Despite clearly having PC roots, Microsoft has always wanted
to distance the Xbox console from the desktop computer. Because of this, the
Xbox consoles never received official keyboard and mouse accessories, despite
continued gamer requests. In contrast, Sony has never been shy from adding PC
peripherals to its consoles. The PlayStation 2 supported USB keyboard and mice,
which is carried over to the PlayStation 3.
Now, it looks like Microsoft is finally softening its stance
on the keyboard issue, though the mouse still remains taboo. First seen in a GameSpot story (that now no longer
exists on the site), are renders of an Xbox 360 controller with a QWERTY keypad
Reports say that the QWERTY keypad will be its own separate
accessory that will attach neatly to the bottom of the Xbox 360 controller,
though it is currently unknown exactly how the device will latch on and interface
with the controller. From the pictures, it appears that the keypad will cover
the port on the bottom of the controller used for the headset connection.
Release date is set for the summer, but pricing has yet to be announced.
The purpose of the QWERTY keypad add-on is likely the rumored
addition of Windows Live Messenger functionality into the next Xbox 360 Spring