Today, Microsoft introduced the Xbox One media remote. Microsoft describes the potential user as “Xbox One owners who want to control their TV and entertainment at the touch of a button via a familiar remote.”

But, I thought ‘you’ were the remote thanks to Kinect.

The Xbox One Media Remote will release in every Xbox One market in early March. The remote works like any other remote. Want to control video playback for Blu-ray movies and streaming video? Now you can. I’m not sure if there was an “Xbox – rewind” command or not.

The OneGuide button will give you “quick access to your favorite TV shows and movies through the Xbox program guide.” Microsoft really loves this ‘One’ moniker, don’t they.

The remote also lets you control TV/receiver power and volume with the Kinect, which “uses IR blasting to send signals to your TV and/or receiver.”

The Xbox One Media Remote will retail for $24.99.

Check out Larry Hyrb, better known as Major Nelson, showing off the illumination of the remote below.

Thoughts

At this point, why does the Kinect still exist? I’ll admit, I was excited for the Kinect in the lead up to the Xbox One launch. Xbox fitness looked like something that I would use a lot. Then I get it, and it’s just a handful of workouts from each program.

Microsoft always touted ‘you’ are the controller. Turns out, they think you’re better off with a traditional remote to watch your media.

Either go all the way with Kinect, or ditch it. Don’t toe a middle line. All you do is send mixed messages about the Kinect when you introduce new products such as the Xbox One Media Remote.

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Ditch the Kinect and lower the price of the Xbox One to be competitive with the PS4. The PS4 is trumping Microsoft in its own backyard.

Microsoft needs to ask themselves, is the Kinect worth losing their U.S. stronghold over? Because right now, they are losing. That could change with Titanfall, but imagine the sales Microsoft would see if the Xbox One was $400 versus $500 with a Kinect most people won’t use outside a few times.

What are your thoughts about the Xbox One Media Remote and Microsoft’s overall strategy with the Xbox One? Sound off in the comments below.

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