Microsoft Japan has officially unveiled the Xbox Video Chat package that will enable Xbox users to communicate over Live! Finally, keen video chatters will be able to perform hilarious and inappropriate visual jokes in front of virtual strangers in between rounds of Top Spin or PGR2.
The kit will be available in Japan first, which seems to be Microsoft’s attempt to prove that it understands this market. However, simply offering a video chat service may be insufficient to significantly encourage Xbox sales straight away.
The Xbox Video chat package will consist of an Xbox Video Camera, Xbox Communicator, Xbox Video Chat disc and a 12 month subscription to Xbox Live! all for 6,800 Yen (just under £35). It will allow up to five people to participate in a video-fuelled frenzy of verbal diarrhoea, enhanced by the usual sound effects and voice masking capabilities.
Sony’s Eyetoy and Nintendo’s mysterious ‘Manebito’ camera have already pioneered the webcam as a gaming-related peripheral, so it will be interesting to see if Microsoft follows suit once its Xbox Video Cameras are made generally available.
There has been no talk of the US or European versions as yet, but Microsoft is sure to launch a similar package shortly after its Japanese efforts have gone Live!