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Buying a console or game for a present? Read this first…

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It’s widely known amongst gamers that buying a new console or a new game might result in a bit of a wait before being able to actually use or play it. But it’s not something that a parent or gamer new to console gaming will be aware of.

The reason for this wait is that new consoles and games require large files to be downloaded and installed before a console or game can be used. And by large, we could be talking around 100GB’s of data!!

Let’s look at consoles and games individually and we’ll give some advice for each.

Buying and setting up a new console:

Xbox one


When you first turn on a brand new console, you’ll be required to download an update to the main operating system (OS). Console operating systems (similar to Windows on a PC or OS X on a Mac) are updated frequently during a console’s lifetime, as the manufacturer makes refinements and improvements to the system. These can based on requested features or problems that are encountered over time.

In the meantime between a console being boxed at the factory and the console being opened at home, it’s likely that the manufacturer will have made an update for the console. It’ll be required to be downloaded and installed before the console will be usable.

If you’re buying a console for a present, the recipient will be very excited to play their new console very soon after opening it. There have been reports in the mainstream media of gamers being very upset that they’ve had to suffer through hours and hours of downloads and updates before their new console is usable. We suggest that, if you’re giving a console as a present, that you plug it in and get it ready so that it can be played immediately when it’s opened.

We might have just saved your Christmas morning!!

Buying a new game:

Similar to buying a new console, buying a new game also requires a download when it’s first put in the drive. You should be aware that games aren’t necessarily shipped on disc any more – they need to be fully downloaded and installed before the game can be played… and this can take hours.

Installing a game is usually automatic. If you put a new disc in the drive, and the console detects that the game isn’t installed, it’ll ask if you if you’d like to download and install. You should click “yes” to do so.

If you’re buying a game for a present, we suggest installing the game on the console before you wrap and gift the present to the gamer. It can be very disappointing not being able to play a game that you’ve been given and you’re excited to play.

There is no getting away from these downloads, sadly. Modern video games are very advanced and very large so be prepared for regular large downloads as new games are installed and existing games that you own are regularly updated.

It’s also worth setting the console to “automatically update” games in the background. There’s little else more frustrating that setting aside a night for a multiplayer session only to find that the game requires a 16GB download that’ll take 4 hours to complete!

As more and more games are released supporting 4K graphics for compatible consoles, the file sizes will only increase as a result.

Hopefully you found this useful.

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