The next-gen Xbox gaming console is one of the much-awaited hardware from Microsoft. In February, the company unveiled the Xbox Series X specifications to the public in all its glory.
Microsoft may be making a lot of useful upgrades to the Xbox Series X. But at the same time, it’s also removing some hardware components from the popular gaming console. The list of items being scrapped includes SPDIF optical sound port, HDMI IN port, and the IR blaster.
For the sound port, Microsoft said it figured out workarounds by talking with various companies. Astro, one of the affected brands, will release a software update to add USB compatibility for its gaming headsets.
The case of lost HDMI IN port – No Chromecast?
The lack of the HDMI IN port could be a downside for some users. The port has allowed users to connect a host of devices, including DVRs, set-top boxes, and Chromecast directly to the Xbox gaming console.
I have been an Xbox One user myself, and I hooked up a Chromecast device to my console. I know how easy my life became when jumping back and forth between games and Chromecast.
It’s a whole different story that you need to keep the console powered ‘ON’ all the time even when you need to use the Chromecast device only. Also, it depends on person to person, whether you want to connect accessories to your console or not.
Among other benefits, the HDMI IN port on the Xbox console frees up an HDMI port on the TV, which can be used for other purposes.
Why the HDMI IN port is being removed?
The removal of the HDMI IN port from Xbox Series X is because of the same reason why Microsoft killed the Kinect sensor, although, the technology did make a comeback. It doesn’t matter how futuristic it was; nobody used it. The same goes for the HDMI IN port on the Xbox.
According to Spencer, eliminating the said hardware components would enhance the design and aesthetics of the console even further, not to mention, the reduced per-unit costs. He added that Microsoft keeps an eye on what stuff is being used and what isn’t. So, doing the math is simple.
“And I know with everything that we don’t do, that we used to do, there is going to be somebody who’s disappointed. It’s not the funnest part of the job, but I think we have to plan for the future,” Spencer told IGN.
Anyway, getting rid of these hardware features doesn’t seem entirely odd. They were introduced at a time when Microsoft wanted to promote Xbox One as an all-inclusive entertainment console. It doesn’t seem to be the case anymore with the upcoming Xbox hardware.
Not the end of the road
If you’re one of those people who like to use a Chromecast with their Xbox, then you still have something to cling onto. Some Xbox apps including YouTube and Netflix let you cast content from your phone.
This means it’s more of an app-specific thing. If I were to be slightly optimistic, Microsoft should bring full-blown Chromecast support with the Xbox Series X and list it as a feature.
Anyway, some people would argue that who needs Chromecast when popular apps are already available and streaming local content on Xbox is also possible via DLNA. They might be right in some way but the ease of access that Chromecast brings into our lives is hard to match.
Xbox Series X is expected to arrive later this year, sometime around the holiday season. It’s fueled by an octa-core CPU based on AMD Zen 2 architecture and coupled with 16GB GDDR6 video memory. It will also have a custom 1TB NVME SSD installed to handle all the resource-heavy gaming titles.
On paper, the unreleased gaming console is almost three times more powerful than its arch-rival Playstation 4 and even outperforms Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 5.
The console also features an AMD RDNA 2-powered custom GPU that can spit out 12 TFLOPS. Recently, Series X made it to the news when the source code of its GPU was stolen by an attacker who demanded $100 million for not leaking it.