Xbox Series X: Prototype images give a closer look at the top and back of the monolithic console

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We’re not far away from the much-anticipated launch of the Xbox Series X. Yep, Microsoft’s next-gen contender in the upcoming console war is due to hit shelves later this year (although there’s still no official word on an actual release date).

While we’re all familiar with the console’s monolithic design by now, our glimpses of the Xbox family’s newest addition have mostly been limited to the Microsoft-approved product shots. But now, thanks to Twitter, we’ve got a rare sighting of an Xbox Series X out in the wild…

The post, which features a series of images of a “prototype” Series X encased in glass, gives us a much better idea of what to expect from the console. Posted by games journalist Joe Anderson, the pics show off the machine from more angles than we’ve seen before, and offer a closer look at the Series X’s aesthetic details. Check them out below:

Suffice to say, if you weren’t a fan of the Series X’s tower block-like design before, seeing it in the flesh probably isn’t going to change your mind. However, there is something to be said for its simplicity – the opposite of the PS5's showy, futuristic design. There are a few other interesting take-aways from the images that should get Xbox fans talking, too.

READ MORE: Xbox Series X games reveal – the full list of titles

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Xbox Series X: a closer look

The one thing that these photos confirm is quite how minimalist the Xbox Series X’s design is, seemingly taking inspiration from 2001: A Space Odyssey’s infamous monoliths.

We do get a closer look at the top of the console, though, which features its biggest design flourish. A subtly indented ventilation grill not only breaks up the solid black shell, but also reveals a layer of translucent green underneath. Seems pretty on-brand to us.

It also shows off the back of the console, which breaks up the one-piece design with what looks like a removable back panel. There are the usual USB, HDMI, ethernet and storage expansion ports, but otherwise the back of the console keeps to the minimalist design brief.

The other interesting tidbit from these photos is that one of the consoles longer 'side' surfaces has small rubber feet, presumably to be employed when the console is positioned horizontally.

Back in December 2019, Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed that you could lay the Series X flat. In an interview with Gamespot, he said: "The…design works vertical or horizontal, just like the Xbox One S and Xbox One X. We think that it's not our job to dictate the orientation of our console in your home. That is up to you."

The official shots of the Xbox Series X have seen it in a vertical position, with Microsoft aiming to give off a powerful, PC-tower like vibe. But it’s good to know that, just as Spencer promised, there will be a horizontal option – which will make it a lot more versatile when factoring the console into your home entertainment set-up.

READ MORE: Xbox Series X price rumours – how much will it cost?