They said it wouldn't be done, but according to an Ascii interview translated by XenGamers, Xbox Live will support keyboards in order for those uncomfortable with or reluctant to indulge in voice communications to converse happily with their contemporaries. The reported reliance on voice communications was arguably one of our biggest concerns about Xbox Live, and this is a significant step towards answering our criticisms. Okay, so Microsoft originally told us that Xbox would never see a keyboard connected to it, but we're not going to slate them for changing their minds - this is what we wanted! In response to a question about voice chat, Xbox Live director John Thomson told Ascii that "PC players are naturally going to be more comfortable with a keyboard because they're accustomed to using one. However, voice communication is more natural among console game players." Despite taking up this time-honoured stance on the subject though, Thomson concedes. "Nevertheless, we've included the keyboard option for game developers who aren't interested in incorporating voice chat features." There are still clinks in the service's armour; issues of broadband dependence, too many games and too few users, and a lack to date of detailed rollout plans for Europe, but make no mistake - this latest revelation is significant. For a start, it gives Microsoft a better chance to implement parental controls, and furthermore, it means that not everybody will have to dress up like a call centre employee to remind their friends just who is the Daddy.
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