Xbox Series X Hardware Shows Up Early

Posted on January 21, 2020 by Brad Sams in Xbox, Xbox Series X with 51 Comments

Two weeks ago, I wrote up the ports that were on the back of the Xbox Series X and today, you get to see them with your own eyes. Images of the hardware, that show the front and the back, have found their way to the Internet.

The images were posted by Curry Panda on Neogaf and the images are authentic of the hardware, meaning this is not a fancy 3D printed model. And as I reported, the back of the hardware contains an optical audio port, two USB A ports, ethernet, power and a single HDMI port.

The holes on the side of the ports are for venting and that large rectangle port in the middle is for diagnostic reporting. I don’t expect that port to be on the final hardware and as always, these ports could change.

The hole at the top of the series X does make it look like that back is removable but I would expect that to be since this is a pre-production unit and may need to be serviced to debug or update the hardware as they revise the final product.

What is odd is that the barcode and serial number are identifiable in this image. Microsoft tracks these prototypes and the person who was assigned this hardware is about to have a bad day. That being said, at least you can now understand the actual design of the back of Xbox Series X.

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Comments (52)

52 responses to “Xbox Series X Hardware Shows Up Early”

  1. ryguy

    Lack of HDMI input is going to really mess up my A/V setup - I've had the cable box running through the XB1 since launch. That's easily the most common use for the Xbox in our house.


    :(

    • melektaus

      In reply to ryguy:Yeah, this is annoying. The Xbox (One S) in my living room is hooked up this way, as was the launch Xbox One before it. It is so convenient and used so often, that when they started talking about the Project Scarlet box I never even considered that this feature might be removed. What a PITA.

      My wife is going to be pissed as the main use of this box nowadays (as I have an Xbox One X in the study/den/office) is for her to watch TV/streaming services. I know there are other options, but the convenience of all the services effectively coming in on the same input is hard to beat.

      Is this a cost thing? How much would another HDMI port cost anyway?


      • jtdennis

        In reply to melektaus:

        This is from 2014, but here's what a quick search found:


        The royalty fee structure is the same for all volumes. The following variable per-unit royalty is device-based and not dependent on number of ports, chips or connectors:

        • US$0.15 for each end-user licensed product.
        • US$0.05 – If the HDMI logo is used on the product and promotional material, the per-unit fee drops from US$0.15 to US$0.05. Use of HDMI logo requires compliance testing. 
        • US$0.04 – If HDCP is implemented and HDMI logo is used, the per-unit fee drops further from US$0.05 to US$0.04.

        Please note that Adopters must license HDCP separately from Digital Content Protection, LLC, an Intel subsidiary. Please see www.digital-cp.com for details


        from: https://www.semiconductorstore.com/blog/2014/licensing-costs-HDMI/654/


        I couldn't find exact HDCP costs.

  2. ngc224

    Thank you Brad for not using the word “leaked.” Obviously, Microsoft wants these images out there to help set expectations. Just own it Microsoft. It’s not a big deal.

  3. Vladimir Carli

    Lack of HDMI in is bad. They speak all the time of backwards compatibility and then they remove one essential hardware port? Moreover the size and dimensions of this thing concern me a lot. If I understand correctly, it will not fit in the standard furniture that most people have under their TV. That is going to be a major problem for me and probably I will not upgrade due to that

  4. yoshi

    Oof... looks like someone is either losing their job with Microsoft, or someone is losing their relationship with Microsoft.


    Looks good so far though. One HDMI is all it needs. Keep it simple and about games. Everything else is secondary.

  5. youwerewarned

    Ah...reading the comments (30-deep at the moment) and one thought comes to mind:


    Microsoft Consumer Product--guaranteed to please half of us.

  6. Stooks

    In 2020 I just do not see the need anymore for a high end Xbox anymore, maybe even any Xbox for that matter.


    All Xbox exclusives games are going to be on the PC as well...most are today. Cross play is picking up fast. Mouse/Keyboard support is coming to everything either officially or through 3rd party devices like XIM/Chronos Max, which is quickly bringing cheating to MP FPS games.


    The hardware in then new high end Xbox is powerful for a console but Digital Foundry pegs it at a Ryzen 3 3700 (non X) CPU and a AMD 5700 GPU (non XT) which is great but at the end of 2020 when the device rolls out will be mid level PC gaming hardware and not cost very much either.


    Seems like a decent gaming PC and a PS5 would cover all of your gaming needs.

  7. pwrof3

    Folks, it’s always important to remember that this will be one of at least two different Xbox consoles for the next generation. This one is for high end graphics and people who want that sort of thing. There will be another one at a cheaper price for the masses. Let’s see what that one looks like first before we bemoan the direction that Xbox is going.

  8. sharpsone

    I'm buying this thing regardless of what others think. I own a ton of Xbox titles and have no desire to switch, the ports included will be enough for me and most others.


