After Microsoft unveiled its next-gen Xbox Series X console last month, there has been some speculation about what ports would be included on the new hardware, especially after AMD admitted to showing an unofficial render of the console back at CES. Well, two pictures of an Xbox Series X prototype have been shared on Twitter a couple of hours ago, and Brad Sams from Thurrott.com has since confirmed their authenticity.
— Doug - XBOX SERIES X (@Doug_DragoX) January 22, 2020
As we can see from these leaked pictures, the back panel of the console features a power input, an HDMI out port, an Ethernet port, two USB-A port, as well as an optical audio port. According to Sams, "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."
You’ll notice that the HDMI In port that has been included on all Xbox One consoles since launch is gone on this prototype. Microsoft made quite a big deal of this HDMI passthrough feature at the beginning of the 8th gen, but it's apparently the latest port to get scrapped after Microsoft removed the dedicated Kinect port on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X.
The Xbox Series X will also have a USB-A port in the front, but this prototype doesn't have any USB-C ports. That's a bit surprising considering the new Xbox Elite Series 2 controller is the first to use a USB-C port for charging, but the lack of USB-C ports on the console shouldn't be an issue for most consumers.
As this is a prototype, things could still change before the console launches in holiday 2020, but it will be interesting to see if Sony has a more forward-thinking approach for its PlayStation 5.