Everyone already knows how inconvenient friend codes are for Nintendo's online titles, but I just read this brief article that confirms that Mario Kart for the Wii will be limited to text chat only. To me, it's bad enough that the ps3 didn't come with a headset (meaning over half of the people playing games online haven't bothered with buying one seperately, myself included), but at least the functionality's still there.
Is it just me, or is online console gaming without voice chat capabilities pretty much a joke? I know Nintendo isn't targeting the same market that the ps3 and 360 are, but I have to wonder why even bother at all if you can't toss the fans a bone with voice chat. Understand that I don't own a Wii myself and have no plans to get one in the near future, but even as someone who has long tired of Nintendo's relentless recycling of their franchises I'll admit that Mario Kart and Smash Bros. seem like a great time online. Before anyone chimes in about how many rotten-mouthed brats play Halo 3, realize that you have the option to mute them and ideally the Wii should be no different. Why punish those who enjoy the social aspects of online gaming?