Will the New Xbox Fit in Your Media Center? An Investigation

The new Xbox Series X console launches in a year, but will the strange box fit in your media center?
December 13, 2019, 5:58pm
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft formally introduced the world to its new console last night at the Video Game Awards. It’s called the Xbox Series X and Microsoft is promising that it’ll be very fancy. Solid-state hard drive? It’s got one. Variable refresh rates and 4K visuals running above 60 frames per second? That’s what Microsoft says. Dynamic Latency Input? Sure, whatever that is, Microsoft says it does it.

That’s all well and fine, but will the damn thing fit in my media center? Because, uh, have you seen this thing? It's a bold design, but I'm not the only one who wondered this when Microsoft revealed the Xbox Series X.

The new Xbox looks like a damn PC tower. That’s blocky, awkward and, quite frankly, doesn’t look like it’ll fit well into my media center, which like most media centers, is constructed with horizontal shelves designed for short and squat receivers, VCRs, and DVD players. Maybe, if I could set it on its side? “We also designed Xbox Series X to support both vertical and horizontal orientation,” Microsoft said in a press release. OK great.

But what are the dimensions on this thing? Microsoft didn’t give specifics, but told GameSpot that it’s roughly one Xbox controller wide and three Xbox controllers tall. A promotional image of the console includes an Xbox controller for scale, which confirms this ratio.The current Xbox One controller is about 6 inches wide and 4.25 inches tall. That means the Xbox Series X will be a little over a foot tall and 6 inches wide. But Microsoft also said that the new Xbox Series X controller is a little smaller than the Xbox One controller. Meaning the console itself may be a little smaller than our estimates here.

So. Will it fit in your media center? At roughly a foot tall and six inches wide, with the ability to put it on its side, probably. I’ve got about 8 inches of clearance on my media shelf, so the new console should slide in. Target’s best selling media center has about six inches between shelves, meaning the Xbox Series X will be a tight fit, even on its side. Walmart’s bestseller appears to have a bit more room. In a picture, the console looks huge and boxy, but at roughly 13 inches tall and 6 inches wide it’ll be easy to make space for, so long as we’re all willing to rest it on its side or sit it next to the media center.

But let’s talk about the fan. The top of the Xbox Series X is a huge vent. According to Gamespot, the new console has a “single, large fan pushing high volumes of air out of the top.” So placement will matter. You don’t want that fan up against a solid piece of wood because it’ll heat up the console and, as often happens to Xbox 360s, warp its guts and break the system.

It’ll be taller than two GameCubes stacked together, smaller than the average PC tower, and thicker than the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X. The Xbox Series X will be different, and launch with its own unique placement challenges, but it’s nothing a seasoned gamer hasn’t seen before.