Animal Crossing Wii City Folk controversially appears to be Nintendo’s big Christmas title, looking similar but more detailed to the to the Gamecube version, this time you don’t just having your own small town to walk around, now you can now travel to nearby cities and do stuff there too, such as bid on items in the auction house, sell items to raise cash or even visit a beauty salon and get plastic surgery to look like your Mii (not sure what message that sends to kids, but still). Like the DS version Animal Crossing Wii is now online enabled and features many ways to interact with your friends, be it playing games or simply checking out their town to see how it compares with your own.
More interestingly is the addition of voice chat, yes you heard right, voice chat on Wii. The game is compatible with a brand new peripheral called the WiiSpeak microphone, a crescent moon shaped device which plugs into a USB socket and by default sits upon your sensor bar – though it probably could sit anywhere around the TV. Unlike the 360 and PS3 this microphone isn’t a headset but a community microphone, Nintendo say the microphone is sensitive enough to pick up a whole family’s chatter so they can all interact with your online buddies.
Nintendo haven’t told us if the Wii Speak microphone is backwards compatible with other online Wii games such as Mario Kart and Smash Bros but somehow we doubt it is, having said that it would technically possible even on the Wii, imagine the WiiSpeak software not being hard coded into each game you buy but installed as a Wii Channel that can run in the background before you load a game, much like a VOIP application such as Skype does on your PC.