Microsoft Confirms 8 Person Party Chat
Yesterday, it was announced that the PlayStation (PS) 4 will be supporting live eight-person chat like the PS Vita currently does. Since Sony's announcement, Game Informer reached out to Microsoft to see if it could reveal that it too will be supporting up to eight people in chat on the XBox One. They confirmed that this would indeed be the case.
Old Spec, New News
With this announcement coming after the song and dance Sony made about their party chat yesterday, it feels as if Microsoft have taken to mimicking their competitors.
However, when you look deeper into the issue, it's not at all the case. The XBox 306 (via Kinect) already has eight-person party chat, where the PS3 doesn't. So if anything, the PS4 is copying the XBox 360, and the XBox One is merely continuing what has already become the norm for its hardware. The only difference is that, with the Kinect coming as standard with the XBox One, users will no longer need to buy separate hardware.
More Pressing Matters
Party chat is not going to be what wins fans over: that will come down to the titles available at launch for each machine. But if people are really concerned about each console's chat features, XBox users might want to be a bit more concerned about reports from back in August that XBox Live's chat won't be compatible across the new and the older platform i.e. you won't be able to chat to XBox 360 friends through your XBox One.
With title's such as Call of Duty: Ghosts being available on both XBox consoles, this could be a real inconvenience. This is apparently due to a higher-quality CODEC being used with the XBox One, causing incompatibility issues. However, MajorNelson mentioned on XBox One's Reddit forums that this may change.
Furthermore, gamers should probably be concerned that on both consoles, the limit is a measly eight people. This is particularly pertinent with some titles like Battlefield 4 supporting multiplayer games of between 10 and a staggering 64 players. Being able to chat to a mere octet of friends suddenly doesn't look too flush when it comes to talking strategy and communicating with your wider warfaring companions.
But after all, all this talk is specifically aimed at what will and what won't be supported on day one of either's launch. So don't lose heart yet and keep your ear to the ground.