Print 31 comment(s) - last by djequi.. on Apr 12 at 1:04 PM

The Xbox 360 controller gets a QWERTY keypad for messaging

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 attached.

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 Update.

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Bit hard to type
By Zurtex on 4/9/2007 1:56:12 AM , Rating: 3
That looks pretty hard to type on and pretty difficult to hold as a controller.

I don't know if any of you remember the gamecube controller keyboard, it looked a bit more silly but at least it looked o.k to type with and manageable to control.

But who knows, maybe people will find it o.k

RE: Bit hard to type
By ObscureCaucasian on 4/9/2007 9:16:45 AM , Rating: 3
It won't be as fast as a keyboard, but people IM on phones and thats far from optimal.

RE: Bit hard to type
By encryptkeeper on 4/9/2007 9:33:42 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, this does look hard to type on, but it's nice to see them build this into an extra controller. I will however say, I believe that these pictures may have been edited by photoshop. Just my opinion though.

RE: Bit hard to type
By dice1111 on 4/9/2007 10:35:01 AM , Rating: 2
Note: They aren't pictures but computer renders, as per the article.

RE: Bit hard to type
By encryptkeeper on 4/9/2007 12:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
Oops, must have missed that.

RE: Bit hard to type
By BladeVenom on 4/9/2007 1:14:02 PM , Rating: 3
It's as fat and ugly as Rosie O'Donnell. Just add a regular USB keyboard.

RE: Bit hard to type
By therealnickdanger on 4/9/2007 1:33:47 PM , Rating: 2
But that's not really the point. The point here is that post-update, you'll be able to pause your game and chat with a buddy that hops onto messenger without having to shuffle between devices or wasting USB ports on the Xbox360.

I highly doubt that I'll use the Messenger feature of the update, but for the few times I send text messages over Live or type stuff in, I think this will be a good purchase.

RE: Bit hard to type
By ObscureCaucasian on 4/11/2007 9:46:25 AM , Rating: 2
I think it could work. Sure you won't get crazy wpm, but it's better than a lot of things (virtual keyboard).

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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