Microsoft's Albert Penello says launch update isn't optional

Xbox One does ‘nothing’ without day one update

A senior Microsoft official has dropped a major bombshell ahead of the Xbox One launch, revealing that the next generation console will do “nothing” without a day one update.

Sony has already announced that some major PlayStation 4 features like online multiplayer and the Blu-ray/DVD player won’t work without a patch, but in a chat with Engadget Microsoft’s senior director of product management Albert Penello said his company’s device would depend even more on the update.

"Functionally, you will be able to do very little without taking the day one update," said Penello.

To his credit Penello didn’t pull punches when he was asked what the Xbox One could do out of the box.

“Nothing,” he explained. “You need the Day One update.”

Microsoft revealed the day one update back in June, but this is the first time the company has admitted that without it the Xbox One is a $500 plastic brick.

Penello explained that the new console is actually being manufactured with an old version of the operating system so that improvements could be made without delaying the launch.

"A lot of the apps come with the day one update because they wouldn’t have even been done," he said.

"You’re gonna need to take this update. It’s not gonna be really an optional thing."

The news is something of a shock considering Microsoft’s reversal of some controversial policies first announced at E3.

The idea that the Xbox One would require an internet connection to play sent some consumers into a fury that died down only after the company elected to back off some of its more controversial policies.

If it turns out that customers won’t be able to use their Xbox One without an internet connection fast enough to download the necessary patch, Microsoft could be in for another storm from angry customers.

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