Starfield is finally here. After decades in the making, Starfield was originally just a twinkle in Todd Howard's eye. A sci-fi alternative to The Elder Scrolls, set in a vast explorable cosmos. The technology wasn't there, but the ambition was — and finally, the stars aligned.
Starfield is an incredibly vast game with a similarly vast amount of things to do and see. Explore uncharted worlds, dive into hundreds of procedurally-generated dungeons, and indulge in hundreds of hours of hand-crafted high-quality story content that is surely among Bethesda's best works to date. Although not without its flaws, Starfield enjoys an incredibly bright future, per our full Starfield review. It doesn't hurt that it's also available on day one in Xbox Game Pass, too.
If you want to take your Starfield star-fandom to the next level, you may want to take a look at the Xbox Series X wraps on the horizon. I recently got my hands on the Starfield version, and I have to say, Microsoft is really onto something here.
Form meets function
Xbox fans have been asking Microsoft to explore custom consoles for major Xbox games for quite a while, and Starfield seemed like a logical bet. Microsoft did put out a custom Starfield Xbox controller and headset, alongside several other third-party custom peripherals in partnership with the likes of Elgato. There was no custom Xbox console in sight, though, until now that is.
Announced a little while ago, Microsoft now offers three different custom wraps for the Xbox Series X. Judging by the store page, some of these will go into stock sometime around October 2023, as the initial run seems to have run out already. One is a Starfield edition wrap, and the other two are Microsoft's oft-used blue and red camo patterns that you often see attached to custom Xbox controllers. The Starfield custom wrap is a little more expensive at $49.99, while the others are $44.99.
"A WRAP?! for FIFTY BUCKS?" is a close approximation to my initial reaction, but after thinking it over a bit, it really does make sense. Buying an entire new console to celebrate a currently trending game isn't exactly feasible for anyone but the most dedicated and spendy collectors. And in a world where Xbox Series X supplies are constrained, dividing supply chains up even further probably doesn't make a huge amount of sense. Such wraps only make sense if they're actually of a high-quality bar, though. Thankfully, I'm happy to report that these definitely are.
The wraps are quite thick and sport a textured polymer finish, giving the appearance of 3D detailing when struck by the light. The Starfield wrap is absolutely great, matching the game's "NASApunk" art direction with space station-style signage and Constellation faction spectrum branding, subtly ensconced around the power button.
The wrap doesn't impact airflow, as all lower, reverse, and upper vents are left completely free. The wrap attaches using thick, high-quality Velcro, which also comes stamped with "Into the Starfield" for added flavor.
Some of you on X expressed concern that the cutaways would make it difficult to access some of the console's functions, like controller pairing and the eject button. I can report that this isn't the case either. While the wrap itself is quite thick, around 5mm, the cutouts for the buttons have a chamfered edge. The chamfering tapers off the thickness nicely to guide your fingers directly to the buttons, which remain flush with the cutouts. It's a nice touch, and shows Microsoft and its hardware team really thought these sorts of things through.
Style meets substance
The Starfield wrap is endowed with various intricate details and little references to the game. Set, of course, in space, Starfield charts a near-future vision of humanity that fled a dying Earth into the stars. The rush to get into space left Starfield's technology looking very familiar. If you've ever seen a NASA video showcasing life on the International Space Station, Starfield's styling will be quite familiar to you.
Microsoft has carefully transported that design aesthetic to the wrap here. The wrap itself has various snippets of information that you'd commonly see sprawled over military craft and NASA ships, obviously favoring function over form. There's no time to grab a manual when you're in space, it's better to just make things plainly obvious.
The wrap itself folds neatly around the back of the device per the video above and has a very soft gray interior that should ensure your actual console remains scratch-and-scuff-free.
From a distance, it's hard to tell that this thing is a wrap at all. To the untrained eye, it'll mostly just look like you have an all-up custom console, and I'm sure that was Microsoft's intent when it began exploring this project.
A universe of Xbox customization possibilities
The Starfield wrap is quite clearly just the beginning. As we head deeper into the Xbox Series X|S generation, the potential is pretty limitless. Perhaps one day we could see custom art wraps appear as part of the Xbox Design Lab? Perhaps we'll get a tower design for Towerborne, or some gothic makeover for Hellblade 2. Hopefully Microsoft will also consider wraps for the humble Xbox Series S, too.
There are tons of upcoming Xbox games that would fit the bill for a custom wrap job, and we're here for it. The wraps are currently sold out, but they should periodically come back in stock here and there. Hit the link below to check if they're available now, and let us know in the comments what design you want to see in future Xbox Series X wraps.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!