We've known for months already that Microsoft's Xbox One would require a system update at launch, yet the Day One patch now seems to be a fresh source of outrage.
As the flood of new headlinespoint out, the patch will not be optional, as if it ever was. That's all thanks to Microsoft senior director of product management Albert Penello, who told Engadget that "Functionally, you will be able to do very little without taking the Day One update."
Penello then clarified that Xbox One owners would be able to do "nothing" without the update.
It shouldn't be a surprise
Before you work yourself into a lather, please understand that Microsoft has been saying since June that the update would be required. "You have to get that downloaded, and you won't have to connect online after that," Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten said to Joystiq at the time.
Among other things that aren't news but are worth knowing: The Day One patch is not the result of Microsoft's reversal of DRM policies , and it was always planned according to Kotaku. And as IGN reported in September, the patch should take about 15 or 20 minutes for most users to download.
If you want to split hairs, you could argue Microsoft never spelled out that the Xbox One won't function without the initial patch. At the same time, Microsoft never said that the patch would only be required for certain functions, rather than general operation. This is a pointless argument.
The one thing we really don't know, and won't know until the Xbox One's November 22 launch, is whether Microsoft is prepared to handle the initial load, so that those 15 or 20 minutes don't turn into hours. The same goes for Sony, whose PS4 requires a Day One update for some, but not all, features. We've certainly seen enough botched onlinelaunches to have our confidence shaken. If the Day One patch results in endless waiting and frustration, then that'll be a story worth getting worked up about.
Try the Xbox One out right now
In a related topic, starting today, you can go to your local Microsoft retail store (if you have one) and try out the Xbox One (assuming the consoles in the stores are updated, that is.) The Xbox One officially goes on sale on Nov. 22.