Set Up Gaming Consoles Before Gifting Them (It’s Easy, We Promise)

December 20th, 2020

Every year, video game consoles are a popular holiday gift. PlayStation, Xbox, and more recently, the Nintendo Switch, are one of the most exciting things gamers of any age can open. However, one tiny thing can make these gifts even more exciting.

When you’re gifting a console, one thing that can make all the difference is taking it out of the packaging, plugging it in, and letting the console go through all of its installations and updates before giving it to its intended recipient. 

It might seem strange to take the console for a test drive, but if you’re giving a loved one a gaming system on Christmas morning, for example, you certainly won’t be the only one. Chances are, there will be thousands of others opening—and wanting to play with—the same gift. Naturally, this could strain the manufacturer’s servers and slow the whole setup process down by hours.

So, even though it might seem weird to set things up ahead of time, you’re doing a major favor for the recipient. (Especially if the recipient is a young child who will be ready to play as soon as they rip off the wrapping paper.) 

Fortunately for you, the process is pretty simple. First, you’ll want to carefully open the box, making sure to save all of the packaging. You’ll also want to keep track of any cables, controllers, and other stray pieces. The next step is to plug it into a wall outlet, then connect it to a screen. After that, you’ll want to boot it up—whichever console you purchase will probably prompt you to configure internet access first. Then it’ll prompt you to download and install any updates, which should be a fairly hands-free process.

If you purchased any games to go with the brand-new console, you could even go one step further and install these before packing the console up again. (This is especially helpful for digital games, which can take a long time to download.)

Once all of your updates are downloaded and installed, you can then turn off the console, unplug the cables, and box it all back up like nothing ever happened. Don’t worry about signing into any profiles—the recipient (or their parents) will be able to figure that out once the gift is given. And then, on the day of, you can enjoy a lot of delighted smiles as your loved one opens their gift and realizes they can start playing within minutes.

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