With all the discussion over used games, price tags, and motion controllers recently few could have predicted that the next-gen dialogue would extend to include, of all things, headsets. Yet here we are, talking about Microsoft’s Xbox One and its incompatibility with legacy headsets.

As we have already reported, the Xbox One will not support current Xbox 360 headsets, although Microsoft is working on an adapter. What we didn’t know (until now) is why Microsoft decided to change the port on the Xbox One controller thereby locking out thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of headsets.

According to a Microsoft representative (via Game Informer), the new Xbox One wireless controller was designed for faster transfer speeds between controller and console. We’re not exactly sure what that means, per say, but we’d suspect it has something to do with cutting down latency.

Because the Xbox One controller has been redesigned for faster transfer speeds, Microsoft also needed to revamp their expansion port. This port, however, isn’t just for headsets anymore, but will eventually support other “add-on devices.”

Here’s the full statement:

“The Wireless Controller has been redesigned to allow for higher data transfer speed between the controller and the console. This also required creating a new expansion port design for headsets and future controller add-on devices which is different from a standard audio plug input.  Xbox plans to develop solutions in the near future to allow consumers to connect many brands of wired gaming headsets to the Wireless Controller for gaming and chat audio.”

That last bit is probably the most important piece of news as it confirms Microsoft is developing a standard audio port adapter for the Xbox One controller. With this adapter, gamers could presumably use any of their headsets with the Xbox One controller. That means those 7.1 Surround Sound, Xbox 360-only headsets gamers spent over $100 on won’t go to waste.

At one point, the Xbox One headset was a non-issue, but then Microsoft announced the peripheral would be sold separately. Now, Microsoft has drawn undue attention over their decision to redesign the headset port.

And even if Microsoft is making an effort to support other headsets, one has to wonder why they didn’t see this consumer backlash coming. And more importantly whether or not these higher data transfer speeds will be a noticeable benefit. They’ve already hurt their public image enough with talk of 24 hour online checks and used game blocking, so why add something as insignificant as a headset to the conversation.

Do you buy that Microsoft redesigned the Xbox One controller for faster transfer speeds? How do you feel about having to buy an adapter in order to use your legacy headset?

The Xbox One will be out this November.

Source: Game Informer