We found out a few days ago that Microsoft’s Chatpad will be released in September for $30, but other than that we didn’t know much. Now, however, we know a little more, thanks to an in-depth piece from GameSpot. The Spot says that the potential market for the Chatpad is limited to those who use the 360’s MSN Messenger application. Until Microsoft releases a text-based killer app (like a Web browser), odds are you won’t need this. But if you do, rest assured that it’s actually halfway decent.
The Chatpad, which plugs into the bottom of the 360’s controller, should feel comfortable to anyone who’s used a full QWERTY cellphone like the Helio Ocean, which is a CrunchGear favorite. GameSpot notes that the individual buttons provide just enough tactile feedback to feel solid, whatever that means. The pad is also backlit, making typing to your online pen pals at night slightly more bearable. So the ‘pad itself is just fine.
Also included with the Chatpad is a new wired headset. Well, “new” is a strong word to use here since the only difference between this and its predecessor is different mute and volume control button placement.
In summation, the Chatpad looks just dandy. But again, unless you input a lot of text while on the 360, there’s little reason to pick this up.
Xbox 360 Messenger Kit Hands-On [GameSpot]