November 22 is less than two weeks away, which means that many Xbox One pre-orderers are incredibly close to unboxing their next generation consoles. Lots of consumers are still debating which console to purchase, but fans that want to get in on the ground floor will need to make a decision very soon. As the official Xbox One release date approaches, Microsoft continues to reveal more details about what consumers can expect when they fire up their new consoles for the first time.
In addition to the recently confirmed launch day apps, players will also have the day one update to look forward to. Microsoft announced the mandatory update earlier this summer, but the company didn’t specify just how important the patch was until now.
In an interview with Engadget, Microsoft senior director of product management Albert Penello confirmed that the day one update, which applies crucial updates to console policies and the operation system, is absolutely mandatory in order for the console to function.
“Functionally, you will be able to do very little without taking the day one update… You’re gonna need to take this update. It’s not gonna be really an optional thing.”
Engadget presented Penello with a hypothetical scenario in which a gamer unboxed the new console, had a physical copy of a game disc ready to go, but was unable to connect to the internet. The interviewer asked Penello what the new Xbox One owner would be able to do with the console in that situation and Penello explained, “Nothing. You need the day one update.”
It’s likely that most consumers were planning to connect their new consoles to the internet immediately anyway, but the update is sure to cause a headache for some gamers. Earlier this summer, an Xbox One platform architect said that the day one update shouldn’t take more than 15 or 20 minutes to download for most users. That’s about a quarter of the time that the day one Wii U update required last November, but owners of the Nintendo console were able to play games without the patch. That said, the Wii U patch was a forced update as soon as players connected to the internet. Once a connection was established, the console was stuck in update mode for about an hour.
Soon-to-be PlayStation 4 owners will also hit a day one patch, which will activate some big features like Remote Play, second screen sharing, and Blu-ray player functionality. Unlike the Xbox One, the Sony console will allow users to play games before they get online and download the update.
Microsoft’s new console is no stranger to pre-launch problems and controversies at this point, so although the absolutely mandatory day one update may be frustrating, it isn’t really a big surprise. It’s understandable that the OS updates are essential, but shoppers that come home with a $500 console that doesn’t work are going to be very unhappy if they run into any problems downloading the day one update. Hopefully, for Microsoft fans, all the drama surrounding the launch of the Xbox One will be worth the hassle two weeks from now when gamers around the world are 24 hours into their first Dead Rising 3 binge — provided they have an Internet connection.
Are you nervous about the day one update or does it seem like a necessary evil? Does this news affect you and your next-gen plans?
Xbox One releases on November 22, 2013.
Follow Denny on Twitter @The_DFC.