How to get the Xbox360 Chatpad to work on the PC?
Well as you may or may not know, Microsoft has not bothered to develop a PC driver so as of now the PC has no way to read from the Xbox360 Chatpad (aka 360 Messenger Kit). I guess it's too much to ask that MS pay a small team of developers for a week or so (would it even take that long) to support their flagship product (ie Windows)... I mean, it's not like they don't have the money or the people. I just don't get it. It's like if Ford made a new series of cars and just didn't bother to create a key to start the engine.
Anyway, but for those of you that are TRULY desperate to get the chatpad working on the PC, there may be a solution... but there are several catches so this really is not a solution for most people. As you can see from this video on YouTube, it is possible to send keyboard messages to your PC with the chatpad...
Only problem is (and the video doesn't really explain this very well) is that you need to have an XBOX 360 console... and then basically you can run the XNA written code (compatble for both Windows and Xbox360 console) which in turns comunicates with your PC (through networking) to send signals to end up on your PC... and thus also allow you to use it with Pinnacle (if that's your goal) through the keyboard hot key support.
Now if that weren't a big enough hassle, the real catch is that in order to run "homebrew" code on an Xbox360 console... you need to be part of the XNA Creator's Club... and that's not free. I believe it's $49.99 for a 4 month membership or $99.99 for a 1 year membership... so that's quite a lot to spend just to use the chatpad on your PC... especially considering those, er... knuckleheads, at Microsoft should have just given us a driver for Windows in the first place.
But yet for anyone that REALLY wants to get the chatpad working for their HTPC setups, here are the instructions to do so...
And maybe if we are lucky, by the time your 1 year membership runs out, hopefully MS will finally give us a PC driver.
Also note that I have not actually tried this myself, but I have no reason to think it would not work... but I have checked every possible way that I could develop something like this without everyone needing a paid membership to XNA, and that does not seem to be possible (which is why I decided to just make this post for anyone interested). So if anyone does decide to try this then I would be happy to hear feedback... and also this XNA code (developed by someone else, not me) seems to be made with hard-coded operations, meaning that for instance his software will move the mouse with the left joystick and that's not something I think you can customize, or change to the right stick or disable or anything... which means that it's going to interfere with Pinnacle if you try to use them together... but if that's the case then I would be willing to try to "cut" out the unwanted code from his XNA source so that it would ONLY do the chatpad and leave everything else for Pinnacle to handle without interferance... which not only of course gives you more customization, but I would imagine that the mouse emulation is no where need as in-depth as Pinnacle's is so it may not work very well in comparison. Anyway, so if anyone decides to do this, then let me know and I will do my best to help you.
As a possible alternative for HTPC users, you might consider having a look at this PS3 device (which also can work on the PC of course).
And another possible alternative is the NyKo iType2, check out this user review here...
here is a post that was on page 6, but I copied it here so people would find it...
Originally Posted by Kangaroo