There’s been some interesting articles mentioning some “extra” preparation when gifting a new console for the holidays. Firstly, those people who managed gifting a brand a new PS5 or Xbox Series X are awesome and it should be noted as so with that lucky recipient. They’ve done almost the impossible in a weird year and with a less than ideal situation with how distribution to major vendors was handled. As I’m reading a Forbes article, its suggested to open the console on Christmas Eve to get it set up and install the latest software version so you’re lucky gamer can be all ready to go and smiling knowing there’s no delay in playing their new PlayStation! “Oh wait, what’s this Mommy? What’s this Daddy? My PS5 is already opened and all the wires are crammed back in the boxes and who the bloody hell has been fingerprinting all over my controller?! Call the police, there’s been some terribly odd break-in and they’ve fondled my PS5!”
What’s not really thought through with this time saving idea is that it’s primarily unnecessary as well as aggravating. Unless it’s for a young child, everyone else would find this pretty annoying. Apart from the greatness of being awarded the top gift on Christmas morning, it is also the unboxing! You want everything to be perfect and unpacking every little discovery in such a solid heavy box is part of the fun. And maybe they even thank you and wanted that hassle dealt with, but before you get to that point, do you understand what’s all involved in the setup of the console? It’s going to matter what TV you set it up to which means its unique to that room only. If “Timmy” is playing this in his own bedroom then you’ll have to stealthily set it up to that TV specifically in most cases. Not only that, part of the setup is based on the preferences of the user so its probably going to be undone by your gamer anyways. This seems like a hassle on Christmas Eve and a surprise killer when you’ve barred the child from his own room. Do you know the person’s user ID and password to install games on their new PS5? Probably not. See how this isn’t really going anywhere? Leave the gaming to the gamer and that means the updates, setup, and TV preferences too!
Here’s where the anxiety kicks in. Despite all my ranting, and maybe its all for naught, opening the console early panned out and it was still in everyone’s best interests. That’s all great until they find something not right with the console. The first batch of consoles haven’t all been perfect right out of the box. Now that over a month has past since both consoles released, its seeming less likely that players are having severe technical issues to the point that it’s bricking some consoles. However, if there were defects as serious as that within a few days of playing, would they want to blame the person that broke into the box before them? Now there’s drama on Christmas Day and its pinned on the epic gift giver? What has happened to such a blessed day? Better take another shot of eggnog. You’re more likely to ruin Christmas by opening someone else’s console than by not updating their system. They can wait, and they’ve waited all the way till Christmas when you had to fight your ass off securing this super expensive purchase. Yea, they can wait.
What you could do instead of all that nonsense of prepping the new console to the extra step is simply aiding the process with the person you’re giving it to. If the console is going somewhere in the same household, then maybe study up and Youtube on what’s the best options for the TV that you own. Have things like user passwords and WIFI passwords handy to make the setup as seamless as possible. If you are worried about long software updates then see if you have a long enough LAN cable to temporarily rig from your modem to the console to speed up that process. If PlayStation or Xbox servers are actually getting bogged down on Christmas Day it may be possible to grab and download the update from their websites instead and install with a USB thumb drive. However, first time startups may not give that option, I haven’t personally tried this. Although, there’s no proof that a server problem will be likely when downloading from sources even if on a holiday. Gamers want to be in control, that’s the whole point anyway when playing games, so try to keep in the backseat and in a more supportive role if you want to help more. There’s no point in tainting the awesome feat of getting them a new PS5 or Xbox Series X by cracking into the box before them. Nobody wants something already opened, even by you. Believe me, you’ve done enough.
So would you be annoyed if someone updated your console before gifting to you or would it be a bonus? Let me know in the comments or maybe it really is just me who’d hate that. Well, I hope no one has a dramatic Christmas over their console like the scenario I created! Beware of Santa, the most notorious serial breaking and entering criminal, he’s been playing everyone’s console first and botching up the settings!! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!