Microsoft has clarified that the Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) won't feature a S/PDIF optical output port when it releases later this Holiday, despite appearing on the back of the several prototype units used to promote the console so far.
The news arrives from Microsoft via WindowsCentral (opens in new tab), confirming that the port, which currently exists on both the Xbox One S and Xbox One X, will be one of the few (alongside the HDMI IN port (opens in new tab)) to be cut from their next-gen successor.
Confirmed with Microsoft: the final, retail Xbox Series X does NOT have an optical out. I know @JezCorden / @windowscentral had official confirmation on this the other day, but lots of folks have been tweeting me after seeing this in the Xbox dev stream today, so I followed up. https://t.co/xGHh93fcuJMarch 18, 2020
Xbox Series X: 10 things we learned from the latest Phil Spencer reveal post (opens in new tab)
This means that a number of soundbars, speakers, and high-end headsets that connect via an optical audio port won't be compatible with the Xbox Series X, though most modern televisions now feature the S/PDIF output themselves, somewhat mitigating the effect this will have on Xbox users.
In related developments, WindowsCentral (opens in new tab) also confirmed that respected headset manufacturer Astro is working with Microsoft to develop devices that are compatible with the Xbox Series X, despite its A50 range of headsets and MixAmps typically relying on an optical audio port to hook up to Xbox One consoles at present.
Hopefully, other manufacturers like Turtle Beach and HyperX will follow suit, otherwise some of the best gaming headsets (opens in new tab) on the market will have to be hooked up to your TV, rather than your next-gen console, once the Xbox Series X lands later this year. Stay tuned to GamesRadar for all Xbox and PS5 (opens in new tab) news as it arrives.
For more, check out more upcoming PS4 games (opens in new tab) for 2020 and beyond, or watch our latest episode of Dialogue Options below.