The Xbox One is an all in one media box, of the gaming, television, movie and music sort, this much Microsoft has made clear. As part of their console’s multimedia offerings, the company has tried to pioneer the Xbox One Kinect 2.0 camera, looking to justify the extra cost that the peripheral adds, for a device that brings benefits in the form of voice activated controls and downsides in that there are few Kinect enabled apps, which is causing the console to struggle in both sales and public opinion against the Sony PS4, which is $100 cheaper. Now, with the announcement of the Xbox One Media Remote, Kinect 2.0 is only going to become even more redundant for some users.
The Xbox One Media Remote, first revealed last week via retailer listings, will retail for $25, a price point just above that of the Xbox 360 Media Remote’s slightly more reasonable $20 price tag. While it’s unusual that its predecessor doesn’t function with full compatibility, akin to an Xbox-console controller that does it all, as Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb (Microsoft’s community manager of sorts) announced on his blog, the Xbox One Media Remote is set to add plenty of functionality that the console’s many media watching hoovers of all things televised will no doubt appreciate.
One big feature that the Xbox One Media Remote brings is that it lets users control video playback for Blu-ray movies and streaming video on the console, adding a little more button familiarity for those not yet used to rewinding, pausing and skipping the opening credits with by using a video game controller. Too, the peripheral will include “dedicated Back and OneGuide buttons,” to make access to the user’s favorite TV show as fast as their thumb’s reactions. Microsoft has also confirmed that users of the Xbox One Media Remote will be able to “control TV/Receive power and volume through Kinect” but whether or not that makes Kinect useful or not is to be debated.
While the accessory clearly isn’t the ground-breaking hardware add-on that will see the console oust its Sony branded competitor, what the Xbox One Media Remote does do is give Microsoft considerable leverage when it comes to presenting and marketing the console as a dedicated, must have, need to buy multimedia offering, that could be the only thing players would ever need to sit under their televisions.
Furthermore, it’s not just people who want to use the Xbox One to ‘play’, to whom this could help them appeal to, as right from the beginning Microsoft has established the console as having a focus on media (which they caught some considerable flack for). This accessory makes a good case for the attention of those not satisfied with their cable TV providers, especially in a time when streaming, via Netflix especially, is becoming the norm and the small displays of touchscreens just won’t cut it. So if control over more media in less places is what they’re looking for, the Xbox One and its new media remote could just be the solution.
The Xbox One Media Remote will be out on March 4, 2014.
Source: Xbox Wire