Skip to main content

Report: Xbox Series X allegedly features only one HDMI port, no USB-C

Xbox Series X Controller
Xbox Series X Controller (Image credit: Microsoft)

Update January 9, 2020: We've now confirmed the ports below with our own sources too. Head here for a look at a 360-degree 3D model of the Xbox Series X.

What you need to know

  • Yesterday, AMD showcased a render of the Xbox Series X.
  • AMD has since debunked the accuracy of the Xbox Series X assets, claiming the 3D model was from TurboSquid.com.
  • A rumored report by Thurrott says it has one HDMI-out port in the back alongside USB-A.
  • Take this with a grain of salt until we receive official confirmation from Microsoft.

Yesterday, chipmaker AMD made a massive mistake by using a TurboSquid.com 3D render of the Xbox Series X which featured incorrect ports in the back. While we know that the upcoming console has a USB-A port in the front, the render AMD used showcased USB-C, HDMI-in, and more.

According to a report by Thurrott, the Xbox Series X allegedly features two USB-A SuperSpeed ports, ethernet, HDMI-out, optical audio, and a power cable in the back. The report said the following.

I was able to confirm with several insiders about the actual ports on the current early iterations of the hardware. Keep in mind, these may not be final and are subject to change but do come from multiple people familiar with the hardware. As it stands right now, the Series X features, on the back of the hardware, two USB-A ports... ethernet, a single HDMI port, optical audio, and a power connection. There is also another port on the back that may be used for debugging but there wasn't an agreement on the nature of its functionality... Also, on the back of the device are openings for air intake as well; all of the ports are located on the lower half of the hardware. Keep in mind, there is also a USB-A port on the front of the console but for now, it looks like Microsoft is sticking with the older USB style port... As always, these ports could change before release but that's what I am hearing the Series X is using today.

As with any such leak, take it with a grain of salt until Microsoft officially reveals the ports in the back. This rumor lines up with reports we've been investigating that the HDMI-in port had been removed. We've also been investigating unconfirmed reports that the Infrared Blaster has been removed too, and live television won't be supported at all due to HDMI-in being removed. The ill-fated Microsoft Kinect won't be supported even over USB, too. The focus of the Xbox Series X is on games, with entertainment apps like Netflix and so on to supplement.

Were you hoping for USB-C ports instead of the USB-A ports? Let us know. As noted by Thurrott, the ports could change because the console is due out in Holiday 2020. We'll keep you posted as soon as we know more.

Xbox (opens in new tab)

