Microsoft reveals new Xbox 360 media remote; Bluetooth headset

Microsoft continues to add new official hardware accessories for its Xbox 360 game console. Today the company announced two new additions to the Xbox 360 accessory family via Major Nelson's web site. One is the Xbox 360 Media Remote, shown above, and the other is a new Bluetooth wireless headset (shown in the video below). Both products will be released sometime in early November.

The Xbox 360 Media Remote will allow Xbox 360 users to play videos and use the console's dashboard user interface. It will be able control DVDs and CD along with streaming video via Microsoft's own Zune service or on third party services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus. It can also control live TV if the Xbox 360 in your area supports such features via your cable TV provider. The price of the Xbox 360 Media Remote will be $19.99 in the US.

The Xbox 360 Wireless Headset with Bluetooth support is one of those headsets that sits inside your ear. In addition to Xbox 360 support, the headset can also be used for other Bluetooth wireless supported mobile phones and other devices. In the YouTube video below, Microsoft's Larry Hyrb goes over some of the headset's other features, which he says will eventually replace the current Xbox 360 wireless headset. The new Bluetooth headset will also include a couple of ear adapters and a cable with a micro USB connection that will allow users to charge up the headset. The headset will also have 300 hours of standby time on a single charge. The price for the headset will be $59.99 in the US.

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Because the article fails to mention a couple of things, it is worth pointing out...

1) The XBox 360 has had a remote and various types of remotes since it was launched.
2) The XBox 360 uses the Media Center Remote inherently as well, so if you buy a generic off the shelf programmable remote that supports WMC, it just works on the XBox 360.

The remote is not a new concept to the XBox, this is just a new remote designed for the XBox that Microsoft is selling. That is it.

Love the remote design, very sleek. Much better looking than the PS3 Media Remote.
The headset... ehhh, while nifty it has both modes, I don't like the design. Too square, and I say that about almost all headsets like that. A little pricey, but I guess it is due to it having 2 radios.
300 hours of standby time though? Who cares about standby time. What is the hours of operation while in each radio is in use?

shakey said,
Love the remote design, very sleek. Much better looking than the PS3 Media Remote.
The headset... ehhh, while nifty it has both modes, I don't like the design. Too square, and I say that about almost all headsets like that. A little pricey, but I guess it is due to it having 2 radios.
300 hours of standby time though? Who cares about standby time. What is the hours of operation while in each radio is in use?

As I said to someone earlier...Pricy?

Have you priced out any semi-decent BT headsets lately?

warwagon said,
Heck with this, let's jail break this xbox already.

already done, back with King Kong game in 2006... freeboot, freestyledash, dashlaunch, XeLL... guess you missed the memo.

Very surprised MS hasn't released a BT remote. I could use it behind walls or under the sheets. I guess they love IR and how cheap it is to work with. very nice style remote. wonder if thats a wheel or just a rounded arrowed button.

Ruciz said,

Very surprised MS hasn't released a BT remote. I could use it behind walls or under the sheets. I guess they love IR and how cheap it is to work with.

Wouldn't work because the 360 itself doesn't have BT.

Ruciz said,

already done, back with King Kong game in 2006... freeboot, freestyledash, dashlaunch, XeLL... guess you missed the memo.

Very surprised MS hasn't released a BT remote. I could use it behind walls or under the sheets. I guess they love IR and how cheap it is to work with. very nice style remote. wonder if thats a wheel or just a rounded arrowed button.

Shame there still isn't any XBMC type homebrew yet. codecs are being worked on though.

Remote looks a lot nicer than previous models, shame you cant use the 360 as a decent media centre. And yes, I know all about streaming/trasncoding options. codec support ms, MORE CODEC SUPPORT.

DARKFiB3R said,
Remote looks a lot nicer than previous models, shame you cant use the 360 as a decent media centre. And yes, I know all about streaming/trasncoding options. codec support ms, MORE CODEC SUPPORT.

Just use PS3media server to stream to it. Plays just about everything.

ahhell said,

Just use PS3media server to stream to it. Plays just about everything.

