thanks for the help, you got my mind thinking around the settings, but I figured out what to do.
There is a little bit of a manual step involved. I had to plug in a separate HDMI cable directly to the TV and my xbox ( or whatever i wanted to do that night). Then after that I had to go into the HDMI settings on the TV and turn off "Control HDMI Devices" this breaks the Bravia sync with the sound bar and lets you switch it from TV Speakers to Audio System and switch to Variable like you mentioned.
So if anyone has this problem, this is what you need to do. It's not exactly pretty but it gets the job done.
Furthermore i think if you wanted a more permanent solution, you could plug in all of your HDMI devices directly into the TV and use the optical audio cable to generate the sound, but I'm sure this has it's complications as well.