Microsoft Offers Up New Media Remote and Bluetooth Headset

Do you remember the Xbox 360 Universal Remote? No? Either do I, but apparently Microsoft hasn’t forgotten.

Navigating the numerous multi-media screens that now accompany an Xbox 360 experience is difficult, especially with a handheld controller. Thankfully a remote would be helpful and a remote is exactly what Microsoft is offering.

The Xbox 360 Media Remote is designed after the Xbox 360 S, so all you OCD types have nothing to worry about as the remote will also be clad in the same shiny-shows-a-million-fingerprints black. The remote will be able to control not only Netflix, HuluPlus, and ESPN, but the Xbox 360 Dashboard as well. This remote also has the ability to diminish or possibly eliminate your media remote stockpile by controlling many basic functions of many popular TVs brands.

It goes on sale this November for $19.99 – batteries included.

But a shiny new remote isn’t the only thing Microsoft is offering up before the pre-holiday wish list writing.

Also expect the Xbox 360 Wireless Headset with Bluetooth® to be available as well. The headset has the ability to not only allow one to communicate over Xbox LIVE, but also any Bluetooth enable device, offering seamless connectivity to a multitude of devices with the touch of a button.

The headset offers up to eight hours of talk time and up to 300 hours on standby for you hard core gamers out there.

It retails for $59.99 and expect it on the store shelves around the same time as the remote.

EA Announces Grand Slam® Tennis 2

Tennis games have never been a cash crop for the video game industry.  You never see a line of caffeinated teenagers standing in the December cold eagerly waiting to throw down some mad aces.  That doesn’t mean there isn’t a game for the tennis aficionados.

EA has announced it is resurrecting the Grand Slam nameplate for a second coming, hoping to fill the tennis game void.

“We are very excited to bring the EA SPORTS Grand Slam® Tennis franchise to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms and leverage the graphical power of these high definition consoles,” said Line Producer Thomas Singleton. “Players will now get to experience the excitement and drama of serving it up on prestigious tennis venues such as Wimbledon’s famed Centre Court.”

But EA isn’t filling that void with just another swing-and-a-miss tennis game, o no.  They are including things like PRO AI, where real players play like themselves.  There is also the inclusion of Wimbledon, the crème brulee of tennis locales.  Though the Xbox 360 version won’t be sporting Kinect playability.

To modernize the tennis playing fun EA is introducing its Total Racquet Control system, where buttons become nonexistent and everything is played through the joysticks.  The right stick controls the racquet while the left controls your player on the court.  EA sights this as, “…the first true innovation in the tennis genre in years.”
 
We shall see.

Expect Grand Slam® Tennis 2 to hit store shelves sometime in 2012.  Until then, check out the teaser trailer below.