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Painful Xbox 360 texting needs work (Xbox 360 annoyance #009)

Vladimir Cole

For most gamers setting up their Xbox 360s over the last several weeks, the biggest difficulty wasn't fighting off rabid dust bunnies in order to perform a cabling reach-around. The biggest annoyance was entering information into the Xbox 360 via the primitive text interface. It should be at least as easy as entering text on the Sony PSP. Here are the issues with entering text into the 360:

  • When entering addresses, it should accept zipcode first and allow me to select my city from a drop-down

  • There's no predictive text input. Not a big deal when entering address information, but it would definitely simplify text-messages sent to other players.

  • It's so much slower than web-commerce with a keyboard, mouse and browser that it's simply aggravating. It's just primitive. If you've ever tried to conduct e-commerce over a cell phone, you know what it feels like.

  • It's insecure. In setting up a password or entering it, for instance, users must select each letter of the password with the controller. Anybody that watches this process can easily steal your password, and they're not just getting your Xbox Live password, they're getting your Hotmail password too. If Xbox Live and Passport weren't integrated, however, a more natural and more secure password comprised of controller buttons could be used (e.g., x, b, a, a, RT, LT, x, b).

  • Joystiq reader Douggy writes, "Where this gets really annoying is ripping burnt CDs onto the hard drive. If you want to name your albums, genre, etc. the controller really sucks!"

Where's that rumored qwerty keyboard, already? And please, can we have biometric identification in the next-next generation of consoles? It's already standard on Lenovo laptops.

PS: Yes, we know that a USB keyboard can be plugged in to the Xbox 360. But this is our living room. Keyboards and other PC clutter do not belong here. That was our big beef with the so-called wireless controllers (see annoyance #002, below). We do not want USB hubs, wires, keyboards, and other crap cluttering the living room.

Other Xbox 360 annoyances: 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008 (more to come)

Xbox 360 delights: 001 (more to come)

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