in the box for chat purposes, but that's little solace for players who have spent $200+ on their high-end gaming headsets for chat and in-game audio. Once again, that "early 2014" date pops up, showing that perhaps neither console was ready for this holiday season. Of course, this issue only affects enthusiast-level consumers; Sony and Microsoft likely assume they'll buy one of the systems either way. Given that assumption they probably think those players will be fine waiting for three or four months to use their headsets. The fans will suffer for their fandom.
I've never personally jumped in on a tricked-out gaming headset - the Logitech G35 I use for PC costs around $70 - but I can see the appeal. I've messed with Astro Gaming, Tritton, and Turtle Beach headsets at conferences and other events. I've been impressed by the sound quality, but can't bring myself to spend over $100 for a headset. I tend to spend my cash on PC gear, like a video card, or more games.
So who out there uses a high-end headset for their console gaming?