You'll need to download a software update for your Xbox One the day you get it in this month, so says Microsoft senior director of product management this week. Speaking with Engadget on the matter, Microsoft's Albert Penello suggested that even if you have a game or two on-hand for the Xbox One when you get the console in the mail or bring it home from the store, you'll be out of luck. You absolutely, positively, need to download the zero-day update.
Penello said this week that users are indeed "gonna need to take this update. It's not gonna be really an optional thing." The reason for this should be a relatively obvious one - the hardware itself ramped up to production time well before the final software build was finished.
Unfortunately for those of you out there without an internet connection - the very, very few of you, Microsoft must guess - you'll need to connect before you do anything. When asked what a new user would be able to do with the device without downloading and loading the upgrade, Penello said only: "nothing" before going on to suggest that this day-one upgrade is really the way Microsoft would like users to go.
The Xbox One has seen several public updates this week, with a full-on up-close 12-minute video being posted as recent as earlier today by Microsoft showing off the ins and outs of the system's user interface. This video was presented by Microsoft itself, mind you, well before any members of the public (or the press) have been able to give the machine a full run-down. Sony is taking a similar path with presenting the PlayStation 4 thus far.
It should be made clear that the PlayStation 4 also requires a full zero-day software update when you first take it out of the box later this month. This device will be able to do a thing or two before you do such an update, but Sony has been just as clear in strongly suggesting users take the time to go all-in as soon as possible. Stick around as the pre-release console wars continue!