If you’ve heard of 8BitDo, it’s probably for their quite excellent retro controllers and the Switch Pro Controller rivalling off-shoot. Now they’ve turned their gaze to the time that you spend between playing games, unveiling two media remotes that are designed to work with Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One.
The 8BitDo Media Remote comes in two versions: long and short. On both remotes there’s a dedicated Xbox Home button at the top, with media buttons bellow, the standard Xbox face buttons, direction pad and volume and channel controls for your TV. The longer remote then adds a number pad below that as well.
What might be a tad disappointing is that the media remotes both transmit their commands via infrared. This ensures that they can also control the TV your watching on, but also means that you’ll need an unobstructed view of your Xbox consoles as well. The remotes are powered by a pair of AAA batteries.
While it didn’t pan out for Microsoft, the Xbox One was pitched right from the off as a media entertainment hub, with features like HDMI passthrough, external DVB-T TV tuners available to buy, and both IR sensor and blaster built in. All of that persisted through to the Xbox One X, but the Xbox Series X|S stripped these features away. Looking at the new generation consoles, you might not think they would work with infrared, but you would be wrong! The controller sync button next to the USB port on the front of the two consoles actually has an IR sensor built in!
Because of that, the Xbox Series X|S is compatible with the media remotes from the last generation as well. The PDP Talon Media Remote has long been a favourite for home media centre users, while the now out of production Xbox One Media Remote from Microsoft will also work (though you’ll have to pay an arm and a leg for it). 8BitDo now has an alternative for fans of both.