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- If you gift a new video game console during the holidays, update it first.
- Initial setup on consoles like the PS5, Xbox Series X, or Nintendo Switch can take an hour or more.
- Christmas morning is also a peak time for game downloads, so updating in advance is a smart move.
Tons of people will be unboxing new video game systems this Christmas, but you can help the gamer in your household get a head start for the fun by doing the initial setup before gifting them with their console.
System updates and digital games on PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch can take hours to download, forcing impatient gamers to wait before they can play. Gaming traffic also peaks during the holidays, making downloads even longer on Christmas morning.
If you’re a parent, setting up a new console before gifting it also lets you properly set up accounts, passwords, payment methods, and parental controls. Even if you give the console to an adult, connecting the system to the internet for an hour or two to complete the first setup will make it easier to unbox and start playing immediately.
How to update a new console before giving it away
Insider offers separate guides to help you create an account for Nintendo eShop, PlayStation Network, and Xbox. Below you can find links to the official setup process for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, and Xbox systems. Instructions will also appear on the screen after you turn on each console.
If you’re worried about opening the box before gifting a console, you might not have to unbox the system at all. Both PlayStation and Xbox consoles allow you to install system updates from a USB drive, so you can download the files to a USB drive in advance and gift the USB drive with the console. This way your gift can always open the console for the first time.
While any player will be happy to receive a PS5, Nintendo Switch or Xbox Series system for Christmas, you can do them even more service by updating the new machine in advance. It’s both thoughtful and time-saving!