What are the ports on the Xbox Series X?

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Best answer: Although we don’t have a full official rundown yet, we have seen leaked photographs of the back of the Xbox Series X prototypes. So far, it looks like it has three USB-A ports, an HDMI-out port, a CFExpress SSD card expansion port, a SPDIF optical port, an Ethernet port, and a power socket. See below for more details.

Owing to a previous leak, we’ve been able to have a proper look at the backside of the Xbox Series X showing off all the prototype ports. This is likely to be the set that ships with the console later in 2020, but there’s always a chance Microsoft will use different ports on the final retail units.

So far, this is what it looks like we have:

  • 3x USB-A ports: Two in the back, one in the front. These are for USB accessories primarily, including headsets, controller recharge docks and cables, USB storage expansion drives, keyboards and mice, and so on.
  • SPDIF optical: This is a digital interface port designed for speaker systems and higher-end headsets.
  • HDMI-out (2.1): This connects your Xbox Series X to your TV. The 2.1 interface adds ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), which ensures that your TV automatically switches to its “game mode” setting for lowest latency gaming possible. It also includes VRR (Variable Refresh Rates), which makes games like smoother in motion. Sadly, it looks as though the HDMI-in pass-through available on the Xbox One S and X for TV integration is gone.
  • Ethernet: This connects your Xbox Series X to your router via a Cat5 cable; it will also have Wi-Fi, of course.
  • Power: There’s a figure-8 power socket as well. We have no idea if the Xbox Series X will have an internal or external power supply, but Microsoft set a bit of a precedent with the Xbox One S and X, which both have internal power supplies.
  • Possible CFExpress: There’s an additional rectangular slot that was initially thought to be some sort of port for proprietary debugging tools, but now it seems as though it may be a CFExpress storage card slot, allowing you to expand your Xbox Series X’s base memory. Until we get official confirmation, though, take this as a possibility.
  • Kensington lock: Next to the sticker, there’s a small rectangle with a padlock icon. This is a Kensington lock port that allows you to tie hardware down to a table or something of that nature. It’s unclear whether or not this would feature on the retail units.

If you can’t wait for the Xbox Series X, there are a lot of options for picking up an Xbox One console today, and every game and accessory you pick up should carry forward to the next-gen console too.

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