One of the main factors currently limiting the adoption of USB-C ports across more devices is its relatively low power limit at just 100W. Today it was announced that this will soon change, with the new USB-C standard supporting up to 240W, which is enough to power 4K monitors and gaming laptops.
As reported by GameSpot sister site CNET, the new standard was revealed by the USB Implementers Forum, the organization that promotes use of USB technology and manages its specifications. The decision to increase the power capacity means that manufacturers will now be able to produce 240W USB-C cords, although the specification mandates that “Extended Power Range” cords be visually distinct from “Standard Power Range” (100W) cords.
This could be a big deal in PC gaming, as it will likely mean an increase in combined data-and-power ports across devices that require up to 240W. This could come in the form of more gaming laptops moving to an Apple MacBook model, where there are a handful of USB-C ports that all can charge, transfer data, and connect to peripherals.
USB-C ports are, of course, already widespread in gaming in applications where 100W is plenty of power. The Nintendo Switch, for instance, charges on a USB-C cord, as does the PS5’s DualSense and the Xbox Series X controller.
USB-IF expects products supporting the new standard to hit the market in the latter half of this year. However, it may take manufacturers more time to fully incorporate the tech into their devices.