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.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. 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 steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine