View Full Version : Gaming through a Playstation/Xbox/Wii question

12-31-2012, 06:13 AM

I am posting to find out how gaming works when people connect through a playstation/xbox. I know someone can connect and play with someone at another location and speak through a headset to them? Maybe. This is what I think I know. But can you also sometimes see the person your gaming with? Does this work like skype or is it skyping while playing the game at the same time?

In my story, I wanted to have my character connect and wait for the other person join. then I wanted the other person to come online and be able to see my character before my character knows his partner has joined. Is this possible?
thanks for any help.

Mark Moore
12-31-2012, 06:26 AM
I have a PS3, and I don't *believe* the players can see each other (unless there's some kind of webcam accessory).

As for chatting, I recall reading somewhere that, unlike on Xbox 360, players can't chat during a game, only when they're out of a game. Again, I'm not certain.

12-31-2012, 06:29 AM
Thanks for your input, Mark! I know my nephew has a headset and he screams and yells at his opponent during a game. Not sure what system he has. Maybe an xbox. hmmm

Katrina S. Forest
12-31-2012, 11:19 AM
There is an option to video chat through Xbox 360, but it's not part of any game (as far as I know). It's an option you'd go to from the main menu and you'd have to be online friends with the person already:

Video chatting with random strangers on system that a lot of kids use would probably not end well.

I believe all chatting in games is audio only and not all games have this option, though many do. For multiplayer games that require the players to cooperate instead of compete, chatting with each other is often an essential part of play. With competitive games (racing games, fighting games, ect.), it's mostly just a way for players to chat while playing.

Also, you can choose not to put on a microphone if don't care to talk back to anyone. You can still hear whatever they're saying through their mic, though. The sound comes right over the sound of the game. (There's usually an icon of some kind in-game to indicate if the other player is using a mic or not.)

Generally what you see when you meet random players online is an avatar image. So if all the characters playing have designed their avatars to look like themselves (and/or used online nicknames that would mean something to people who know them in real life), they might recognize each other just from that. And yes, you can sit in those "waiting for other players to join" screens for a bit so it's entirely possible that two people could sit there and have an audio-only conversation waiting for a third person to join.

12-31-2012, 11:46 AM
Thanks for your input, Mark! I know my nephew has a headset and he screams and yells at his opponent during a game. Not sure what system he has. Maybe an xbox. hmmm
Maybe he is just screaming and yelling at the action on the screen, much as some people 'talk' to the TV set or at a movie?

12-31-2012, 03:54 PM
You can chat in-game on a PS3, and you can video chat, but not at the same time; there is a separate video chat feature you can only use outside a game and with people you have marked as "friends". I think this can be turned off through parental controls.

The ability to chat in-game does vary from title to title - squad-based shooters rely heavily upon it, whereas stealthy PVP action like Assassin's Creed tends to eschew it.

FPS's like COD do have some amount of barracking other players you're fighting against, which is often where the voice changer software on a PS3 comes into use - there's a pitch shifter so a 13yr old won't sound so weedy when they start hurling insults...

12-31-2012, 04:20 PM
Slight temporary derail here.

I don't own an X-box or a Playstation.

I use a PC and regularly play PORTAL 2 with my neighbour and chat away while doing so, either on open speakers/mike or headphones/mike.

Each of us controls one of the two characters and you have to chat in real time and work together to solve the puzzles. I don't see my neighbour - only the characters within the game environment.

Great fun. Worth trying if you haven't done so. We use Steam but I'm sure there are other links.

Back to normal programming....

12-31-2012, 04:44 PM
Sound-only chat on the xbox for the games I own (the video chat app is separate ... for good reason, I think...and it sort off works like Skype and is only with 'friends').

Once you join a session in a multiplayer game, you can hear/talk to the other people in that same session both in the 'waiting room' as you wait for others to join as well as during the game itself. This could be a really simple game like Poker, or a FPS like Halo. Some RPGs let you play co-op with your friends (Fable 2/3) and you can talk to them during that time. Stealth games (Assassin's Creed was already mentioned) avoid this for obvious reasons.

Potentially, if your player has kinect, it is possible to use the kinect as a microphone during the game. However, I doubt this is very popular, mainly because it is not a particularly good microphone as well as the fact that it will turn off any in-game voice control functionality. However, theoretically, if the kinect is turned on as the microphone, then it might be possible to hear what is going on in the room (as opposed to a headset, which won't realistically register anything but what is spoken straight into it).

A more plausible angle might be if someone 'hacked' in and turned on the xbox/kinect or PS3/webcam. Articles exist detailing the dangers of such...

12-31-2012, 04:48 PM
Thanks everyone for the help. So he could open a video chat screen and wait for his friend and then they could talk and decide what game to play? Can the web cam in someone elses house come on without them accepting the invite? I know it can't with skype.

edited to add, I see Tara posted before I finished!
Thanks for the help Tara. I think I have my answer. I'll need to make the other player just come on in voice only and startle my MC. :)

J.W. Alden
12-31-2012, 04:56 PM
Most of the bases have been covered (most games feature real-time audio chat, but not video), but I'd like to point out that there are rare instances of webcams being utilized for multiplayer.

There's a game called Burnout Paradise (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnout_Paradise) in which a picture is snapped of the "loser" of a multiplayer session at the moment the session ends to capture his reaction and show it to the winner. This feature was included on all versions of the game (PS3, Xbox, and PC), but could only be used if you had the respective webcam accessory. And of course, it's just still images, not video. And I've heard it wasn't long before many players began to game the system, anticipating the picture and making a weird face, or mooning the camera, that sort of thing.

There might be other games that further utilize webcams for multiplayer, but that's the only one that popped into my mind. The problem is that for both Xbox and PS3, the webcam accessories are separate purchases (whereas headsets for audio chat usually come packed in with the console), so game developers can't always count on their userbase owning one. This discourages them from spending time and resources on features that incorporate their use, unless the game itself was built around the hardware (i.e. kinect or playstation move games).

Can the web cam in someone elses house come on without them accepting the invite? I know it can't with skype.

I'm pretty sure that can't happen, but I'll admit I've never actually used the video chat feature on either console.

12-31-2012, 05:00 PM
Interesting Alden...might be able to use that in a story.

12-31-2012, 05:08 PM
So he could open a video chat screen and wait for his friend and then they could talk and decide what game to play? Can the web cam in someone elses house come on without them accepting the invite? I know it can't with skype.

I don't think you can see someone else's video feed without them accepting your invite. It takes a few consciously made steps for the invite to be sent and/or for them to accept it.

As for the first question...yes, it's possible they could do this. But, I don't think it's the norm. They'd play a game alone (or with others) until the green alert blinks on and tells them their friend just came online. They can then initiate a private voicechat with that friend while continuing to play their current game. Here's the thing-do you really need to 'see' someone in order to decide what game to play?

Now, of course, if they're really close and living on different corners of the country and really miss each other, they might video chat for other reasons (just to catch up) and this chat could later lead them to later decide to play a game together.

01-07-2013, 09:00 PM
Just from what I know from my husband and son who are both Xbox 360 gamers:

I don't know about actually seeing each other through the game console, but I do know they are able to talk to each other. My son has a group of 5 friends he talks to on there.

In order to "play the same game", they send invites to each other. For instance, my son would sent out an invite to a friend that would say the friend is invited to join the campaign. Or however it's worded. They either accept or decline. If they accept, then they join the game (as long as both people each have the same game).

I think like up to 10 people can join the same game. Each console allows four players. My son's 14th birthday was spent him and his friends playing "Halo 4" with my husband. My husband and son each have their own headset/microphone and can talk to everyone.