“What’s that weird oblong port on the back of the Xbox Series X,” is a question the collective internet has asked since images of the next-gen console leaked a few weeks ago.

The mystery may finally be over thanks to Brad Sams of Thurrott.com. Brad is a noted industry insider, particularly when it comes to Microsoft, and his analysis is typically credible.

According to Brad, the slot is for expandable storage. Both Microsoft and Sony have touted new proprietary storage solutions for the next generation of consoles designed to reduce load times or at least get them on par with PCs. Due to the unknown nature of these storage solutions, for now all we have is speculation until both companies reveal more of their plans later this year. Brad believes the most likely storage solution is CFExperess (compact flash express) based on some input from an eagle-eyed reader on their forums:

“Given that 1) the “debug port” on the Xbox Series X looks to be roughly 31mm x 4mm, 2) that a LinkedIn entry showed Phison’s PS5019-E19T controller being developed for or used by the Series X, 3) that Phison’s datasheet for that controller shows that it can be used in a CFExpress form factor, and that the dimensions of a Type B CFExpress card are 29.8mm x 3.8 mm… Do you think it’s possible that rather than having an internal non-replaceable NVMe-style SSD, they are using Compact Flash Express for the SSD so that you can expand in the future?”

Brad responded with:

“And I think he/she may be right, but keep in mind that CFExpress cards are not cheap with a 512GB cards currently being sold for around $600. At that price, Microsoft is betting that the technology will drop significantly in price over the lifespan of the console or they have found a way to utilize that style of port with different storage.”

 

Whatever the solution may be, both Xbox and Playstation have a lot to prove with their new hardware due out this fall. It is a most exciting time.

 

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About The Author

Nic S.
Sr. Staff Writer

Nic Stevenson, sometimes called AnthroMetal, is a writer, producer, broadcaster and lover of video games and metal. He's been gaming since he was a wee lad with the Sega Master System way back when and, aside from a 5-year romp through the academic halls of anthropology, followed the gaming industry religiously. He is an avid lover of metal music and sometimes will even play his guitar or sing if necessary. There are no games or genres outside of his purview. Really anything he could play to boost his gamerscore on Xbox Live. You can find him there, usually playing something old because of an ever-increasing backlog, sometimes playing something new when he's able. He has tattoos of BioShock, dead space and borderlands 2 so far, with plans to add as many as he can for those games deemed worthy. He may run out of space. Look, he really really likes video games okay? Okay. Also, he streams sometimes on twitch.