New Xbox owners have no need to fear. While videos of Xbox Series X consoles emitting smoke have gone viral, there is a perfectly rational explanation for this that does not involve consoles developing faults.
Previously, early reviewers had noted that Xbox Series X units run exceptionally hot, venting a lot of heat through the console’s open top. Because the console’s power base is located inside the device rather than in a separate power brick, the heat generated by the console is vented out of its top.
While there is still the potential for these devices to cause a fire hazard, the smoke videos are actually the result of the Xbox Series X’s rapid cooling fans.
Why are videos of smoking Xbox Series X consoles going viral?
Videos of smoking Xbox Series X units are not the result of overheating consoles – instead, device owners are breathing vape smoke into their devices. The Series X’s extremely efficient fan is then sucking up and venting the smoke out of the top, making it look like the device itself is overheating.
This phenomenon has become so widespread that Microsoft has issued a warning on Twitter that new owners should not breathe vape fumes into their new consoles – the Xbox Series X is not designed to handle these fumes, and there’s a danger they could damage the machine.
How to avoid Xbox Series X overheating or catching fire
Despite the fact that the Xbox Series X smoking videos are the result of vape fumes, there is still a danger that the hot console may overheat or cause nearby materials to catch fire.
To mitigate this risk, make sure that the Xbox console is in a well-ventilated area without anything – especially fabric or papers – directly above it. For those in drier climates, it’s worth keeping a humidifier in the room to ensure that the air around the Series X isn’t prone to combustion.
Thus far, there are no reports of Xbox Series X units actually catching fire, although it is a possibility. With every console release, a small percentage of units will develop natural faults, but these stories often get overblown by anxious fans.