Having a universal remote has always seemed to be a mystical invention that sounded amazing in theory, but never seemed to work out in practice. I tried them about 8 years ago, quite a few of them actually, and none of them really felt right. It ended up being easier to just use the million other regular remotes I already had and knew did the job. But the PS4 Universal Media Remote may have gotten some things right. At least, I’ve yet to stop using it.
I don’t know if this is the norm lately, but the volume pass-through function is amazing. I was worried about not being able to change the volume of my television while using it on my PS4, but the remote fixed that. It’s a really simple feature, but one that would make or break a product like this.
It’s nothing special to look at, truth be told, but it’s far from ugly. The buttons are arranged fairly logically, not leaving you with a sense of confusion about how the contraption works. It’s comfy too, not just a weird solid plastic thing with buttons; which is more than I can say for the majority of the remotes I normally use.
I’m not going to deny that it has some problems though. I had quite a few issues with it to begin with. After trying to program some of the soft keys, it unpaired from my TV, and it took more than a few goes to get it paired and working again. It was frustrating to say the least, and I almost stopped trying. But after I had those soft keys programmed, it took the remote to all new heights.
In the end, the PS4 Universal Media Remote is a gadget. A very cool gadget. One that you may actually use a lot if you have a few different devices. I enjoy having it, it’s not essential. If you use your PS4 for Netflix and such, you may get more mileage out of it. It’s nice, it actually works and only you can decide if it’s worth the return on investment.