We've known for a while that both next-generation systems, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, will have hefty day one updates in order to add many system features. On the PlayStation 4, the 300MB update includes Vita Remote Play, always-on game recording, game broadcasting, voice chat, online multiplayer, and Blu-Ray/DVD player functionality. But even without the update, the PlayStation 4 can play a game right out of the box.
On the Xbox One? You can do absolutely nothing. Microsoft senior director of product management Albert Penello told Engadget that the update was required to get the Xbox One to do anything.
"Nothing. You need the Day One update," said Penello when asked which features would be available on the Xbox One right out of the box. "A lot of the apps come with the day one update because they wouldn't have even been done. You're gonna need to take this update. It's not gonna be really an optional thing."
The reason for these day one patches is both companies are working on their respective system OSes right up until launch. Sony has made sure at least games will play, but Microsoft's system seems to be keeping everything together in the dashboard. The company is touting the ability to switch between all content on the fly - as shown in a recent video - but that also means game playing is tied to a number of other services. After that first patch, that could be an awesome experience, but it presents an issue for gamers in situations with poor internet, like active-duty military.
Patches have become a big part of our gaming culture as we move towards a digital future. There are very few games I've reviewed in the past few months haven't had a patch as soon as I put the game in the system. So, is this really huge problem for Microsoft, or just business as usual for players?