    There's talk of these not being powerful systems with mid level graphics cards but that's always been the case for consoles vs PC what's sets consoles apart is they don't have to support all the extra stuff that PCs can do that eat up resources. This is ultimately a PC dedicated to gaming and media consumption... It will also be cheaper than gaming PCs. This unit is on par with PS5 so it's not like one will be better than the other. Just need software companies to quit the exclusive title crap. I won't be bullied into buying a system for certain games that's just the way I am.

  9. hc2kgamer

    Where is the DP port they said it would be an 8K monitor it's not even a 2K monitor with a HDMI port junk!

  10. starwulf

    Are they really only going to run one HDMI, no HDMI input for the cable box? My Xboxs are using more for entertainment rigs than gaming. It really help from having to train the family how to change inputs on the TV/receiver.

    • Thretosix

      In reply to starwulf:

      Apparently. My Xbox One X plays 4k Blu-rays, allows me to watch my cable programming and have it all go through my sound system. I also love the Kinect that people seem to hate as I'm able to do everything without burning controller batteries. Even turn the console on and change channels with my voice. I loved the media functionality. Sounds like the new xbox will have to be a pass for me, I don't feel like downgrading.

  11. autobot032

    Well, I'm out on this one. The HDMI input was such a necessity in all this A/V mess. At one point, I had an HDMI switcher plugged into the back of it, so I could play my classic mini consoles and run the whole thing through my home theater without a hiccup.


    They take away that functionality, it ruins the experience for me and mine. It was lovely having a pseudo "all-in-one" solution.


    I'll be sticking with the One X. I was really hoping to get this console. Oh, well. *shrugs*

    • anodyne

      In reply to autobot032:

      Seems like a weak reason to forego the XSX. You really shouldn't be using your Xbox as a media passthrough anyways given that it has limitations whereas your media receiver can be a powerhouse that handles a myriad of display and audio endcodes. Not sure what you're using the HDMI IN for but I highly recommend considering moving away from it.

      • autobot032

        In reply to anodyne:

        I already have other devices plugged into my receiver's HDMI ports.


        My TV is all plugged up as well. Like I said, it allows me to plug in my classic mini consoles. Aside from that, my Xbox gets the most A/V use in the house. We use it more for that than gaming.


        I really only use the Gold for the "free" games. With it being the main A/V hub and it's a simple button press, the HDMI in is a plus for me and those in my situation.


        That said, my opinion/pov doesn't stop anyone else from enjoying the Series X when it comes out, so to each their own, and I hope whoever buys it truly enjoys it.

  12. rickster128

    Wow, looks like Xbox (with the One X) went from the most advanced console, to the "All ready dead Console" pf the next generation.... I have owned over 7 Xboxes since 2002... Looks like the One X is my last. With no HDMI in or USB c I'm totally out. By MS you're dumb...

    • Stooks

      In reply to rickster128:

      I have been an Xbox user since the first one as well and I have NEVER used the HDMI In port.


      I do not think most people equate "most advanced console" or "most powerful console" with a HDMI in port. GPU, CPU, RAM etc...is more the focus and rightfully so.

  13. brettscoast

    Thanks Brad it's good to have some clarity

  14. proesterchen

    I think calling it the "Xbox Product Name Placeholder" makes more sense than this "Xbox Series Whatever" nonsense.

  15. madthinus

    Brad, is this bad leaking or bad reporting?

  16. benstat

    Lol at the comments so far in this thread bemoaning the removal of the HDMI in port - originally only included to facilitate the now famously disastrous 'all-in-one media hub' strategy of the original Xbox One.


    We all know how that went. As this generations sales figures attest, people (for the most part) want a dedicated games console, not a media center.


    And now people are complaining that they're finally removing this nice-to-have, but ultimately surplus to requirements feature, presumably in an attempt to cut costs and provide a high spec games console at a reasonable price.


    The world spoke, MS listened, and so Xbox Series X concentrates on playing games well, like the other consoles.


    Buy a HDMI switch?

    • tendoboy1984

      In reply to benstat:

      The Xbox 360 and PS3 were multimedia hubs too and no one complained. Heck the PS2 could play DVD movies and no one complained.


      Game systems have done more than just games for the past 2 decades.

    • Thretosix

      In reply to benstat:

      Disaster is your opinion. I don't share your opinion. It's clear others also favored having an HDMI in. Dictating it was disastrous is just your opinion. Stop dictating opinions as truth.

      • benstat

        In reply to Thretosix:


        I'm confused. The Xbox One launch was famously bad! It's well documented.


        I think the PS4 vs Xbox One sales figures speak for themselves. Opinion doesn't really come into it.


        Is all of that down to the HDMI in port? Of course not, but trying to be an all-in-one media hub instead of concentrating on being a games console was one of the things that most annoyed gamers at the time.

    • Vladimir Carli

      In reply to benstat:


      it's not that simple. Even if most people don't use the HDMI port, Microsoft is as usual screwing its most loyal customers.

      The HDMI switch adds a level of complexity, another remote, that people don't want, especially the families of the person using the xbox.

