Sega has just announced a Phantasy Star-branded Blue Orb Texter for sale through its online store. The gadget is plugged in between the controller and console -- available for PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 -- and the player can use an analog stick to kind of jab in the text. (Note: Xbox 360 owners must have a wired controller to use this.)
Looking at the layout of the characters, pictured, gives us the impression that we wouldn't be so accurate with it. According to Sega's website, gadget can be used with any game that accepts a USB keyboard.
Someone will find this very convenient, to be sure, but considering the price -- $35 for PS2, $40 for Xbox 360 -- we have a hard time justifying this except for PSU enthusiasts who want the packaged "swag aplenty" and free t-shirt. We're eschewing the learning curve for this device and buying a USB keyboard and/or saving up for the Xbox 360 chatpad.