The CES 2020 "Reveal" of Xbox Series X's Backside Ports Was Actually a Fake Render

By Sam Quirke,
Xbox Series X

It's fair to say that many folks are reaching for any morsel of Xbox Series X news they can get their hands on following Microsoft's surprise reveal of the console at The Game Awards 2019. It seems that AMD have either knowingly or unwittingly capitalized on this hype during their CES 2020 press conference, by showing off the back side of the Series X including its ports. Sadly, those images were not sanctioned by Microsoft according to a response received by Brad Sams of Thurrott.com. This statement from Microsoft comes after several sites, including Thurrott, naturally reported on what seemed to be some pertinent new details about the device.


Sams helpfully grabbed a shot of the render that AMD ended up using during their event, taken from TurboSquid.com. TurboSquid is a company that sells professional quality 3D renders for use as representational imagery – think Shutterstock or Getty, but for 3D modelling.


AMD themselves made a statement to The Verge confirming that their images were from TurboSquid and not an accurate representation of the console's final design.

The design showed a USB porton the front of the Xbox Series X, at the bottom right corner of the tower. On the back, stacked in a vertical line, were ports for Ethernet, optical audio, two USB-C inputs, two HDMI and a 2-pin power cable. When the details were assumed to be true, many analysts speculated on that last point in particular – at the moment, we don't know if the Series X will have internalised power like the most recent consoles, or whether it will need to revert back to a chunky external power brick. Thanks to AMD's slip-up, we may find out some of these details sooner rather than later, depending on whether Microsoft feel the need to address the misinformation directly.

While the blame for the use of the render lies entirely with AMD on this one, it does highlight the fact that Microsoft have revealed a console and given very little to partners and press even in terms of a visual library to draw on when referring to it. Microsoft's own store pages provide little in the way of high-quality images, and the most that we've seen of the console remains the mostly black-on-black presentation of the box during its teaser trailer in 2019. The rise of cheap and easily reproducible third-party 3D renders has severely muddied the waters ahead of this next console cycle, with "representational" design work popping up all over the place based on patent descriptions or leaked dev kits. Hopefully this unfortunate error will at least prompt Microsoft to give us a clean look at the device – even if they want to keep its port configuration secret a little longer.
Sam Quirke
Written by Sam Quirke
Sam has been a Newshound since 2016 and is now the Editor for both TrueAchievements and TrueTrophies. He loves gaming on all devices and in all genres. He remains a stubborn Assassin's Creed and Pokémon fan.