Friday, 17 May 2024

5 Innovative Uses for a Handheld Microphone

Have you ever wondered why handheld gaming consoles like the DS and PSP have built-in microphones that seem underutilized? It always felt like blowing into the microphone was the only option for players. But what if there were more creative ways to incorporate this feature? As we enter the era of the 3DS and PS Vita, let’s explore a few exciting possibilities for handheld microphone integration.

Talk Your Way Through Stealth Games

Imagine playing a stealth game where your microphone picks up your whispers and shouts. Instead of relying solely on button presses, you could use your voice to distract enemies or communicate with NPCs. Manhunt briefly experimented with this concept by using headsets to alert enemies to your presence. This added a new level of intensity and challenge to the game.

Voice Recognition for Interactive Conversations

In games like Golden Sun or Phoenix Wright, it would have been great to have voice recognition for simple responses. Being able to say “yes” or “no” instead of navigating through menus would have enhanced immersion. Mass Effect 3 even incorporated voice commands using the Kinect, aiming to forge a stronger connection between players and characters.

Music-Driven Animations

Idle animations are common in games, usually depicting characters doing mundane activities. However, what if these animations reacted to the music playing in the background? For instance, if hip-hop was playing, the character could bob their head, or during a metal track, they could thrash around. This dynamic idle animation could add some personality without interrupting gameplay.

Profanity-Based Difficulty Scaling

Although blowing on the microphone might have been a technical limitation, imagine if it could detect profanity or certain words. This could be used to scale the difficulty of gameplay. For example, swearing during a challenging section could trigger helpful power-ups or temporary assistance. This feature could add a layer of fun and immersion to various games.

Respect for Public Environments

While these innovative microphone features would be exciting, it is crucial to consider public settings. Portable gaming consoles are frequently used in public, so it’s important to disable voice-activated controls in noisy environments. Disabling features like blowing into the microphone, voice recognition, and stealth game alerts in these situations would ensure a respectful and appropriate gaming experience.


Can I use these microphone features in existing handheld games?

Unfortunately, these features are hypothetical and not yet incorporated into handheld games. However, developers are always looking for new ways to enhance gameplay, so we may see some of these ideas come to life in the future.

Are there any handheld games that already utilize microphone features?

Yes, there are a few examples. Manhunt and Mass Effect 3 experimented with voice recognition, while other games like Nintendogs and Phoenix Wright incorporated limited voice commands. As technology continues to advance, we can expect more games to explore the potential of microphone integration.


The built-in microphones in handheld gaming consoles hold immense potential beyond simply blowing into them. By utilizing voice recognition, music-driven animations, and profanity-based difficulty scaling, game developers can create more immersive and interactive experiences for players. However, it’s important to consider the context in which these features are used to ensure a respectful gaming environment. Let’s anticipate future innovations that will harness the full capabilities of handheld microphones, making gaming even more exciting and engaging.