The minimalist design of Xbox Series X hides a little piece of tech to make sure your old media remote keeps working into the future.
Xbox Live director of programming Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb shared the little detail on his Twitter account, pointing out that the same button you'll use to quickly bind Xbox Series X controllers and other accessories to the console has a clever second purpose: it's also a low-key receiver for infrared remotes.
Xbox One Media Remotes will continue to work with Xbox Series X|S as part of our commitment that you can bring your existing accessories forward with you. The design team hid the IR receiver inside the bind button #PowerYourDreams pic.twitter.com/vNQ2FJsgRhOctober 22, 2020
If you look really close, you can tell the Bind button has that telltale semi-transparent black finish. It's a clever way to double up on the use for one button while preserving as much real estate for the big box look as possible. It's especially handy to keep the aesthetic intact for Xbox Series S, since it's otherwise all-white.
I'll admit that I do worry a little bit about skin oil from the button presses potentially messing with the receiver's signal, but it's not like most users will press the bind button all that often. Mostly I'm glad that Microsoft is walking the walk with regards to its pledge to support the vast majority of Xbox accessories from previous generations.
That said, it looks like there will be plenty of new stuff if you'd prefer to get a fresh start for the next generation - including what looks to be an official Xbox Series X media remote from peripheral manufacturer PDP.
Find out more about Microsoft's next flagship console with our Xbox Series X hands-on preview.