One aspect of playing games online, is the ability to talk to people while you're doing it. Using microphones, both wired and wireless, allows players all over the world to talk to complete strangers, catch up with old friends, or just make small talk with their best friend, all while playing their favorite games. But, while headphone/microphone combinations may still be the item of choice for communication online for most gamers, Nintendo (and more recently, Microosft) wanted people to be able to talk without the headset, so more people could communicate all at once. That's why WiiSpeak was introduced with the Wii version of Animal Crossing, so you could sit and chat with a friend, without having to worry about a headset.
WiiSpeak is a device that sits on top of your TV, or anywhere else you want to put it (as long as it can still connect to your Wii), and you just talk. The WiiSpeak picks up all the sound in the room, and so you can speak normally to whoever you are playing with, or talking to, without the headset. But, it looks like if you want to play developer High Voltage's Conduit 2 for the Wii, you'll have to use a headset, anyway. According to the developer's Chief Creative Officer Eric Nofsinger, Nintendo told High Voltage not to use WiiSpeak for their upcoming title, in which you'll be able to access Rival mode, pitting you against friends and strangers alike in an online versus mode.
According to Nofsinger, third party manufacturer PDP's Headbanger headset, which is a traditional wired headset, will be what the developer suggests players use, and not WiiSpeak. It's not often that you hear that a company tells a developer not to use a certain feature, especially one that Nintendo obviously thought would do well. The specifics behind the action are unknown, but obviously Nintendo doesn't believe the peripheral is up to par.
[via TG Daily]