Here’s a new thing, hardware or rather accessories. I recently waffled on about the Sony Ecosystem and how there was a surge in accessories happening, well here is a look at one of them.
Sony recently launched the Universal Media Remote as a way to remove your favourite Dualshock Controller from the hands of non-gamers when they hog the PS4 on a Netflix marathon. Well that’s my take on it. Generally I would only go looking for a Universal Remote when the one that came with the TV stops working, this little beauty promises to add functionality to your media devices and thus make the supplied remotes defunct.
Offering as much if not more in specs that you would imagine from a decent multi remote the device promises to control your TV, Set Top Box and PS4 in one neat package. In a house of constantly missing remotes this is a good thing. However, the relatively simple setup refused repeatedly to find and take control of my LG TV, it managed to switch it off, but never gave full control. There are auto scans and manual codes to try out, but to my dismay it seems a four year old TV is beyond the devices capabilities and without having control of the TV there was little point giving it control of the T-Box.
PS4 integration on the other hand is sweet straight out of the box, the traditional Blu-Ray buttons offer all the control you need over movie playback, whether from disc or streaming from any of the supported services. This is the win, sometimes handling movie playback is a chore via the Dualshock, especially for someone unfamiliar with the console, the Universal Remote makes that all make sense.
The form factor is really nice, sitting in the hand it has a nice weight to it and while it may look on the long side, it feels just right. The buttons are responsive and have the right kind of click to them.
Value wise, compared to other high end Universal Controllers I think it pitches itself just right, its a nice unit that offers exactly what you’d need if you wanted one. I look forward to the day that I fire up a modern TV and get to really put it through its paces.