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The Xbox One Chat Pad: For the chatty gamer in all of us

Microsoft announced the new Chat Pad for the Xbox One controller during its Gamescom presentation with "programmable buttons" and today we learned a little more about it in a closed session. Either side of the space bar are the "X1" and "X2" buttons, and its these that can be user programmed. You're going to be able to add shortcuts to certain functions such as taking a screenshot, recording a clip or snapping apps, for example.

All this will be done through the console and should be unlocked in 2016 according to what we've been told today. But what about the actual pad itself? Due to its shape it nestles itself between the two handles on the controller, rounding off the bottom, and it's pretty comfortable to type on. The keys are what you'd expect. There's a decent 'clickyness,' but they're small, and you'll have to be super accurate (or super lucky) to hammer out long messages quickly.

The headphone jack has been moved to the bottom of the trackpad so you can still plug in your headsets, and the chat and volume controls are now on the Chat Pad. Microsoft did also confirm it works just fine with the Elite Controller. Even with the rear paddles attached there's no interference. And you'll be able to use it to message your pals using the Xbox app on Windows 10.

It'll be available in November in three languages: English, French and German.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

45 Comments
  • Does it work when you use your controller in Windows?
  • Yes. I'll add that in.
  • Yes
  • If we can get one of the sticks to control the mouse then this could be the ultimate HTPC controller...
  • Why not spanish???spanish is more expanded globally than french and german.
  • Because even Spain is a third-world country so they don't exists
  • Probably because Spanish has so many different subtypes. It's probably just not finished yet.
  • My biggest problem with the 360 version was that you had to pause in between letters slightly, otherwise it wouldn't register the button press. It would come out with every other letter or something! Hope that's been improved this time around
  • I was thinking it was gonna be 25 dollars. Of course I'm wrong and it's 35 big ones.
  • Yeah considering it doesn't come with a headset like 360 version
  • I think it might come with a headset. There's a headset in the renders on the Xbox website.
  • I wonder if it has a audio jack, if not I'm gonna have to get that modded to use a wired headset or use a turtle beach XBA Bluetooth adapter. Why didn't they do this in the beginning?
  • It does have an audio jack...
  • "The headphone jack has been moved to the bottom of the trackpad so you can still plug in your headsets, and the chat and volume controls are now on the Chat Pad."
  • That's cool alternative to using the smart glass app. I like using my 635 I've made my dedicated Xbox remote / chat /W10 preview OS device. Definitely an option for those without an extra device , or just the kids.
  • That's actually a really awesome idea. I have a 635 hanging around incase my main phone breaks. I think I'll have to do that.
  • 2016? Didn't they say November 2015?
  • The programmable button app probably wont come out till 2016. The pad itself will be Nov.
  • 2016 is the feature to customize the macro keys. That's how I'm taking it at least.
  • You are correct. That's what they told me today.
  • Wonder how long it will take to release updated pc drivers
  • I can not wait for this. Been using a larger keyboard via wireless dongle for a long time. This will be great when I just want to search in Groove music or anything else.
  • I can always chat conveniently with the Xbox app on my windows 10 mobile phone. So what's the use of this... For me?!
  • Not having to put the controller down?
  • How do you use the controller to play a game and hold your phone? How many arms you got?!
  • Clearly hands control the controller and he sits the phone between his legs.
  • smdh
  • I can't wait. I loved and used my 360 one all the time.
  • Dang the fact that this works in Windows 10 for Desktops makes it the ultimate PC controller for leaning back on the sofa. 
  • Love the one for the 360 and still use it. Glad to have one for the ONE.
  • I actually had no idea Microsoft hadn't released a Chat Pad for the Xbox One yet. Did they take this long to release it for the Xbox 360?
  • Not sure if it took this long, but it wasn't out initially for the Xbox 360 either.
  • And this lady's and gents, is why it took MSFT more than $100 mil developing this controller. I am sure this resulted in that research phase but only announcing it now
  • I had this for the 360 and used it maybe twice.
  • Was using my fight stick to type during twitch vids last night. This will be a lot better...
  • Oh yeah. It's super annoying navigating that way to type on Twitch. I've gotten much faster using the many shortcuts( menu button for Werner, left and right joysticks as buttons to switch keyboards, using screen wrap to jump from left to right of screen) but it is still lacking. This is a very welcome addition.
  • Why is there no keyboard in the XBox One Smartglass apps?
  • There is. Just the win 10 app doesn't have it yet
  • They really have stopped caring about Smartglass
  • Smartglass is D O A Xbox app for Windows 10 is where it is at. That is what is happening.
  • It'll only become truly DOA when the new Xbox app takes you to the XB1 games marketplace. As it is now hitting the "Store" button only takes you to the Windows 10 store which doesn't make sense. I always find myself using the Smartglass app more just because I can access the XB1 store to browse and purchase games. Hopefully they'll fix that soon.
  • One of the biggest features for me are the reprogrammable buttons. Hit a button to take snapshots, videos or even have it open a specific app that I use alot. That right there makes this a must have for me.
  • I'm getting this for FFXIV!!!!
  • These chat pads are excellent for quick typing in games such as Minecraft for example, instead of placing a sign and clicking A to then type down each letter slowly, you can just place the sign down and instantly type with the pad straight away, not only that it also works on some other parts of the game and it becomes even better when more games feature this kind of chat pad quick typing instead of the whole pop-up virtual keyboard window thing.
  • I want this to use to talk on EastXTwitch