updated 07:50 pm EDT, Tue July 10, 2007
Xbox 360 Chatpad
Microsoft has released the Xbox 360 Messenger Kit, an integrated chat and game control device that attaches as an appendage to Xbox 360 controllers. The kit is designed for chatting via keyboard with other users through Xbox LIVE and Windows-based PCs while maintaining game-play functionality. It includes the Chatpad keyboard, which sports backlit buttons for typing in dark environments, and and an Xbox 360 Headset. The kit is priced at $30. In April, Microsoft announced new instant messaging functions for users of the Xbox 360, allowing users connect and chat directly from their television with a network of more than 260 million active users. At that time, the Redmond-based company announced plans for a "QWERTY text-input device (pictured), which will connect directly into the Xbox 360 controller to support text and instant messaging," embodied in the new Chatpad.