What do you do to make your mid-range home theatre system stand out in today's market? In Pioneer's case, they've gone to Microsoft, presumably thrown some money at them, and the end result is the Pioneer HTP-GS1, a home theatre system with specific integration features and more than a dollop of Xbox 360 style in its design.
All of the components of the system utilise the familiar rounded lines and soft white style of the Xbox 360 console itself. If we were feeling snarky, we'd point out that the rather large subwoofer also mimics the Xbox 360's size as well, although to be fair that's because, like many mid-range home theatre systems, the subwoofer also houses the HTP-GS1's reciever, which requires that bit more extra space. Beyond the subwoofer, you'll also be hefting out four small speakers and a larger central speaker from the HTP-GS1's box, as well as a calibration microphone, wired remote display and the HTP-GS1's remote control. The smaller speakers are essentially unremarkable from a design perspective, save for the fact that they're stackable, as the system has been cleverly designed to work with all the speakers in the front of the room. We can certainly see households that don't want speaker cables trailing all over the place when you settle down for a game of, so it's a good compromise. The extended remote display houses a single-line LCD display within a panel that fairly closely mimics the front panel of an Xbox 360, although there's no facility for clipping or otherwise attaching it to your 360.
The HTP-GS1's remote mirrors those of most other home theatre systems, save for the addition of Xbox 360-specific buttons, namely the Y, X, A and B buttons, a dedicated Xbox Guide button and Media Center button. The main cursor control will work within the 360 dashboard as if it were a controller as well. The remote front panel slides down to reveal more granular controls for selecting audio input, surround sound modes and TV control.
It's definitely important to clarify that the HTP-GS1 isn't just an Xbox 360 sound system; as it uses standard optical audio inputs any compatible bit of gear can be connected for audio output. The HTP-GS1 itself is a 600W 5.1-channel surround sound system with three digital audio inputs. Two of these are optical, with one labelled specifically for the Xbox 360, although again that's just a labelling convenience -- as well as a coaxial optical and standard analogue stereo input.