NGamer magazine has been having a play around with Nintendo's new Wii Speak microphone peripheral and new Wii Speak Channel today, with the initial responses to Nintendo's new hardware being a little underwhelming.

Matthew Castle, Games Editor on NGamer, told TechRadar: "Wii Speak is quite different to the rival consoles' headset chat. The mic is aimed at a general gaming space as opposed to the individual mouth, so the actual sound quality suffers.

"The recording we made of ourselves was clear enough, but it was slightly muffled by the distance you sit from the mic."

No real surprise there then, as the sound quality of a Bluetooth headset on PS3 or wired headset on your Xbox 360 is always going to sound better than a small microphone sitting on top of your telly.

Clean-looking design

NGamer's Matthew Castle adds: "The actual Wii Speak channel is your usual Nintendo affair - very clean looking, with Mii avatars. A general lobby shows you which friends are currently online (the channel uses your general Wii friends as opposed to giving you a new friend code) and entering a chat takes you into a private conversation room.

"In here, your on-screen Mii mouths along to your words and you have the option to bring up pictures from the photo channel mid-chat. Finally you can record 10 second messages to leave on the message board, or send to another Wii."

All-in, if you own a Wii and you have mates or family that also play Animal Crossing, the new Wii version of Nintendo's once-cult (now firmly mainstream) classic, Animal Crossing: Let's Go to the City is well worth investing in, along with a new Wii Speak mic.

If you are not so keen on tending virtual gardens or taking little cartoon men fishing, then you may want to give Wii Speak a wide swerve.