Xbox 360 Chatpad Driver Challenge!

Oct 14 2010

Lately I have started playing games on my Home Theater PC. Sitting on my couch and playing video games on my 42" tv is absolutely great. It's comfortable, the screen's big, I can kick my feet up. All around excellent. To play games I use a Logitech Rumblepad 2 for playing the game and a Logitech diNovo Mini for communicating in the games. Pick up, put down, pick up, put down...over and over. This for me is the biggest issue I have with gaming on my HTPC. I've also never really been interested in the lap board with keyboard and mouse. I like my controllers!

Enter the Xbox 360 Gamepad with Chatpad - A controller, a great one at that, that has a snap in thumb keyboard for typing. It's amazing anytime I use it on the Xbox. 

220px-360_chatpad.png

The Catch - While the Xbox 360 Gamepad works great on the PC, there is ZERO support from Microsoft for the Chatpad. People all over the internet have pushed on Microsoft in every public forum imaginable, but all that ever happens is one division at Microsoft points at another as having responsibility for the development. Someone even wrote a Macintosh OS X driver for it, and there is still nothing working for the PC. 

Beyond playing games on your HTPC, this also becomes an alternative style remote for Windows MC or other app. With great wireless range, and no line of sight required, you could locate your HTPC in a closet or cabinet and still surf the web, or just use the Dpad and buttons to quickly navigate around. Analog sticks can be remapped to mouse movement, all of which makes this a very unique and flexible alternative to you standard mouse/keyboard combo.

To that end, the folks over at MP3Car.com have started a collection fund to support the rewarding of the first person to develop a PC driver for the Xbox 360 Chatpad. Today I pledged $25 via PayPal, and if this is something you think you'd find useful I encourage you to go do the same. Who knows, our very own Mikinho might be the one to solve the problem.

The Goal - To create an open-souce, fully functional set of drivers for the Xbox 360 Controller to utilize the Chatpad peripheral accurately to work on Windows computers. There is a Paypal donation link provided, and the winner of this contest will get the full purse. MP3Car has voluntarily gestured to start the bank with $25, and they have pledged to pay any associated paypal fees; this ensures the winner will get the entire donated amount.

The Rules
1. Driver must be open source.
2. Driver must install in windows XP, Vista OR Win7 (support for only ONE operating system is now OK).
3. Xbox Chatpad must work like a regular keyboard in Windows.
4. Driver must install along with or completely replace the original Xbox drivers, and must not effect the original function of the controller in any way. This can be accomplished by re-writing the original drivers, or having a one-click accessible add-on activate on top of the working original drivers when wanted.
5. The first member to post their own original working drivers in this thread will be the winner. This winner must be accepted by the majority of the participants, for quality of product and authenticity of workmanship.

 

Comments

A driver for the Chatpad would be excellent!!; I would also request that the driver also have "Turn Vibration On/Off " ability, as you currently can't turn it off; the problem with that is that it stays on with some games & you can't control anything after that. If the driver can give us access to Chatpad buttons & vibration control, even those without a chatpad would want the driver purely for the vibration On/Off function. I'm crossing the fingers in hope that such a driver would be developed.

Well Cerebral222, this post is from nearly a year and a half ago. There are working chatpad drivers but only the WIRED controller is supported for now and it doesn't seem the developer is making any ground on the wireless front. So if you want to use the chatpad and you have a wired 360 controller, check out this post in the forum where the contest was held.

Read the first post and it gives you a link to a short getting started guide which you definitely should read. The drivers are "alpha" software so there's no guarantee it will work on your machine but it seems to work for a lot of people. If you are using Windows Vista 64 bit or Windows 7 64 bit you are going to have to disable the Driver Signature Enforcement since the chatpad drivers are not 'digitally signed' by microsoft. But the guide tells you how to do all this.

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