This brilliant console gift tip guarantees holiday gamer happiness

Are you giving a game console for the holidays this year? Consoles make very exciting gifts, and now that we're nearing the end of the generation, they're also fairly inexpensive – at least relative to what they cost at the start of the generation. While consoles make great gifts, there's something you should do before wrapping them that will make them the ultimate present: Update them.

Since we're waist deep in the digital age, console manufacturers frequently deploy firmware updates for their consoles over the internet, and those updates have to be installed before you can actually start using the machine. If you're buying a new console today, it will prompt you to install some kind of hardware update the first time you power it on and connect it to the internet, and this true regardless of if you're buying a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch.

The first thing someone receiving a console as a gift generally wants to do with that console is start playing games on it, but these firmware updates can quickly put a damper on those plans. Depending on what needs to be installed, it can be quite some time before a newly opened console is ready to play.

To allow your gift recipient to dive into some gaming as soon as they open their new console, you can update that console before wrapping it and giving it to them. Getting the console all set up and ready to play is easy regardless of the platform you've purchased, as the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch all walk you through a step-by-step setup process that includes connecting it to the internet and applying any updates it needs.

That means all you need to do is gently open the box, plug the console into an outlet, connect it to your TV, start it up, and then follow the prompts to get it all set up. You can skip any set up portions that would require the recipient (such as prompts for them to sign into a Nintendo/Microsoft/PlayStation account) and let them do that themselves after they receive the console.

Once you've made it to your console's home menu, you're all set and you can unplug the console, put it back in its box, and wrap it. Then, when they open their present, all they'll need to do is log in or create an account and then they'll be able to get to playing. Taking the time to update consoles before gifting them can save lot of headache later on, so if you're gifting a console this year, consider doing that before putting it under the tree.