Main

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

36 Comments
  • The lack of the HDMI input will relegate the Xbox to being just another device in our home system rather than the hub for our Entertainment. My family actually uses cable and loves to say "Xbox watch HBO" or any other channel rather than having to find it manually. Because we use it with our cable, we get to see when our friends come online and can message us when we want to game without disrupting our tv shows. If there isn't an HDMI input, it will stay off until we decide to use it for gaming. The TV we chose has all of the apps we use, but I'd rather use them on the XBox Series X. Now it will just be a more difficult setup to use where we always have to switch inputs to the right one.
  • Similar situation for me. I like being able to switch back and forth in seconds by simply clicking the controller home button. It's super easy to go from watching TV to the dashboard, see who's online and what they're playing, or check stuff in the Store or another app for a few minutes while watching TV or during commercials. It'll now be a separate process that will take significantly longer and I'm sure I'll do much less frequently.
  • Yeah customers as a mass are morons.... Who the f cares if they have an HDMI and don't want to use it... Just dont' but let the people with a brain enjoy the ease of use of multimedia entermaint that set up allowed....
    We should petition MS to keep it in... Heck I'd pay a premium to have a version with it...
  • yeah otherwise they're doing the same thing that Don Mattrick did back in 2013 : If you want offline games then use older Xbox 360. In this case it would be if you want HDMI input then use older Xbox One / S and if you don't need it then you can buy the new Series X console
  • I really hope they go solely with USB-C (in terms of the USB ports). It wouldn't make a lot of sense to use the older ports for another 5+ years if unnecessary. You don't even have to make them fast USB-C ports. Even 2.0 speeds on the front and a single 3.2 port on the back for extra storage would be good. Just having a reversible, smaller connector would be nice.
  • What's the point of having USB-C ports on the console...? Everybody has cables with USB-A to USB-C like they did with every other iterations of the USB ports... It's not like you are going to plug and unplug those back port in the dark on a daily basis are you? As a matter of fact I havealmost never used a USB cable that didn't have a USB-A plug on what side no matter what was the format on the other side unless it was on a very recent laptop and to be fare I usually use the USB-a port because I have way more cables with that at one end
  • Why not both? 4 USB A and 2 USB C (that can be used as a secondary video out for screen mirroring)
  • So we're assuming that there won't be an HDMI pass through? But I linked my mini PC to the system :(
  • Long time viewer, first time commenter on Windows Central, and this is the article that apparently caused me to finally speak up. I really hope it isn't true that Phil Spencer and his team has decided to remove HDMI passthrough functionality for the new series of consoles (especially the "premium" edition Series X). Doing so will greatly diminish the central role the console has established for itself in my entertainment system. Although I game, I have a suspicion that I'm not the only one who has other setup boxes (cable/satellite/digital broadcast) or even HDMI streaming sticks attached, and predominately uses their console for media streaming. For many families, the Xbox console interface is their gateway to games and streaming entertainment. I feel that not including simple passthrough at the very least would hinder its usefulness for the casual gamer/family... it will ultimately be regulated to some other HDMI input, and I will have to re-educate my family on the use of a Harmony remote or the confusing AV remote. I'd like to keep my TV and AV remote in the drawer where it belongs. If this is all in the name of staying on message with "this console is for gamers", and completely avoid the mistakes of the past "TV, TV, TV", then I think this could be making the opposite mistake (pendulum swing too far the other way). The average gamer is older now (some of us 40+ now), and we're starting to enjoy how technology can offer life's conveniences... limiting the functionality of the device isn't a good move - you don't have to talk a lot about non-gaming features, but don't take them away. Is this relieving a significant loaded OS memory size by removing said feature? Or is this pointing to a completely new OS interface and it would take too much time to re-develop? (in the last year current OS/dashboard updates have really slowed down) I'm trying to find the reason to cut this feature entirely. Even so, why completely remove the feature physically from the console - could there be another "Series" console that has better multi-AV or entertainment system features? And for those that will argue the "cord-cutting" movement makes this feature pointless, I'm still waiting for the day where the general internet IP-protocol can deliver as reliable of a signal as I receive via cable/satellite - particularly when I'm trying to watch live regional sports. I guess I will have to switch AV/TV inputs now each time the "game" is on.
  • Thanks for joining us. I agree that it sucks for people that use it, Zac Bowden on WC for example uses it as the center of his entertainment hub at home and has been pretty pissed about the possibility of its removal privately. I get why they're doing it, they have telemetery that probably states that few people are actually using the thing and including it would further reduce the margins on the box, which are gonna be wafer-thin anyway by the looks of it. The main issue seems to be sports, which are still by and large a live TV affair. It might be annoying but, there's not a whole lot of difference between switching HDMI input on your TV or switching app on your Xbox.
  • I have an Xbox One S and I don't use its HDMI input. I have a Hauppauge WinTV PVR plugged into one of my Xbox's USB ports, and I use OneGuide to watch over-the-air TV via the Hauppauge. I'd be pissed off if Microsoft discontinued OneGuide, but I don't imagine that they have a reason to do so. If OneGuide is just an app, then that probably requires less maintenance than if it is a part of the operating system.
  • Jez, dropping the HDMI passthrough means that EVERY TIME I WANT TO CHANGE what I'm watching, I need to change inputs and adjust my amp/tuner. I assume my use case is pretty common: I might watch a show on Amazon Prime, then something on Netflix, then a regular TV show from the satellite/cable TV. I rely on the Xbox to gather all of those and make it a single voice command or button press to switch. I'm eager and willing to pay for stable 4k 60+ fps gaming with HDR and ray tracing, but not if I have to screw up my TV watching to get it. I game several hours every week, but I watch TV and streaming services every day, probably about 3-4 times as much as I game. If I had to choose between a good TV experience and a good gaming experience, I'm afraid the TV part is more important.
