— Doug – XBOX SERIES X (@Doug_DragoX) January 22, 2020
Which ports are included in the Xbox Series X prototype image leaks?
At the top we have one labelled S/PDIF (Sony/Phillips Digital Interface), which is the port for an optical cable. This is a fairly common interface in the current generation of consoles, and is used for audio. If you use a soundbar, for instance, you may choose to wire it into your Xbox Series X through this port.
To the right of the optical port are two USB Type-A ports, labeled with the SS ‘SuperSpeed’ insignia that indicates they are 3.0 high-speed ports. Another one of these USB ports is located on the front of the console (albeit it not labeled with the SS logo, and thus potentially the slower 2.0 variant), bringing the USB count to 3. These will be used for a wide variety of peripherals, such as controllers, charging cables, and wireless headset receivers.
Below the USB ports on the rear of the console is an Ethernet port, which will be used to hardwire the console into a home network. If you’d rather not risk the lag of a wireless wi-fi connection, then using an Ethernet cable directly into your router will be the best option here.
What is the mysterious Xbox Series X port in the photos?
To the left of the Ethernet cable is a more curious port; a long, narrow slot with a line drawn next to it and no recognizable insignia. While it may look a bit like a memory card reader, it is more likely to be the slot for a diagnostics report device, as noted by technology website Thurrott.
As this is a prototype console, it makes sense that Microsoft would want to hook the Xbox Series X up to another device in order to analyse its performance. It’s impossible to truly clarify if this is indeed the port’s true purpose without an official Microsoft source stepping forward, but it seems possible that this slot will not be present on retail versions of the Xbox Series X.
Below this mystery slot is a HDMI port. Importantly, the Xbox Series X features just a single HDMI, which will logically be of the ‘Out’ configuration. The Xbox One features both ‘In’ and ‘Out’ HDMI slots in order to facilitate its ‘All In One’ entertainment features, such as TV pass-through. By scrapping the HDMI In port for the Xbox Series X, it appears that Microsoft is planning to abandon the entertainment hub idea of the Xbox One with its new console.
Finally, a small power cable port can be seen to the right of the HDMI port, labelled with a small Xbox logo. It’s unclear yet if the Series X will require a large power brick as part of its power cable, but it seems likely considering the size of the console in this photo; it seems a neat little box with little room for a power supply unit.
Xbox Series X Reveal Images
Will the Xbox Series X have an USB C port?
Missing from these ports are any USB C connectors, which were at one point rumored. That leak was debunked by AMD, and the lack of their presence on these images provides a little extra potential credibility to their legitimacy.
But do remember: these photographs could very well be fake and offer no real information. Until Microsoft officially reveals photographs of the back of the console, it’s impossible to know how real these photographs are. It could easily be a 3D printed shell created by an enthusiast.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer. You can follow him on Twitter.