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I have to question the brains at Sony at a bit over their supposedly innovative (though I'm not sure that anyone other than a PS fanboy or fangal would say that it's innovative in any way) Blu-ray remote control for the PS3.

I've had a few fanboys, apparently pretty heavy into the Sony Kool-aid, tell me that the remote is innovative and that it is the likes of Microsoft, Logitech (who makes the line of Harmony remotes), and every other remote control maker on the planet that are really the ones that are behind, but I don't buy into that crap at all.

First, how about we look at the Sony remote control:

Image linked from Gizmodo
Image linked from Gizmodo

Can someone please tell me what some of those buttons do??!? Like, for example, the number buttons. Or the colored buttons. Or the L1, L2, R1 or R2 buttons?!? I'm sure there are some uses for them, but are they really that useful for the vast majority of users?

How about the bigger gripe that I have for the thing -- where's the volume control buttons for controlling the volume on my TV or A/V receiver?  Whoops, there isn't one.  Why not?  Well, because the device is Bluetooth only, not IR, and therefore controls a total of about 1 and only 1 device out on the market (the PS3).  There's no universal-ness to it.  No effort at making the remote one that could replace an array of other remote controls that a customer might use, and sadly, no real direct replacement for this one because it was made as a Bluetooth device and the vast majority (read: virtually ALL) of other remote control manufacturers have not bothered to create any remote controls that would replace the the Blu-ray remote control.

Now, I can't legitimately say 'all', as Nyko and a few others have created some alternative remote controls and remote control systems for the PS3, but not direct replacements for the Blu-ray remote.  They've created IR-based (Infrared based) remote controls that use a dongle type device (a device that plugs into the USB port on the PS3) as a receiver that accepts the commands flashed over from the remote control.  Not a bad alternative, but not great either as you have to plug that 'little' dongle into the PS3 and leave it hanging out of the PS3 when you want to use it.  You could, if you wanted to, get a USB extender cable and then route the IR receiver off some distance away from the front of the PS3, but it just isn't all the convenient.

At least with the Universal Remote Control/Media Player remote control that Microsoft provides with their HD-DVD add-on for the Xbox 360, the remote will control a fair amount of TVs including volume control, channel changing, and Input source.  Do I really even need to talk about devices like the well received Logitech Harmony remote controls?  Those are fairly well accepted as some of the best universal remote controls available on the market.

So, I say again, you Sony fanboys and 'gals are WRONG in your defense of the Sony PS3 Blu-ray remote control.  Just because it uses some new technology (Bluetooth) rather than established standards (IR or RF) that other devices use doesn't make it better.  Using Bluetooth for the Six-axis controllers is fine.  Heck, using Bluetooth for this device would be fine too *IF* you weren't so cheap as to to fail to include an IR circuit in the remote that could be used to turn the remote into one that is far more functional.  For want of a few dollars worth of hardware in the device, the device is basically useless but for the task it was designed for -- extracting money from the pockets of customers, and I guess, and suppose, begrudingly, that it also works as a controller for Blu-ray movies when played on the PS3.

Thanks (again) for nothin' Sony.

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