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How big is the Xbox Series X, anyway?

The Xbox Series X is an unusual shape for a games console. Question is, will it still fit under your TV?

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How big is the Xbox Series X
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The Xbox Series X is an unusual shape for a games console. Question is, will it still fit under your TV?

The next generation of Xbox, the Xbox Series X was revealed during The Game Awards 2019. It was an impressive presentation, delivered in 4K, and set to strains of Alan Watts’ lecture on the nature of consciousness, The Dream of Life. The whole reveal felt powerful. Purposeful. Like a documentary or movie, not an advertisement.

What was very apparent from the presentation (and the press images that followed) is that the Xbox Series X is an unusual shape for a video game console. Rather than being wide and flat, in the mould of the VHS player that has dominated entertainment units for 40 years, the next Xbox is an elongated cube, standing vertically.

It’s a big beast, monolithic and brutalist. One could almost imagine hominids learning to fashion tools around it. (So we did. Our sincere apologies to the estate of Stanley Kubrick.)

Some people have been keen to point out that the Xbox Series X looks as much like a custom build PC as a games console. When you look at the outline specs and capabilities, that looks even more accurate.

It’s true that, over the past few years, console design has aligned more closely with PC architecture. And none of that tends to fly well with the tribalism among the most die-hard console fans. But if Microsoft can take the sort of PC hardware required to deliver its promises of zero load times, realtime ray tracing and 8K visuals, and sell it in a single package that’s console priced? That’ll be remarkable.

That’s all great, but lots of people are still hung up on the size, the shape, the form factor. So, how big is the Xbox Series X, anyway?

How we estimated the size of the Xbox Series X

We’ve seen a few people try to estimate the size of the Xbox Series X, with varying degrees of success. (Including versus this “render” of the PS5, which turned out to be a fridge.) Most examples we’ve seen have used the dimensions of the controller pictured, but that’s not likely to be the most accurate measurement. If that’s a mock-up of the next generation of Xbox controllers, we can’t be sure how big it really is. If it’s an Xbox One X controller, we still can’t exactly trust the perspective in the images.

So we looked for a more accurate method of estimating how big the Xbox Series X is.

First, we looked for something that would be a more reliable unit of measurement. The obvious, visible choice is the optical drive, but it’s hard to say for sure how much wider than a Blu Ray disc the drive slot will be. The other visible features – the optical drive’s button, and the Xbox branding (power button?) in the top corner – are also equally useless.

But if we take one of the press images and fiddle with the brightness settings, you can clearly see the outline of a USB port. That’s great! USB ports are a pretty standard size.

Xbox Series X USB port

Specifically, a USB connector is 12 mm wide, so a USB port tends to measure between 12 and 14 mm across on the widest edge. (We know, we measured every USB port we could find in Thumbsticks Towers.) That gave us an average USB port width of 13 mm, which is what we’ve used as our unit of measurement in estimating the size of the Xbox Series X.

We then traced around the edge of the now visible USB port on the Xbox Series X. We then stacked those rectangles on top of/next to one another to estimate the dimensions of the Xbox Series X.

Estimated Xbox Series X dimensions

Xbox Series X dimensions

  • Height: 305.5 mm (between 23 and 24 USB ports wide)
  • Width: 149.5 mm (between 11 and 12 USB ports wide)
  • Depth: 149.5 mm (we can’t see this, but the Xbox Series X looks pretty square)

Xbox Series X versus some other consoles

  • PlayStation 4
    • Height: 274 mm (Xbox Series X is 31.5 mm taller, or around 10%)
    • Width: 53 mm (Xbox Series X is 96.5 mm wider, around 2.9 times as wide)
    • Depth: 305 mm (Xbox Series X is 155.5 mm smaller, around half as deep)
  • Xbox One S
    • Height: 295 mm (Xbox Series X is 10.5 mm taller, or around 3.5%)
    • Width: 64 mm (Xbox Series X is 85.5 mm wider, around 2.3 times as wide)
    • Depth: 230 mm (Xbox Series X is 74.5 mm smaller, around two thirds as deep)

Xbox Series X versus some other objects

Xbox Series X size vs can

  • Red Bull cans, 135 mm: Xbox Series X is between two and three Red Bull cans high
  • Pikachu Amiibo, 71 mm: Xbox Series X is 4.3 Pikachu Amiibo tall
  • Detective Pikachu Amiibo, 137 mm: Xbox Series X is between two and three ENORMOUS PIKACHU AMIIBO high

We’re pretty sure there isn’t a better way to measure things than cans of Red Bull (other energy drinks are available) or oversized Pikachu figurines, but if there’s anything you’d like us to compare with the Xbox Series X dimensions, let us know on Twitter.

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.