Control freak? Take matters into your own hands.

It might seem baffling, but it looks like Microsoft is offering an Xbox One remote. At first blush, the remote control looks pretty basic and should be superfluous. Amid the options of using a controller, voice control and the controversial included Kinect 2.0 with motion controls, why would you want another device to slip between the sofa cushions?

I’ll tell you why – it makes sense. With the Xbox One’s ability to control audio and TV, you can now have a single universal remote without all the extra buttons, have to sometimes alter your speaking patterns to get the Kinect to understand you or wave around to accomplish simple tasks that the past three decades may have trained you to simply hit a button. Furthermore, using a game controller has its own set of aggrevations : the battery use plus their tendency to go into sleep mode is inconvenient, as is setting one down only to have a trigger hit and mess up what you were watching.

The Xbox One Remote Control includes back and OneGuide buttons, can control integrated audio and TV controls via the Xbox One Kinect setup, as well as the standard controls for things like BluRay and video streaming playback. Furthermore, it includes a motion-activated backlighting means you’re not squinting in the dark to find the right buttons to press. ERP (Estimated Retail Price) for this handy little addition is expected to set you back $25, and will be in stores early March.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, at a young age I was forced to decide whether the harsh northern winters were going to claim my fingers, or to turn to the safer pursuits of indoor activities. Little did I know that a little game called Ninja Gaiden would bring my digits more pain than frostbite ever could. Starting with Vectrex and C64 games and moving forward through the era of electronic entertainment, I sampled as much as I could in the different platforms, and began my interest in PC gaming from wrestling with DOS memory management.

While console games were a part of my earliest gaming memories and I certainly had played on most platforms including 3D0, all things Nintendo, PS1 and the like, truly the PC was my domain until the Xbox. As an old PC gamer, I ever chased the cutting edge technology. Eye of the beholder with CGA 4 colors was my first step down the the path of blowing thousands of dollars on PC upgrades over two decades. Ultima 7, with the Guardian talking to me through my monitor, still haunts my dreams and keeps me ever hoping for a decent Ultima 8 and 9. From the 3DFX SLI VooDoo2s and Aureal to today's GPU driven DirectX games, the new and shiny pictures seem to keep me going. My PC gaming has slowed down with the market shift though, and although I have choice games that will ever be on PC, I have found myself in console gaming with a bit of portable gaming in my life.

Back around the turn of the millenium (and long before fatherhood), I had fired off an email offering to help Ron with a little-known site called ConsoleGold. Little did I know it would be be a part of my life to this day. While I've seen my fair share of shovelware (thanks Ron!), I manage to try and find the fun in most games. Leaning towards sandbox and action titles, I've grown to love games for their potential to reach art. Console agnostic and excited for the progress of tomorrow, I fancy the latest and greatest, but still enjoy the good old classics ... as long as they've been revamped from their 8bit graphic roots.

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