How to actually put discs in the Xbox Series X


The Xbox Series X has a surprisingly thick chassis, so much so that most people will have to rethink the way they orient TV cabinets. For many, the Xbox Series X will perform best on its own – and some might find this a little odd for the first time.

When you have the Xbox Series X standing, you will have the disk drive at the bottom left. You can put the console down, of course, but the larger Xbox has a plastic bracket permanently attached to the back of the console. It’s more natural to lift the console, and the way Microsoft has marketed the console is what most people are likely to do.

Image: Alice Clarke (Kotaku Australia)

So you have the console upright and you want to give the console backward compatibility a whirl. There are plenty of reasons to do this: The benefits of auto HDR and frame rate are definitely worth checking out. Fallout 4 at 60fps sounds good! But it’s not on Xbox Game Pass yet, so you need to verify it by inserting a disc.

When a console is lying down, the direction in which you place the drive is obvious – label side up, glossy side down. This is obvious. Everyone knows that.

But it’s a little different when the console is standing vertically. Muscle memory for many players is used to glue a disc horizontally. So how does the disc enter?

For your Xbox Series X, insert the disc with the label facing the edge closest to the console. This is the left side, which means the shiny side of the drive should face the USB port and the wireless pairing button on the bottom right.

If you need help in visual form, here it is:

xbox series x disk
Image: Kotaku

I pasted the old copy of my partner’s notice of Fallout 4 in the player here. (If you’re wondering what old school promo records look like, go ahead – they’re pretty straightforward.)

The good thing everyone should know – and I’m sure Microsoft won’t mind mentioning this before launch – is that you can accidentally paste the disc the wrong way around. The console is unresponsive, but you can just eject the disc and do it right the first time.

Now that might sound ridiculously ridiculous to bring up! But you would be surprised how many people have accidentally put a record the wrong way round. And that’s more likely to happen when you have a console lined up differently than… well, almost every other generation of console. (You could have the PS4 standing upright, sure, but most people just chose to lay it down in their closet.) It’s also easy to make a mistake too.

So if you ever wonder if you did it right, just remember. Label faces left, glossy side faces right / USB port. Easy!

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