We saw this rumoured back in April and dismissed it at the time as fanboy-ish Photoshop work. However, Microsoft has now confirmed that the Xbox controller keyboard add-on will actually be released next week in the US, with a UK launch coming soon after.
Seeing as the ability to use Messenger on the Xbox was recently added, it will probably be no surprise to see this becoming a reality. While PS3 users can of course simply plug a USB keyboard in, the lack of any instant messaging program (as yet) means that the Xbox 360 does slightly 1-up its rival in this respect.
The Xbox 360 Messenger Kit, to give it its full title, also comes with a voice headset to enable you to chat to your friends and will cost a mere $30 in the US, which will probably translate to about £20 in the UK. If only DivX and Xvid playback support was added, as well as the ability to actually use an external hard drive properly then Microsoft may well have themselves a decent living room PC rival. Basically, I suggest you pick one up when available.
Also available are the Halo edition custom controllers I mentioned before, retailing at $60 each (about £35 on the street). There are two different varieties, both of which Riyad and myself think look fantastic, to the disagreement of just about everyone else in the office. Seeing as we're both right and they're wrong, we suggest you also grab one of these in preparation for September 26th when you can get your hands on the game and the Halo 3 edition console.
We've got some UK release dates now, so we can inform you that the Messenger attachment is available as of the 7th for £25, while the rest of the accessories are being held-off for the 26th and the launch of Halo 3.