      Moreover, if it's a dedicated gaming console it should fit under the tv in a standard compartment. This thing will not. If I have to buy a tower I will buy a gaming computer. I really don't understand how they think

      • benstat

        In reply to Vladimir:


        You're asking MS to add another port that (a) no other console has, (b) most people don't want, (c) fulfils a niche requirement for a minority of users, to (d) a powerful games console that is likely to be very expensive to produce, and then (e) sell it to us at a reasonable price.


        I can imagine how many seconds it took them to drop it! Especially when you factor in the outrage at the E3 launch back in 2013, and subsequent poor sales performance vs PS4 this gen, partly caused by the whole all-in-one-media hub strategy.


        I, and I suspect the majority of Xbox gamers, don't want to pay extra for media hub features that don't belong in a dedicated games console. It's likely to be expensive enough as it is!


        Edit: I'm a loyal MS customer too. Glad they learned their lesson, and are spending money where it counts most in a games console this time.


        Edit 2: You're aware how powerful it is, right? Now I'm not too keen on the tower size/shape either, but this thing is going to run hot, and so I understand that has an impact on design. Shoving it inside a typical TV cabinet could well be a ventilation issue. Obviously there's a trade off between power and convenience. The rumored 'Lockhart' version might be more suitable if convenience trumps power for you (and let's not forget the One X remains an excellent machine too).

        • tendoboy1984

          In reply to benstat:

          The PS4, PS3, and Xbox 360 were all in one multimedia hubs as well. Even the PS2 could play DVD movies.


          All game systems these days do more than just play games, it's an expected feature.

          • benstat

            In reply to tendoboy1984:


            None of those consoles have a HDMI in port. That's the point. Xbox One is the only one. HDMI in is not a standard/expected console feature, and so MS shouldn't make all Series X users pay extra for a non-essential, non-gaming feature used by a minority of users. They tried that with Kinekt, and it didn't go down well.


            Basic media capabilities are expected, of course, but HDMI in is not that.

        • Vladimir Carli

          In reply to benstat:


          I know that it's powerful and I am aware of the reasons why they changed the shape. However, it doesn't seem a good decision. Will the PS5 be tower shaped or not? If not, that will be an additional reason to choose Sony. Normal people will be very happy to have a smaller box that fits under their tv and sacrifice 10% of the power.


          I completely agree with your last addition. I bought a one S for 150Euro and I guess the best option for me will be to upgrade to a One X when it goes down in price.

        • Vladimir Carli

          In reply to benstat:


          I wonder what extra cost we are really talking about, 5 dollars? In 2013 they pushed a lot on the media hub strategy. Even if 10% of the users followed it, is it wise to screw that 10% of the users? I am no marketing expert but it doesn't seem as a good strategy. You have to consider those that will NOT upgrade due to the missing port.


          Xbox one at launch costed 100 dollars more than PS4 and missed a number of very relevant PS4 exclusives. On top of that there was the absurd need to be online to play and the attempt to destroy the second hand game market. Basically, choosing PS4 was a no brainer for most people. This is what caused the poor sales, certainly not the media hub strategy.

          • tendoboy1984

            In reply to Vladimir:

            Having online reauirements is absurd? Pretty much every modern game has online functionality, and you have to be online to access Netflix, play MMO's, play multiplayer, do system updates, etc.

          • benstat

            In reply to Vladimir:


            The fact remains that most people want a dedicated games console that does one job well, at a reasonable price. The majority clearly don't want to pay extra for non-essential features.


            If they kept the HDMI in port, they'd be making the exact same mistake again - bumping up the price to include something most gamers don't want!


            Dropping HDMI in is part of their attempt to win back some of the many millions who jumped ship to PlayStation this gen. And the > 2:1 sales difference between PS4 and Xbox One beats your (I suspect generous) 10% of users who want to pay a bit more for a media hub.


            This thing is so powerful, MS will likely lose money on every sale, while still having to charge consumers an arm and a leg for it. You can be sure they've done absolutely everything they can to cut costs, and keep the retail price to an absolute minimum. Your $5 may not sound like much, but it's another $5 per unit they'd have to swallow. The alternative is worse - pass the cost on to gamers, and we know how that ends.

            • Vladimir Carli

              In reply to benstat:

              I understand what you say but tbh i still don't see how removing a feature will win back users. I don't think anyone thought "mmm the Xbox one has an HDMI in port, let's buy a playstation". According to the reactions here, removing it wil be a problem but of course we are a very special group of users

  17. pargon

    I was seriously disappointed that Microsoft dropped all the innovative feature of Xbox one. Cloud computing to offload physics and some graphics, game lending, killing Kinect was a mistake, the media hub is primarily what I use it for now that I have a family. Have used HDMI in before and I use over the air antenna with one guide now. They just priced it wrong. Microsoft should not cut features because the flexibility of the device is great. They can afford a couple bucks for an extra port without raising the price.

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