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Xbox 360 Messenger Kit – The Verdict

messengerkit.jpgWhat is white, has lots of buttons and will probably change your gaming life forever? Yes it is the new Microsoft Xbox 360 Messenger kit, which I have been eagerly waiting for ever since it was announced.

Coming in that horrific plastic packaging that requires the strength of an Ox and the will power of someone called James to find the scissors and then carefully cut open the box, fearful of cutting any stray wires that may lurk inside.

Finally upon entry of this hellish, finger ripping nightmare, the Xbox 360 Messenger Keyboard sits lovingly in its plastic cradle awaiting your tender affections. Yes it is an attractive little so and so that will soon warm your cockles. So without further waffling, I will now explain…

Features:

  • Chat on Xbox LIVE with ease featuring dedicated keys to letters and characters.
  • Don’t hamper your style – the Xbox 360 Chatpad attaches seamlessly to your Xbox 360 Controller.
  • Backlit buttons allow you to accurately type words even in dimly lit environments.
  • Messenger Kit includes the Xbox 360 Wired Headset for the ultimate communication bundle.

Firstly it does come with an extra headset, however this is very different from the official Microsoft headset we have come to love (and hate!). The attachment no longer sports a volume and mute control, instead this is situated on the cable of the microphone, which has a handy clip to attach to your top. Much better, however if this headset busts, not exactly sure yet how we will get a replacement seeing as the connection to the controller is different, unless we decide to go wireless of course!

The keyboard itself clips where you would usually put your old Xbox 360 headset, but once in I wouldn’t suggest you keep removing the keyboard when not in use. It grabs on for dear life to the two bottom screw holes at the rear of the controller to stay perfectly in place. This is great, but for fear of damaging anything, not something you want to keep removing and attaching!

The keyboard lights up when you are typing, which is great for darker gaming sessions and even the messenger icon lights up just in case you miss a message while you are gaming or have nipped for a sneaky toilet break. It does add a little weight to the controller, but I have soon got used to it and for the first time since the last major dashboard update, I don’t mind messages from my Windows Live messenger chums while I am gaming.

This sure beats having a huge USB keyboard plugged in and if you are one of those people who likes to chin wag with your mates online without missing the excitement of your Xbox 360 adventures, then the Xbox 360 Messenger Kit is for you!

James Woodcock

Freelance Journalist, Author, Blogger & Podcaster specialising in gaming and technology.

Ever since he experienced the first controllable pixel movement on the television screen, he has been entranced by the possibilities and rewarding entertainment value generated from these metal and plastic boxes of delight. Writing hundreds of articles including commentary and reviews on various gaming platforms, while also interviewing well known industry figures for popular online publications.

  • Colin Pye

    It’s too bad that the Messenger Kit won’t work with Windows Live Messenger, even if you have the Wireless Adapter for Windows, and have been using the XBox 360 controller for playing Games for Windows. The headset connection, however, does work with Windows, and will work with any normal 2.5mm headset that you could use with your cell phone, if you want to try something other than the included headset.

    Many have been trying to find out how to make their own driver, and there has been some progress, but not much success as of this time. Asking Microsoft for drivers or assistance has consistently resulted in being told that you are asking the wrong people, asking in the wrong place, or that they can confirm that the Messenger Kit does not work with Windows (even though it partially does).

    The package states that the Messenger Kit will let people communicate with Windows Live Messenger, but omits the fact that you can’t do so when you are actually using Windows Live Messenger. Similarly, the Microsoft Xbox 360™ Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows® states that it will work with future Xbox 360 wireless devices. Unfortunately, even years after the release of the Messenger kit, the only solution that currently works is to stick a PS3 keyboard to the top of the Chatpad, and use a Bluetooth receiver for Windows.