Microsoft’s Windows Live Messenger for Xbox 360, announced earlier today, might sound cool to some, but to us it seems like a ploy to sell more high-margin peripherals, like keyboards, thereby boosting company’s game division revenues. After all, that tactic has worked well for Apple and its iPod line-up.
It is a wily move by Microsoft – after all, to instant message someone you would need a QWERTY keyboard-based device, which no surprise, Microsoft will start selling later this summer at an undisclosed price as an attachment to existing controllers.
Unless the first 10 million 360 adopters upgrade their controllers, don’t expect ubiquitous IM use from them. Even then, it’s unlikely what is being sold as a game machine will transform into a secondary messaging box over night – if ever.
In the interim, gamers will need to rely on the cumbersome on-screen virtual keyboard to communicate with friends. Yeah right – trigger happy gamers are going to do that.