Saturday, August 25, 2007

Xbox 360: Messenger Kit Hands On

Announced along with the spring dashboard update this year was the messenger kit. It was meant to make it easier to use the new live messenger capabilities, but I think the real draw is for games like PSU. The current release date is going to be September 6th and the price is $30. It comes with a mini blackberry-type keyboard that attaches to the controller and a headset (with the on/off switch along the wire). The current headsets won't fit as the connector is incompatible. But older Xbox and mobile headsets will work. You can find a preview of the kit at Gamespot's site. It's a bit old, but I never got the chance to post it here and the release date is quite soon.

The advantage I see here is not having to put down the controller to type (or even readjusting your hands). It also is more intuitive than the Texter for obvious reasons. The only complaint that I can come up with right now is that it doesn't seem to have function keys (which PSU uses for shortcuts). It's too bad since they could have probably assigned them as secondary/tertiary options on the 1-10 keys. Otherwise, I think this is a great alternative to using a usb keyboard. That is as long as you don't mind the extra cost. It also currently is only announced in white.

While I don't think it's quite the thing for extended lobby conversations, it's perfect for shop searching and finding games. Generally anything you can't use voice chat for.

Gamespot's Messenger Kit Hands On

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