Product Type: Microsoft electronic gaming accessories
Newest Review: ... using the xbox controller can take ages even to write a simple message to a friend so any message that requires some explanation takes fo... more
Great idea but a bit flimsy
Xbox 360 Messenger Kit: Chatpad and Headset
Member Name: paulie1975
Xbox 360 Messenger Kit: Chatpad and Headset
Advantages: Great idea, works well in theory
Disadvantages: Keyboard is too weak
The Xbox 360 Messenger kit is a godsend for those people who want more chat in their gaming experience, in essence it's a keyboard and headset which you attach to the Xbox and play your games.
I bought one as my nieces are now old enough to play games and I wanted to ensure I had time with them, doing something fun together and allowing us to chat and catch up whilst still playing games. It seemed a fun (if not slightly impractical ideas), but much better than simply skyping. I have to admit I did also buy it to use with Fifa 11 to badmouth friends during matches and wind them up, so it wasn't solely for good purposes!!!!
Being honest, I use this as much to wind up friends on more sociable games, by typing in insults or other things to spur them on and build atmosphere, I use the headset more for family time.
I bought the kit in Game for £22.99 and have to admit in theory it is a great idea, in practice it is probably more suited to kids, as some of its big pluses are not such big positives for me.
To start with when you buy it, you get a tiny little plastic box which immediately makes you wonder if you have just been ripped off, once you get through this, you can appreciate that the whole idea of this product is to be small and non-intrusive therefore it is actually a plus point.
What you get in this set are a chat pad, which is a tiny keyboard that you can plug into your controller to use during games, it allows small MSN messages to be sent during games, which allow you to joke, put off or wind up your opponent depending on your preference. Alongside the chat pad is the headset which plugs into the chatpad giving you connectivity and allowing you to speak with anyone you are playing games with. The headset is convenient and small enough to be unobtrusive; the volume controls are located on the wiring which means they are always within easy reach.
My favourite uses for the kit are speaking with mates whilst playing games such as Fifa 11 or Call of Duty, I also enjoy sending my nieces little messages or encouraging them when we play Yahtzee or Boggle on the Family game night package. It is a good easy way to keep in contact whilst sharing something rather than sitting being unsure what to do on Skype.
Overall I think this is a good idea and something I hope Microsoft can flesh out and get rid of a few annoying niggles, if they can do this, then all will be well.
The package has some real plus points and some more negative aspects for me, on the plus side the keypad is incredibly light and it is a great idea having it attach to the controller, balancing this out, the keyboard is flimsy, the keys are too small and I find more often than not, I come across as a slightly lumbering oaf when typing as I mistype or end up pressing too many keys and simply writing jibberish (Some would say this is similar to my writing style here!!).
I've also broken keys as they are just too weak for anyone but the daintiest person to type. I now have a form of code in that anything that has a 'j' in words forming nonsensical words, should be considered an 'H'.
To balance things, although I have had lots of problems with the small keyboard, my sister tells me that she and my niece have no such problems, so it may just be the keyboard is designed for people with very small fingers.
The keyboard and headset are easy to use, the headset especially is clear and I've had no problems with it at all and it's the best part of the package.
The one thing I would also mention is I do think this is too expensive for what it is. It is a reasonable little keypad and a headset, but I could buy a USB keyboard for much less and a headset to attach, they just wouldn't have the Microsoft mark, but the keyboard especially would probably be more reliable. I think this is something they need to address as £22.99 is the cheaper end of the scale for this product but Is still about £6 above being competitive and they also need to address the issues of reliability with the keyboard which should be so much better for the price.
The product is available in Game, on Amazon and via Play and most other decent game retailers, shop around as prices can vary from £19.99 to £29.99 so search out the best price.
Summary: A great idea but overpriced and a bit flimsy
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