Does the Xbox Series X have USB-C Ports?

Nearly every device I own has a USB-C port.

My Apple Macbook has 2 USB-C ports. My PS5 has a USB-C port. Heck, even my car comes with 2 USB-C ports! USB-C ports are everywhere!

So, as you can imagine, I have an awful lot of USB-C cables slithering around my house to connect all of my devices.

And this got me thinking:

Does the Xbox Series X and S come with USB-C ports to take advantage of USB-C’s next generation and, frankly, frighteningly fast data transfer speeds?

Or would I have to go “dumpster-diving” under my bed to dig out some aging USB-A cables to use with my new Xbox?

Not knowing the answer, I decided, to start an investigation.

This is what I found:

Does the Xbox Series X have USB-C ports? No, the Xbox Series X has no USB-C ports. Instead, the Xbox Series X has 3 USB Type-A 3.2 1×1 ports that run at 5Gbs per second. This is half the speed of USB-C. However, the New Xbox Series X controller does have a single USB-C port for charging.

Ok, now you know that the Xbox Series X and S does not have USB-C ports built into the console.

In the following sections, I’ll explore that answer in a little more detail, look at why Microsoft didn’t include USB-C ports, if there are any disadvantages of not having USB-C ports, and I’ll show you a cheap way to let you use your USB-C cable collection with your Xbox Series console.

Ok, let’s get started!

Does the Xbox Series X have USB-C ports?

The Xbox Series X does not have USB-C ports on the console.

The console instead makes use of three USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 1 USB ports. These ports run at a maximum speed of 5Gb per second. Or roughly 600 Megabytes per second.

To give you some idea of the speed of these ports, a typical USB SSD external hard drive, such as the Samsung T5, will offer transfer speeds of about 540 Megabytes per second. So, the USB Type-As on the Xbox Series X will easily let you use a high-end external SSD drive to its full potential.

The Xbox Series X has One USB Type-A port on the front of the console, and two on the back of the console.

Why didn’t Microsoft include USB-C ports?

Consider for a second that your Xbox Series X only costs you $500. An equivalent gaming PC, with an 8 core CPU, 12 teraflop GPU, a state-of-the-art SSD, and a bucket full of RAM, will easily cost you $1500.

So, you’re getting a bit of a bargain with the Xbox Series X. But, for Microsoft to hit that $500 price point, sacrifices must be made.

One of those sacrifices was USB-C ports.

USB-C ports cost more than USB Type-A ports. Usually on the order of two to three times as much.

So, for example, say it cost Microsoft $5 to include 3 USB-Type A sockets on the Xbox Series consoles. If Microsoft sells 100 million consoles over the next 6 years, those USB Type-A sockets would cost them an eye-watering $500 million US dollars to include them!

Now, instead of 3 USB Type-A ports, imagine Microsoft included 3 USB-C ports at a cost of $15. Now, if Microsoft sold 100 million consoles over the same 6 year period it would cost them $1.5 Billion (Yes, that’s billion) US dollars. Just to include some USB-C ports that most people will never use!

So, you can kind of understand why Microsoft didn’t include any USB-C ports in the Xbox Series X design.

What Are You Missing Out On: the advantages of USB-C

It is a little unfortunate that the Xbox Series X, a console marketed as the most powerful console in the world, doesn’t come equipped with USB-C as standard.

And, sadly, by only offering USB-Type A, you are missing out on a load of USB-C-powered advantages.

Some of these include:

USB-C charges things quicker

USB-C is capable of fast charging devices faster than the outgoing Type-A standard. In fact, according to BusinessInsider, USB-C ports can charge devices up to 20 times faster than older USB Standards.

USB-C is capable of delivering up to 100 Watts of power to your electronics, this means faster-charging speeds. For example, an iPhone 11 can fast-charge at about 18 Watts. So USB-C offers plenty of headroom for improving fast charging speeds in the future.

USB-C can power devices

USB Type-C can deliver around 100 Watts of power. This is enough electric juice to power laptops and other power-hungry devices such as monitors.

In fact, this article is written on a USB-C-powered Macbook.

Faster data transfer

USB-C is capable of faster data transfer speed and sustains them for longer periods. Type-C supports 10Gb per second transfer speeds. That is about 1.2 Gigabytes per second.

USB Type-A offers only half that speed with maximum data transfer rates that just about reach 0.6 Gigabytes per second.

More robust connectors on the ends of USB C cables

The USB-C connector is sheathed in a single piece of punched-out metal. This helps the USB-C connector resist both compressional and torsional damage more effectively than USB Type-A.

For example, if you step on a USB-C connector, it should come away from the encounter with your boot completely unharmed. The same can’t be said for USB-A. Also, if you yank a USB-C connector out of its port, it shouldn’t damage the connector or the port.

However, the same cannot be said for USB-A of Micro-USB which are easily damaged by off-center torsional forces.

Universal connectors on USB C can be inserted any way around

USB-C connectors, unlike their Type-A siblings, can be inserted into a USB Type-C port either way up.

Whereas every other type of USB connector can only be inserted 1 way.

Does the Xbox Series S have USB-C ports?

Just like its big brother, the Xbox Series S doesn’t come with any USB-C ports.

However, it does share the Xbox Series X’s 3 USB Type-A ports.

The Xbox Series S has 1 USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 1 port on the front of the console to aid in charging controllers.

The smaller S console also has 2 USB-Type A ports on the back of the console for connecting external storage and other peripherals.

Time to adapt: USB type A to USB Type-C adaptors

Even though your Xbox Series X and S don’t come with USB-C ports it is still possible to use your USB-C connector totting cables with the Xbox Series consoles.

But how is that possible? I thought I just spent the article saying that Microsoft’s Series consoles don’t have USB-C ports. Well, they don’t.

But, that doesn’t mean you can’t buy and use some USB Type-A to USB-C adaptors.

Elebase, yet another electronics startup looking to find its feet in the Amazon flea market, sells a set of 4 USB Type-A to USB Type-C adaptors.

These dainty little adaptors can easily be inserted into the Xbox Series X and S USB Type-A ports to instantly turn them into USB-C ports. How fab is that?!

There is one catch: These USB adaptors won’t magically turn the electronic guts of the USB Type-A into USB Type-C. So, you’ll still be limited to the USB 3.1 gen 1, 5Gbs speeds.

But that’s not a problem considering most SSD hard drives being sold in the wild are limited to USB Type-A speed anyway.

But I haven’t got the best part yet:

These adaptors can often be bought for under $10. Plus, there are tens of thousands of 5-star reviews on Amazon that absolutely adore this simple but effective USB-C solution.

Head over to Amazon to pick up a pack of USB Type-A to USB Type-C adaptors for your Xbox now.

Nick Sinclair

Having played games since the golden age of the Commodore 64, Nick finally took the plunge and studied Creative Game Design in university. After 3 years of "Study", Nick co-founded a games company where he soon discovered his true calling: writing about games. 11 years later Nick writes about a tower of topics, but gaming is always stacked neatly at the top.

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