Xbox Series S Paper Edition Review — Cutting Edge Next-Gen Performance
A paperweight console.
The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are finally here…sort of. Earlier this week, pre-orders opened for Xbox’s next-generation consoles that will emphasize ray-tracing, speed, and performance, allowing games such as The Medium to make use of the hardware in “new ways.” The UK sold out of pre-orders rapidly, and then the US pre-orders went live; websites were breaking, and eager consumers were frantically hitting refresh. Well, in the midst of all that, I was busy reviewing the Xbox Series S.
Of course, I wasn’t reviewing the console as you know it: that doesn’t even come out until November 10. Instead, I was reviewing the papercraft version that was released by Xbox last week. And boy, do I have thoughts.
The Xbox Series S Paper Edition comes in two versions: you have either the 1:1 scale version or the 1:3 scale version. Going by the diagrams on the 1:1 version, that’s supposed to be significantly bigger than the 1:3 scale version; but honestly, when I printed both versions out they remained the same size pretty much. I’m putting this down to a printing issue though, even though the A4 diagrams seem to fit the page perfectly.
The console comes on one single A4 page with the required tools you need to do the job printed in the empty space. Each panel of the console is clearly decorated as to where you’re supposed to cut it out and stick those teraflaps down. In saying that, there are 7 teraflaps present on both the Series S console and the bigger Series X.
Cutting the console out with scissors was an easy task in itself, although, given the small size of the console model, it can be a bit fiddly when it comes to larger, bulky scissors. Then there came the process of folding each teraflap and panel. The instructions suggest you crease the edge, but my first attempt wound up with messy edges, so really I’d suggest lightly scoring the edges you need to fold with a knife or the tip of your scissors. It’s also worth having something to act as a ruler.
I’ll be honest, I was incredibly unprepared for this. My scissors were huge; I was using a kitchen knife for scoring the lines and using a coaster as a ruler. And to make matters worse, I don’t have a single bit of glue in the house: no Pritt-Stick, no PVA, not even superglue. In a bid to avoid going out unnecessarily to the shop for this elusive sticky substance, I found I had nature’s glue: honey. That’s right, I lightly slathered some local honey from a 227g jar using the tip of a spoon handle to act as my stick.
Now, this was actually somewhat genius, because I realized that in trying to hold the panels together when it came to cleaning my fingertips…I could just simply lick the honey off of them. And with that, the panels were stuck down, and I lightly placed a coaster on top of the console panels for roughly 1 minute on each side to ensure the bits stuck together.
The Xbox Series S Paper Edition was complete: it looked tiny, uniform, and just like the real thing if I was a giant. The console itself features the large grill on the front of the console, and on the side is the Xbox logo and the USB input. Both the top of the console and the bottom has vents, and the back has all the inputs you’d expect to see on the actual console itself. That includes the input for the power, an expansion card slot, HDMI, USB-C ports, and an ethernet port.
Obviously, it’s great; I now have a tiny Xbox Series S to marvel at while I wait for the console to arrive on November 10. But in admiring it, I noticed I need to bin it soon because of the honey. That can’t be good to leave on there for a long period of time, can it? Not only that, but I found that in looking at it, I was wanting more and more to turn it on and load up a game, which isn’t possible at all because, well, it’s paper.
I had considered taking the PDF, throwing it into Photoshop and enlarging each panel to its own A4 page, and then just sticking the panels on my Xbox One, but I realized that would take a lot of measurements and fiddling around. It certainly is a good little papercraft console that does what you expect, but it’s no replacement for the actual console which we’ll be able to check out when it launches later this year. And it’s the constant reminder that knocks this down for me.
I wanted to review the Xbox Series X Paper Edition as well, but I felt like the all-black design wouldn’t sit well with my printer ink. But all in all, the Xbox Series S Paper Edition is certainly fun to construct, given you have the right tools at hand. There are also multiple uses for it, like a money bank I guess, or storing your mints inside of it, or maybe even your Nintendo Switch game cartridges? It’s certainly worth downloading and giving it a try if you’re looking for something to do if you’re bored, or if we’re yeeted into a second lockdown.