To get a bit more insight into the mysterious Xbox 360 QWERTY Keypad Device, TeamXbox called on the expertise of Xbox Live's Group Program Manager Jerry Johnson.
Excerpts of the interview:
* TeamXbox: Did you have any particular games in mind when creating this?
* Jerry Johnson: While we are sure that game developers will implement this keyboard into their titles down the line, this peripheral was created to make text chat and IM over the Xbox 360 easier and more convenient. We are excited to see how game developers use this accessory in the future, but games were not the primary reason for its creation.
* TeamXbox: Why did you decide to create a keyboard that was added to the controller, as opposed to a full-sized standalone keyboard?
* Jerry Johnson: A USB keyboard can already be used with the Xbox 360 today. Rather than create another standalone keyboard, the Xbox team decided to bring something entirely new to the gaming market. The new keypad for the Xbox 360 is the first ever that connects directly to the controller. Because it fits seamlessly into the 360 controller, gamers can use it while playing games without having to interrupt game play. We have created a very easy and convenient way to type messages to friends without having to ever pause the game or put down the controller.
TeamXbox are really looking forward to using Windows Live Messenger with the Xbox 360 QWERTY Keypad Device, as it will easily change how people interact when engaged in an Xbox 360 endeavor (no more pecking at the virtual keyboard - whew!). The quality and seamless integration of the Xbox 360 QWERTY Keypad Device also gets us amped for the future possibilities of this device, as any text-based MMORPG or title needing more buttons for assignments will clearly benefit form such a quality piece. Even if you don't plan on playing games of a MMO nature or chatting with your friends via Live, you'll at least consider the Xbox 360 QWERTY Keypad Device as a favorable ergonomic upgrade for your current 1st party 360 controller.