The Xbox Series X, bizarrely, does not feature an optical outputPlatforms: Microsoft Xbox Series X
Images of the rear of current development editions of the Xbox Series X have been photographed featuring an optical audio output - a mainstay of many home cinema gadgets - you won't find a DVD player, Blu-ray player or many other devices without one. The current Xbox One features one for connection of the console directly to soundbars and home cinema systems.
However, it has now been confirmed that the retail model will not feature this port and that is a decision we're not entirely sure is a good one.
While many TVs might feature an optical output that would forward the sound on to external kit, they're not all equal - for a start some TVs (including our LG one) can't send a surround sound mix to our amp for reasons unknown. The only way we can get full surround is by connecting each of our devices via an optical cable to the amplifier through a switch box.
Similarly some people don't play their Xbox on a TV - projector owners may have their projector on the other side of their room and many projectors don't have an optical output. The combination of having to run an optical connection back from the projector or not having one at all makes the lack a basic, standard optical output something of a problem.
We struggle to see the benefit of not providing an optical connection for people to wire up their console in the way that best suits them. It isn't a costly addition and given it's something of a standard in sending digital audio the decision to remove this option from retail models seems bizarre and disappointing.