It’s an exciting time to be a gamer, as Sony and Microsoft both have huge next-gen console launches happening this month. The systems will duke it out for console supremacy and our gaming dollars, featuring eye-popping graphics and new play styles. The Xbox One and PS4 are both impressive machines with entertainment capabilities beyond gaming, but before you can make use of your shiny new system you’ll have to download an update.
Microsoft confirmed today that you’ll need to download and install an update before you can play a single game on the Xbox One. While Sony has yet to give details on its PS4‘s functionality without an update, all signs are pointing to a similar situation.
One of the most maddening issues of this past generation of gaming has been the need for constant updates and patches (with the PS3 in particular!). The console generation that began in the mid-oughts, the Wii, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360, marked the first time that gaming systems were created with the intention of being online all the time.
Yes, the Playstation 2 had some online capabilities – if you bought an attachable hard drive – and the original Xbox had a very involved online multiplayer community for its time. And let’s not forget the Dreamcast (never forget!), which revolutionized console-based multiplayer with the inclusion of a modem.
But the past generation was the first time that consoles had storage built-in, and were made to be online. This brought about much deeper and more rich online gaming, allowed for downloadable games and content, and made it easy to add new features over the life of the console.
This was curse as much of blessing, however. Consoles, which had been the easy, plug-and-play option since their inception suddenly were riddled with downloads and updates, patches and bug fixes just like PCs. While it was great to be able to download bug fixes, those bugs should have never been on a game disc in the first place!
Okay, rant over. But it’s disappointing that these brand new consoles will need an update out of the box. Talk about a way to put a damper on Christmas Morning!
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