Serviio is much better in my opinion... easy to install and setup, has full multi-core support for transcoding and is full compatible with many devices including the PS3, Xbox 360 as well as anything else that support DLNA, like my Samsung TV. Has full metadata lookup, and you can replace the thumbnail images for your media too
http://www.serviio.org
p.s. Plugin support is coming in version 0.6 also, it's currently at the beta 2 stage and currently can add things like BBC iPlayer and Youtube!

DARKFiB3R said,
Remote looks a lot nicer than previous models, shame you cant use the 360 as a decent media centre. And yes, I know all about streaming/trasncoding options. codec support ms, MORE CODEC SUPPORT.

More codec support? Media Center via the XBox is using your PCs codecs. If you have Windows 7 installed, you have a ton of inherent codecs, and if these are not enough, you can add in whatever codecs you want, and they will usually also then work on the XBox 360 Media Center because of the PC transcoding the video to the 360.

There are times I hit video codecs that the XBox 360 via Vidoa Library won't play, and so I just open up Media Center on the XBox and select the video from a PC, right click and hit Play To XBox 360 Media Extender. It will then play just fine.

PS The XBox has more codec support than the PS3, so not sure if this is a comparison or not, and if it is, the PS3 is missing a ton of codecs that just work on the XBox. (Originally the XBox shipped with limited codecs, but as Windows 7 was in development, Microsoft acquired licensing to a lot of codecs for Windows 7 and also added them to the XBox.)

This is kind of like hearing someone say add more codecs to WP7, when it supports more codecs than any other smartphone by almost 10 to 1.

With the XBox and Windows, the way they work is that Codecs are an OS level fucntion provided and licensed to all software. On Linux or Android and other models, codecs are implemented normally in the Application level and provided by Applications or a stub application.

WP7 takes this same approach, just the XBox 360 does. Which is why on WP7 most things just play or a codec can be added to the OS and everything can play the content. On Android, you have to run a specific application that has support for the codecs and hope that it supports enough of them. The bad thing about the Android method is that showing/hearing things outside of the dedicated player is not possible, and also even the best dedicated players with a lot of codecs are not optimized to the hardware capabilities unless they write the codecs directly to each CPU/GPU combination, which just doesn't happen. So you are left iwth generic implementations that are not the best performance for most devices, but work. (This is like a generic Linux kernel build instead of an optimized kernel that focuses on the hardware specifically. In the Windows world, this is not necessary because of the true 'brilliance' in how NT is designed and its architecture, and the things WinCE borrows from its model.

Sorry, but you are wrong.

thenetavenger said,

More codec support? Media Center via the XBox is using your PCs codecs. If you have Windows 7 installed, you have a ton of inherent codecs, and if these are not enough, you can add in whatever codecs you want, and they will usually also then work on the XBox 360 Media Center because of the PC transcoding the video to the 360.

There are times I hit video codecs that the XBox 360 via Vidoa Library won't play, and so I just open up Media Center on the XBox and select the video from a PC, right click and hit Play To XBox 360 Media Extender. It will then play just fine.


Try to play DVD from a folder. Media Center on PC sees and plays it, but XBox 360 doesn't even see it when connected to the same media center. And you also cannot stream ("play to") it. As far as I remember, .mkv files don't work too.

thenetavenger said,

This is kind of like hearing someone say add more codecs to WP7, when it supports more codecs than any other smartphone by almost 10 to 1.

WP7 takes this same approach, just the XBox 360 does. Which is why on WP7 most things just play or a codec can be added to the OS and everything can play the content.


WP7 doesn't even support AVI (you cannot drag it to Zune). That's laughable. Not even going to mention MKV.

ahhell said,

Just use PS3media server to stream to it. Plays just about everything.

You must have missed the part where I said "I know all about streaming/trasncoding options".

thenetavenger said,

More codec support? Media Center via the XBox is using your PCs codecs. If you have Windows 7 installed, you have a ton of inherent codecs, and if these are not enough, you can add in whatever codecs you want, and they will usually also then work on the XBox 360 Media Center because of the PC transcoding the video to the 360.

There are times I hit video codecs that the XBox 360 via Vidoa Library won't play, and so I just open up Media Center on the XBox and select the video from a PC, right click and hit Play To XBox 360 Media Extender. It will then play just fine.

