Images of a supposed pre-production Xbox Series X unit made the rounds online last month, showing off the console’s ports. Aside from the standard USB and HDMI, one mysterious larger port left fans scratching their heads. If a new report is correct, this port could be for expanding storage capacity.
The long port, seen between the HDMI and optical ports on the back of the console, is for expanding the console’s storage, according to Brad Sams at Thurrott. The port could support the Compact Flash Express storage system, which is extremely fast and would seemingly offer faster loading times than are possible on a more traditional — and cheaper — storage system. Sams previously speculated that the port could be used for debugging prior to receiving information from those familiar with the console’s design.
Far smaller than the housings used for SSD, CFexpress cards would mitigate the amount of physical space players need for the Xbox Series X. The console is quite large, dwarfing the Xbox One X and more closely resembling a PC tower than a traditional game console. Sony hasn’t yet revealed how the PlayStation 5’s design will compare.
CFexpress capacities currently cap out at 1TB, but purchasing one would likely cost substantially more than the Xbox Series X itself. Still, including the port would make it easy to switch from an external SSD to CFexpress once prices drop. Xbox Series X players would be able to add more storage without replacing their internal SSD. The latter option would void the warranty if it functions like the Xbox One. On PS4, users have much more choice and can add external drives or replace the original one.
Should the CFexpress claims prove true, then the other visible ports visible could also appear on the final Xbox Series X design. The images do not show USB-C port, but it’s possible one could be on the front or side. The sole HDMI input could mean the removal of cable box integration present on Xbox One.
The Xbox Series X will launch this holiday season. It may be the first of several consoles in Microsoft’s next-generation lineup.
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