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Xbox Series X comes with a hidden button which doubles as an IR receiver

Xbox Series X
(Image credit: Future)

The Xbox Series X and S come with a nifty button which will allow you to use your older media remotes on Microsoft's next-generation consoles.

Located on the front of the Series X and S consoles, next to the USB port, there is a tiny button which you can use to pair your Series X controllers and other accessories quickly, but it also has a second function.

According to Xbox Live director of programming Larry Hryb, the button is also a receiver for infrared remotes, otherwise known as an IR receiver.

Hryb explains on Twitter: "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."

This IR reciever is a nice consideration for people who don't want to shell out for an entirely new media remote, allowing you to bring the vast majority of Xbox accessories from previous generations with you to the new console.

If you look at the button, you'll see it has a slightly transparent black finish, which has been done to make the feature as "hidden" as possible. The button is also black on white Xbox Series S consoles, so having it this small is entirely an aesthetic consideration.

The Xbox Series X is definitely following a theme here, being an Xbox console which is compatible with multiple generations of Microsoft products, games and accessories.

What is an IR receiver?

An infrared receiver, otherwise known as an IR receiver, is hardware that sends and receives information from an infrared remote control to another device.

This allows a device – for example, a universal TV remote – to work on a vast number of different TV brands and models.

To use the Xbox Series X as an example, the console's IR receiver will recognize older Microsoft-compatible products and allow them to work on the new consoles.

The bind button probably won't get too much use, so there's no concern of the IR receiver becoming worn out. You can pair controllers through a USB cable no problem, which means you probably won't use the button unless you have specific media remotes.

While you should be able to use your old media remotes on the Xbox Series X, there will also be new products going on sale which will be compatible with the Series X and S, like this PDP Media Remote spotted on Amazon.