PS The XBox has more codec support than the PS3, so not sure if this is a comparison or not, and if it is, the PS3 is missing a ton of codecs that just work on the XBox. (Originally the XBox shipped with limited codecs, but as Windows 7 was in development, Microsoft acquired licensing to a lot of codecs for Windows 7 and also added them to the XBox.)

This is kind of like hearing someone say add more codecs to WP7, when it supports more codecs than any other smartphone by almost 10 to 1.

With the XBox and Windows, the way they work is that Codecs are an OS level fucntion provided and licensed to all software. On Linux or Android and other models, codecs are implemented normally in the Application level and provided by Applications or a stub application.

WP7 takes this same approach, just the XBox 360 does. Which is why on WP7 most things just play or a codec can be added to the OS and everything can play the content. On Android, you have to run a specific application that has support for the codecs and hope that it supports enough of them. The bad thing about the Android method is that showing/hearing things outside of the dedicated player is not possible, and also even the best dedicated players with a lot of codecs are not optimized to the hardware capabilities unless they write the codecs directly to each CPU/GPU combination, which just doesn't happen. So you are left iwth generic implementations that are not the best performance for most devices, but work. (This is like a generic Linux kernel build instead of an optimized kernel that focuses on the hardware specifically. In the Windows world, this is not necessary because of the true 'brilliance' in how NT is designed and its architecture, and the things WinCE borrows from its model.

tl:dr

I just want to be able to use the internal storage, or hook up a usb drive, and play stuff. It shouldn't take 2 machines running to play a video. I don't think that's too much to ask.

TCLN Ryster said,

Serviio is much better in my opinion... easy to install and setup, has full multi-core support for transcoding and is full compatible with many devices including the PS3, Xbox 360 as well as anything else that support DLNA, like my Samsung TV. Has full metadata lookup, and you can replace the thumbnail images for your media too
http://www.serviio.org
p.s. Plugin support is coming in version 0.6 also, it's currently at the beta 2 stage and currently can add things like BBC iPlayer and Youtube!

Thanks for the heads up. I've used PS3 media server in the past, hadn't heard of this one before. Taking an age to index a small amount of content though

Ok so for the 360 it uses the standard proprietary connection and additionally has bluetooth to be used with other devices? $60 seems a bit expensive for that

AbandonedTrolley said,
Ok so for the 360 it uses the standard proprietary connection and additionally has bluetooth to be used with other devices? $60 seems a bit expensive for that

Have you priced good quality bluetooth headsets lately?

AbandonedTrolley said,
Ok so for the 360 it uses the standard proprietary connection and additionally has bluetooth to be used with other devices? $60 seems a bit expensive for that

Not really. A Bluetooth headset can go for $20 (crap) to $150 (Jabra's top end headset). If this is a decent headset, then $60 isn't bad at all

Sraf said,

Not really. A Bluetooth headset can go for $20 (crap) to $150 (Jabra's top end headset). If this is a decent headset, then $60 isn't bad at all

Yet the official Sony Playstation one goes for around $35 and is great quality. Although I will admit not the most comfortable. Haven't tried the newer shaped one though. Just seemed a little high to me, guess not though if you think that's the going rate for them.

AbandonedTrolley said,

Yet the official Sony Playstation one goes for around $35 and is great quality. Although I will admit not the most comfortable. Haven't tried the newer shaped one though. Just seemed a little high to me, guess not though if you think that's the going rate for them.

Minding that the PS3 also directly uses Bluetooth, whereas the Xbox does not, so this guy will have two radios in it

Sraf said,

Minding that the PS3 also directly uses Bluetooth, whereas the Xbox does not, so this guy will have two radios in it

Exactly, it's a dual device not just bluetooth only, this adds to it's cost a bit.

The same reason most PS3 users purchased a remote for their ps3. You don't look like a teeny when you have a woman over infront of your gangster home theatre setup.

why would you pay $60 for a remote that your controller that came with the console can do the same thing only with slightly more work?

littleneutrino said,
why would you pay $60 for a remote that your controller that came with the console can do the same thing only with slightly more work?

"The price of the Xbox 360 Media Remote will be $19.99 in the US."

littleneutrino said,
why would you pay $60 for a remote that your controller that came with the console can do the same thing only with slightly more work?

Aside from the $20 price, it is faster access than the controller. Mind you, I've been using neither since I got my Kinect, I just say Xbox Pause