iChat has been sort of a bastard child for OS X. It's just there because Apple needed an instant messaging app for the Mac. But for years, it was just there. And then came iMessage in iOS 5.
Almost immedaitely after that, I wondered if iMessage will be a part of OS X. No word from Apple obviously. We wont known until Apple tells us or we see evidence that it is. And now, there could be evidence that Apple will incorporate iMessage into iChat
Two new protocols are found in iChat by Macrumors that were previously not there. And these two protcols are currently being used in iMessage of iOS 5 beta. It stands to reason, that it's there because a future release of iChat will incorporate iMessage.
The only issue to settle now is when will this happen? I think it'll happen on or around the launch of iOS 5. Maybe a bit after that if Apple thinks it needs to time to make sure all the kinks are ironed out for iMessage for iOS users.