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Microsoft Xbox One Buyers Better Be Patient

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Early adopters buying Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Xbox One next month will have to wait until the week after Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) fans get their shiny PS4 consoles. And then they're going to have to wait a bit more.

Xbox One chief architect Marc Whitten told gaming site IGN that the Xbox One won't be playing games the moment gamers crack open the box. A software update will be required.

"While we're still finalizing the details, we expect that the download will take between 15 and 20 minutes for most users," he said to IGN.

These day-one patches aren't unique to Microsoft. Sony will have one a week earlier. This is one of the few drawbacks of these next-gen consoles: operating software continues to evolve long after the assembly line starts making the systems. 

The updates have never been all that newsworthy, but that changed last November when Nintendo's (NASDAQOTH: NTDOY  ) Wii U frustrated its first wave of buyers. The software update took more than an hour -- and in some cases far more than that -- but things got even worse. Some frustrated buyers who decided to shut down their systems mid-update found themselves with bricked consoles.

It's quite possible that Nintendo's inability to recover after a lackluster debut -- selling just 400,000 units in its first week on the market -- was related to the negative feedback of the painful update, which limited the Wii U to disc-based games until completed.

Things will naturally play out far better for both Sony and Microsoft this time around. Pre-orders for both platforms are already reportedly well ahead of both Wii U and earlier PS3 and Xbox 360 rollouts. 

There will also be far better title support for both systems than the slim pickings facing Wii U buyers last November. 

Things can always change of course. If either platform proves buggy next month, critics will shout it from the rooftops before the holiday shopping season gets a chance to send Microsoft and Sony a large chunk of this season's budget.

Nintendo thought it had an advantage rolling out a year ahead of the competition, but initial hiccups doomed the device. Weak sales forced Nintendo into a Wii U price cut this summer, far sooner than the Japanese gaming icon ever wanted to start discounting its console. Cheaper Wii U systems are unlikely to make a dent on Microsoft and Sony next month. The only thing that can stop them at this point is their own potential blunders.

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Read/Post Comments (15) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 8:37 AM, moopert wrote:

    The hour update for the Wii U was not the cause of it's continued failures. It's problem is entirely lack of games. Noone wants to shell out for a console that they won't use caise tjere's just nothing to play on it

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:06 AM, URALLFOOLS wrote:

    These day-one patches aren't unique to Microsoft. Sony will have one a week earlier. This is one of the few drawbacks of these next-gen consoles: operating software continues to evolve long after the assembly line starts making the systems.

    - So shouldnt the headline be "Next Generation System Buyers Better Be Patient". Couldnt you take the high road just for once Motley Fool??

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:45 AM, CountMackula wrote:

    I don't really care because while I like video games to an extent, I don't really have time or money to get in on one of these consoles right now, but I'm just going to comment that, although Microsoft is loathed by many for some reason, I recommend Microsoft.

    Support your country, buy American.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:03 AM, maxxxtrippp wrote:

    I really despise this website. Oooohhh oh no...a 20 minute update. Better write an article about how Microsoft makes people wait.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:38 AM, Zatannux wrote:

    @CountMackula: Like the $900 million tax write off for those "innovative" M$ tablets. Yeah, support America...with your tax dollars?

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 10:48 AM, BuddhaDude wrote:


    The current XBox 360 is made in China. I would not be surprised if the XBox One will also be made in China.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 1:18 PM, tkeracer619 wrote:

    So what you are saying is that you still need the internet to play games on the Xbox. At least once. What a joke.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 1:24 PM, chrismireya wrote:

    @ Buddha Dude: They might be MANUFACTURED in China, but the device itself is designed and owned by an American company. The money stays in America, even if the factories are in China due to cheap labor.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 1:51 PM, lacerz wrote:


    You mean Microsoft? The company that shifts its accounts receivables to tax havens such as Ireland, Puerto Rico and Singapore to avoid U.S. taxes? Okay.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 7:44 PM, deputyspade wrote:

    @chrismireya, all Microsoft's xbox, tablets, windows phones, zunes are made in China or east Asia. So it doesn't look like Microsoft is supporting American workers to me. How American of them.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 9:57 PM, Bunnyking77 wrote:

    Both systems will have lengthy patches but the XBOXone has that one patch to fix all of the pre-E3 DRM wrongs.

    I thought XBOXone was coming out before the PS4, I guess they even changed that.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 11:21 PM, GalrenCreptus wrote:

    @Bunnyking77 - That never changed because the Xbox One was never scheduled to come out before the PS4 at any time. PS4 announced their release date first, which has not changed any, and then Microsoft announced the Xbox One release date, which also has not changed any.

    @URALLFOOLS - Surely you don't expect anything unbiased from Motley Fool. I have yet to see anything on this site that was actually well written and I've also yet to see anything that clearly written by a fool.

  • Report this Comment On October 05, 2013, at 11:23 PM, matthewluke wrote:


    It wasn't a $900 million tax write-off. It was an $900 million inventory write-down.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2013, at 6:10 AM, cvxxx wrote:

    Any trick to force you to go online. That download is to annoy and a sales gimmick. I won't be buying a ONE until they fix that.

  • Report this Comment On October 07, 2013, at 4:56 AM, cokemanx wrote:

    Its pretty sad when microsoft Has to resolve to patriotic feelings.




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