  • I feel like anyone that owns an amp should really own a universal remote control, it just makes life so much easier. But, to each their own.
  • I would rather have the two HDMI ports than 2 USB-A ports unless they have the thunderbolt cable for the out and the HDMI is for the in. I will hold off on speculation for now but please don't screw up my Entertainment Hub. I miss Kinect but i have been fine without it. I still use it for skype calls but i love it to switch back and forth from TV to apps and games. Boo to them if they do this because all they will do is bring it back in 3 years when customers demand it back.
  • Unfortunately, we HDMI pass-through fans are the (very small) minority who MS knows will buy the Series X regardless. I'm guessing Phil Spencer rejected anything non-gaming focused, at least for the initial version. To support the decision, I'm sure they have all sorts of telemetry and have done numerous focus groups, both of which they'll clumsily reference in their perpetually vague and clunky messaging.
  • I have an Xbox One S, the Kinect USB adapter, a Kinect, and some Kinect games, and if the Xbox Series X doesn't support Kinect, I won't be able to replace my S with it. In that situation, if I wanted the Series X, I'd *still* have to keep my S and have them both connected to my TV.
    I'm not planning on replacing my S with the Series X--at least not yet--but I would like it if I could continue to play my Kinect games on the Series X for if/when I eventually get one.
  • What happened to "all" Xbox 1 games and devices will work with the console? Is this boarding on another false VR statement?
  • I don't care about having USB type A ports on the console itself. But I wish the controller gets the USB type C port. That micro USB port looks dated on otherwise good controller.
  • The new elite does do I guess we can hope for it on regular new pads...
  • Hopefully proper HDMI CEC will be supported this time.
  • Proper? Your TV doesn't turn on/off automatically with your console and change to the correct input?
  • I think it depends on the TV and if that is enabled on that port.
  • That's true especially with the input switching, but even with old TV's it should at least turn on/off with the console(my old plasma turns on/off with the console)
  • Even if that is the plan they have right now -- and that is a very big if -- that could definitely change between now and launch day.
  • please it's 2020 we need usb-c everywhere!!!
  • I don't have enough C to C cables to care about whether the console has USB-C outputs, so long as the speed is still the same, I'm fine with it.
  • That's the problem, the speed. Isn't C 3.1 and a higher speed than 3.0? I would love to use the Samsung external SSD and get the speed from it.
  • That's something I wasn't sure about, whether they could still utilise usb 3.1 (is 3.2 a thing now?) from a USB-A Port, or if the USB-C have more connectors or whatever which is what allows the possibility of faster speeds, but I honestly don't know.
  • 3.2 added a 20Gbps mode, but I've not seen anything that uses it yet (not saying nothing does, just nothing I'm personally aware of). In general, many devices that use the USB A connector, only support up to 5Gbps, where USB C frequently goes up to 10Gbps (and presumably newer devices will start to support the newer 20Gbps). I don't believe USB A can't go faster than 5Gbps, just that they generally don't, because 5Gbps, was the limit of USB 3.0, before there was a USB C.
  • Yeah, it's one of those things that is a little confusing, as A, B, C, they're just connectors. But if the data throughput is affected by the number of wires in the cable, which is how some work, then it could be that USB C has more separate connections within the plug, thus allowing for the increased amount of data. But I'm just spit balling based on my very limited knowledge of how some other cabling works (DMX, Ethernet and speaker notably). Alternatively, it could also just be forced obsolescence, it's possible, but no one will do it because C is so much more convenient.
  • I use the HDMI passthrough for my Xbox 360 so I can use my good headphones with it instead of the ancient Turtle Beach headset. It also comes in handy for when I am in a party on Xbox one and I want to play a non BC 360 game, that way I don't have to change anything.
  • It would be an exceptionally stupid move by Microsoft to drop the HDMI pass-thru capability. I don't see how the cost of including it would make a material difference to the overall cost of the console, especially if you forget about OneGuide. Also, I don't see how including an HDMI-in port detracts from Microsoft's preferred and renewed focus on gaming for the Series X. OneGuide has never worked where I live, but I've always made use of the HDMI pass-thru since I've had an Xbox One. As my satellite TV box has its own EPG, the lack of OneGuide has never really bothered me. Having that HDMI-in port on my Xbox One X has made the console the hub of my TV-connected entertainment, enabling convenient and efficient switching to all options from watching regular TV, DVD/Blu-ray, streaming apps, and game-related features with my Xbox media remote. For the Series X to not have an HDMI-in port, for me it would go from a definite replacement of my One X to a possible addition to my One X. I'm not going to change my whole entertainment setup to accommodate Microsoft's dumb decisions.
  • Totally agree. Hope this isn't the case.
  • Guess we'll have to plug the series X in the HDMI in of the Xbox one... 🤣 They might bundle it for free... Full BC confirmed 🤣🤣🤣🤣
  • Man, I hope this is not the final port set up? I and many friends set the xbox up as the main entertainment unit. Meaning cable is passed through the box. So far, this is terrible news.
  • I need my HDMI in! I rely on the Xbox as the media hub for my entertainment/AV system. It turns everything on with a phrase ("Xbox On") or single button press. By running all audio and video through the Xbox, it also saves me from having to change inputs and volume levels across multiple devices every time I change sources. I want to also emphasize that this is separate from needing to maintain the OneGuide in various markets. At least for me, I don't care about OneGuide. It's the single feed into my system and the IR blaster to turn everything on with one voice command or touch that I need. Does anyone know if there's a place to post my concerns where MS is most likely to see them? I have been assuming all along that I would be a launch-day Scarlet buyer, but if it will break my whole entertainment model... I have no idea what I'll do. Probably wait and hope a subsequent Series X edition adds the broader entertainment features back in.