There was a bit of a kerfuffle at the CES 2020 when AMD showed off a render of the Xbox Series X from all angles. However, it was just a third party render based upon the guesswork of TurboSquid, as it turned out. Meanwhile other sites and sources thought they knew pretty well what ports would be round the back of Microsoft's next gen machine. Now, Microsoft-centric site Thurrott.com has shared some firmed-up assertions concerning the Xbox Series X back panel ports.
Above you can see what is purported to be an authentic image of the rear of the Xbox Series X. The ports you can see are as follows; from the upper left of the ports array you can see the two USB A ports, Ethernet, power, optical audio port, 'mystery slot', and a single HDMI port.
Thurrott.com was told by "people familiar with the company's plans," that Microsoft has provided this slot for storage expansion. As modern games are so storage hungry, a pre-installed SSD of say 1TB may only have capacity for nine or ten games. Microsoft wants to enable users of its new console to buy and install as many games as they like and its forward thinking designers want to provide optional extra capacity with the performance that its USB ports can't offer.
A wily Thurrott forum contributor did a bit of detective work and found that Phison's datasheet for the PS5019-E19T controller, being developed for or used by the Series X, provides CFExpress form factor storage expansion options. Type B CFExpress cards are 29.8mm x 3.8mm, which falls in line with the dimensions of the 'mystery slot' in the photo.
Currently CFExpress cards are very pricey at approx US$600 per half TB. However, Microsoft must be betting that it is an up and coming format which will get cheaper over the coming months, years.
PS5 landing page
In an extra console related news snippet today, Sony has published the first official product page for the PlayStation 5. There isn't a lot to see, or read, right now - just a landing page with the information that the PlayStation 5 is definitely coming, and it will launch in "holiday 2020". Sony asks visitors of its page to sign up for updates as it announces them. It will drip info about the console, its release date, pricing, and roster of launch games in the coming months.