Long term, this may be the sort of device that could help enable new types of console games that make use of the mobile phone, as Microsoft has shown in technology previews. But that may be a bit of wishful thinking.
In the short term, it’s meant to give Xbox 360 users more ways of using their console headsets, beyond talking in multiplayer games, video chat or Avatar Kinect.
The device, set for release in November, will sell for $59.99. Microsoft says it uses Bluetooth to connect with phones and PCs, while connecting to the console using its standard radio frequencies. A switch will let users flip between the two modes, with blue and green LED light rings signaling the active mode. It charges via the Xbox 360 USB port.
Microsoft today also announced a new Xbox 360 media remote that will go on sale for $19.99, also in November. It’s designed for controlling the Xbox 360 Dashboard, CD and DVD playback, and Xbox Live services including Netflix, Hulu Plus and ESPN. Here’s a look at that device.