We now know that anxious texters will be able to get their very own Xbox 360 Messenger Kit for $30 on September 6, 2007.
The pad feels a little awkward as you fit it into place, but it snaps on with a satisfying click as the pad's plastic retention pegs find their corresponding holes on the gamepad. The snug fit makes the pad feel like it's a part of the gamepad. The unit adds some weight to the controller, but the heft seems manageable. We played a few games with the chatpad installed and found that it didn't interfere with game controls. The edge of your palms will rest on the left and right sides of the chatpad, but you'll still be able to use the buttons and analog sticks just fine.
The chatpad itself feels solid. The keys provide adequate, clicky feedback and are spaced well enough for fast typing.
For players who like to game in the dark, the pad has a built-in backlight that will illuminate the keyboard whenever a key is pressed.
The chatpad has a headset pass-thru jack at the base of the unit, but the single 2.5mm audio jack can't accept the triple-pronged connector on the old headset. That's probably why Microsoft bundled a new headset with the chatpad.