Microsoft Confirms Third-Party Device Compatibility for Series X, With New Branding

Gaming 4 September 2, 2020 by

While a new console generation is always an exciting time for gamers, it can be cause for concern too. For those who have the console merely as the center of a very expensive set-up, there’s always the worry that their peripherals might not work as intended on the new machine.

For Xbox players at least this hasn’t been a huge issue in the past, and fans will be pleased to hear that this situation continues for this year’s new generation. Microsoft has now very explicitly spelled out that, for the most part, their devices will carry on working on the Xbox Series X.

We’ve already heard a similar statement from Sony, wherein it noted that all devices with an official PS4 license will continue to function on PS5. Microsoft’s position, on “continuous compatibility”, is more of the same.

In an article on the official Xbox Newswire site, Microsoft states that almost any officially licensed Xbox One accessory will continue to work on Xbox Series X. There are some edge-case exceptions but, if a device connects to the console either via USB or wirelessly, it will function properly on the new console too.

As the Xbox Series X doesn’t have an optical port, the console cannot support gaming headsets which use this port. It may be possible to update the firmware to support game and chat audio via USB, but this is down to the manufacturer. Similarly, soundbars with an optical port won’t function either, though you could connect both to a television optical port instead.

Microsoft is also revealing a new “Designed for Xbox” branding today. The new logo will appear on packaging for devices which are officially licensed to the Xbox console family. This includes brands with a long history with Xbox, like Fanatec, Logitech and Thrustmaster, as well as some new partners. Bang & Olufsen, Nacon, Honeycomb Aeronautical, and Audeze are among the peripheral manufacturers that join the scheme for 2020. There’s some unexpected brands too, like doll manufacturer American Girl.

The site also contains some packaging concepts for partner products, which detail product compatibility. Unlike some recent packaging leaks, these don’t contain the Xbox Series S name. When Microsoft does get round to announcing that console, we’d expect the compatibility situation to be no different.

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