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If you’re giving a game console this holiday, make sure to update it first



nintendo 64 kidThese kids were just moments from
playing Nintendo 64. That’s not the case with modern game

It’s Christmas Day and you’re the nicest person: You splurged on
an expensive video game console as a gift. 

As you sip on a hot cup of coffee, your loved one rips open the
box and their face lights up with joy. A new game console!
Everyone’s very excited.

Unfortunately, that excitement quickly fades as the setup process

  1. First, there’s the joy of
    unpacking the box. Look at all this shiny new stuff!
  2. Then there’s the process of
    hooking up the game console to your TV. Less fun maybe, but a
    necessary step on the way to new video games!
  3. And finally, the console is
    hooked up. Time to play some new video games! Right? Right?!
    Nuh uh.

It’s 2018, so it’s actually time to update your system
with the latest firmware.

Xbox One firmware updateMicrosoft

And then video games, right?

Nope! You’ll need to install each game individually if you bought
them on disc, and then they’ll almost certainly require some form
of downloaded update. 

And then video games? Maybe? Please?

Maybe, if you don’t have to update the software that runs
your gamepad. On Xbox One controllers from before June 2015,
that process requires plugging in each controller individually
and updating it. Seriously! If it’s from after June
2015, it may still need an update — but you can do it wirelessly,
at least.

(NOTE: Follow
Microsoft’s instructions right here
 for how to update
your gamepad.)

Long gone are the days of plug-and-play game consoles.

Nintendo Switch (software update)Nintendo

Even Nintendo’s latest console, the Switch, requires an update
when you first hook it up.

The processes vary a bit from Xbox One to PlayStation 4 to
Switch, but they’re all essentially forcing you to do the same
thing: Plug in your system and download software from the
internet that enables the game console to do basically anything,
from play games to watch Netflix.

And that’s why you, intrepid gift giver, should go above and
beyond and set up that console with new
firmware before gifting it. 

This is blessedly simple across all three game consoles:
simply plug the system in as if it were yours and follow
setup instructions
. The consoles are all designed to be
straightforward and simple to setup.

In case this is your first time, here are explicit instructions
from each console maker directly:

You may have to create a temporary login, but they’re easily
deletable; the person who gets the game console will thank
you. Or maybe they won’t! But at very least you’ll feel pretty
good when they can simply turn the system on and enjoy it for
what it is — a game console — rather than what it isn’t: an
expensive paperweight that needs an hour or more to talk to the
internet before it can do anything.

Happy holidays!

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