The Xbox One’s media remote is coming. This is hardly a surprise. The remote appeared briefly on Amazon Canada a week ago, only to disappear quickly once someone found the mistake. But we now have confirmation that the art posted last week was real and the remote is on the way.
The remote, which will retail for $24.99 US, is set to release in early March, alongside the Stereo Headset and the Headset Adapter.
The remote is fairly sparse, but includes the standard menu and view buttons as well as a button to bring up OneGuide directly, and the control’s backlight is activated by motion rather than button presses.
If your Xbox One is setup to turn on your television and any other connected devices, the remote will take advantage of the IR blaster built into the Kinect to allow you to control volume and television playback like you can already can with voice commands. The remote sends commands via infrared like any non-PlayStation remote, so any compatible universal remote, most prominently Logitech’s Harmony line, is good to go as well.
If you choose not to keep Kinect connected and want to control other devices, you might need an IR extension cable. While the Xbox One’s IR receiver is built into the console itself, the IR blaster that operates your other devices is built into Kinect.
Microsoft would love it if you would use Kinect to control everything in your house, but they seem to be acknowledging that not everyone in the family is completely ready to use the Kinect and that running your cable box through your Xbox affects everyone in the house. This is a good bridge for those members of your family, or if you don’t like having a camera and microphone array connected to your television at all times.