A Kotaku hands-on of the PlayStation 3 keypad reveals some new information about the $50 snap-on accessory. Sony has had plenty of time to go above and beyond the Xbox 360 Chatpad and as expected, it does seem to improve on it in a number of ways. We liked the chatpad for its ease-of-use, satisfying performance, and the fact that it didn't require any power.
The PlayStation 3 keypad, on the other hand, does require separate charging, as it cannot tap into the PS3 controller. Because of this, it also must connect to the console via a separate Bluetooth connection. As far as we can tell, it's almost as if the keypad is merely a clamp.
The keypad attaches for above-the-controller texting, while the Xbox chatpad rests below. We found it manageable to play games with the chatpad connected, but eventually removed it because of comfort issues. It seems the PS3 keypad's placement is a better fit.
Feature-wise, the keypad trumps the Xbox chatpad. There are shortcut buttons to access your message box and your friends list. Also, the keypad can turn into a touch pad--think laptop trackpad--for mouse-like movement. This will come in useful if you use your PS3 to browse the Web a lot.
The keypad is set to be released mid-month, so check out our full review coming soon.