Last month, when Microsoft gave us our first glimpse of the Xbox Series X housing, the photo angles provided notably left out the rear of the console—you know, the part with all the ports for wires and such. Now, a message board leak has apparently revealed what that back side will look like, including a few changes from the old Xbox One line.
The images of an “Xbox Product Name Placeholder PROTOTYPE – NOT FOR SALE,” originally posted by NeoGAF user Curry Panda, were later confirmed as authentic by Brad Sams at Thurrott.com (who has a strong track record of reporting accurate internal information about Microsoft’s plans). That makes this leak different from a glimpse of the Series X’s backside shown by AMD at CES earlier this month—AMD later admitted that imagery “was not sourced from Microsoft and does not accurately represent the design or features of the upcoming console.”
The biggest apparent change from the Xbox One to the Xbox Series X, port-wise, is the lack of the HDMI input that allowed for “pass-through” TV programming on all Xbox One models (and the accompanying IR output that allowed the Xbox One/Kinect to act as a TV remote). That’s not a huge surprise, considering how quickly Microsoft stopped stressing this functionality after a major Xbox-as-set-top-TV-box push back in the console’s early years. The Series X is also missing the dedicated Kinect port that was already removed from the Xbox One S and Xbox One X, meaning you’ll seemingly need a discontinued USB adapter for those particular backward-compatible games.
Otherwise, the connection situation seems pretty standard, with two super-speed USB ports (in addition to one on the front), a digital audio output, and an ethernet jack for wired Internet connections. The power plug looks like roughly the same size and shape as those on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X, suggesting the power cords for those systems may also work with the Series X (and also suggesting the massive external power brick for the original Xbox One may not be necessary).
The Series X also includes an unidentified rectangular port that looks like it would fit an old CompactFlash portable storage drive. Sams has previously said this port “may be used for debugging but there wasn’t an agreement on the nature of its functionality.” And there are plenty of rear vents to provide airflow as well, in addition to the ones we’ve already seen on the “top” of the system (when it’s stacked vertically like a column).
Getting an additional glimpse at the Series X housing doesn’t give us any idea of what gaming on the upcoming system will be like, but it does make the system feel a little more “real” than Sony’s PlayStation 5, which has yet to be seen publicly as a tangible object. Now, at least, those who decide to upgrade to the Series X can better visualize what the box will look like in their home entertainment centers.