Without the day-one software update, the much-vaunted Microsoft Xbox One will be nothing more than a sleek black brick.
In a new interview with Engadget, Albert Penello, Microsoft's senior director of product management, says the patch will be necessary to play Xbox One games, watch movies, or access the Kinect peripheral. "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," Mr. Penello said.
To download the patch, you'll need an Internet connection and 15 to 20 minutes of spare time – not such a big ordeal, all things considered. Still, the announcement has been greeted by a fair amount of rancor among gamers. "I don't think Microsoft really understands how product launches work anymore," one Twitter user wrote yesterday.
"Now I don't expect the whole system to be finished by the time the console starts manufacturing, but to have such basic functionality missing?" added a user on the popular Giant Bomb gaming forum. "Let's hope there are absolutely no issues with patching on launch day or else you'll have a lot of upset people with very cool, but very useless Xbox Ones."
The Xbox One launches on Nov. 22 in the United States, a week behind the Sony PlayStation 4 (list price for the basic console package will be $499, compared to $399 for the PS4).
Want to get your hands on an Xbox One before then?
Get yourself to a Microsoft retail store, where Microsoft is demoing Forza Motorsport 5 on its new machine. You can find the store closest to you here.
"I have seen an Xbox One-focused future," Kevin Ohannessian of Tom's Guide wrote in a recent hands-on test of the new console. "I can flow from one thing to another nearly instantly, even multitasking when I want. I go from game to TV to music to Skype to photo albums effortlessly. Or I browse the Web while I watch TV, listen to music while I browse my Netflix queue, or play a racing game while I video chat with a friend."