— the Mac-only online game matching and chat service — now supports in-game voice communication. The feature is exclusive for Mac OS X users who have GameRanger’s Premium service.
With GameRanger, gamers can join or host more than 120 different commercial, freeware and shareware Mac games for online play. The service also features a built-in chat function and the ability to track popular multiplatform games through their master directory servers. GameRanger’s basic services are free, though some functions — including this voice feature — require the company’s subscription-based Premium service.
The new voice feature mirrors similar capabilities found on online gaming services for PCs and consoles, which allow users to communicate with each other on systems equipped with microphones. GameRanger indicated that the service works without any need to remap ports on users’ routers or the use of any external applications.
Automatic team channels are provided for supported games — this way, according to GameRanger’s developer Scott Kevill, the service can be used by players to send their voices just to teammates or to everyone. You can configure which stereo location (left or right) to use for voice channels, and you can also select the output device where voice communication should come from — for example, you can route voice to your headset, while game sounds come from your computer’s speakers.
GameRanger, in service for over three years, supports more than 100 game titles, including many popular commercial games from leading Mac game publishers. The service has over 130,000 registered members.