Xbox One and PS4 Setup Tips for Parents and Gift Givers

You were not alone. Thousands, perhaps even millions, of adults around the world have spent indescribable time waiting in lines and searching video game stores, hoping to win an Xbox One or PS4 entertainment console for their family. PS4 and Xbox One are primarily video game consoles, but each has features the whole family will love.

Yet here is the problem. For all the new entertainment features and all the great extras both consoles offer, it’s not easy to set them up. If you bought a PS4 or Xbox One for your family this holiday, here’s what you need to know.

Installation Process

Let’s start with the setup process for your family’s new console. To get an Xbox One or PS4 to work in your home, you’re going to need some basics that a salesperson may or may not have explained at the store where you bought your console.

Both Xbox One and PS4 offer better graphics than their counterparts. To do this, they both use an HDMI port built into their rear edge. You’ll need to plug both consoles into the HDMI port on your TV, meaning you’ll need a TV with an HDMI input. Chances are, any television purchased in the last decade certainly does. Check your TV now to be sure. If you don’t have an HDMI port on your TV, definitely consider upgrading your TV if you plan on plugging in your new console. If that’s not something you’re willing to consider, there are converter boxes on Amazon that can do the job. that’s $49 TMVEL converter It’s rated highly on Amazon and should be able to convert the signal from Xbox One or PS4 for your television. It will be very difficult to find one of these converter boxes in a retail store before the holidays.

PS4 and Xbox One - 10

Both Xbox One and PS4 support wireless networks right out of the box. If you already have a wireless network, simply select that wireless network from the menu settings and enter your password. If you don’t have a wireless network at home, don’t worry. You can connect the Xbox One directly to your home network using a spare Ethernet cable. Amazon sells basic ethernet cables on its website. Pricing depends on size. Unlike the converter box, you won’t sink if you don’t already have it. Ethernet cables are available at any electronics retailer. If you have internet access at home but no router, you need to purchase a router so that multiple devices can use your internet access at the same time. this Linksys N300 Wi-Fi router my personal favourite, you can find it on Amazon and your local electronics retailer for around $40.

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You will need an internet connection to perform this installation process. However, this is not a permanent requirement.

If you already know how to change the inputs on your television, it will help your process a lot. Must Be Mobile broke the Xbox One and PS4 setup separately last year. These details have not changed.

[ How to Setup an Xbox One – How to Setup a PS4 ]

Unbox Early and Launch Updates

Expect to see the PS4 in stock during the 2013 holiday season, but don't sit on the shelves for long.

I’ve been told there’s no greater feeling than watching your family get excited about a gift you’ve worked so hard to provide for them all year. Nothing ruins that moment like having to go through a very long, very tedious preparation process for the rest of the day. You can’t avoid setting up the Xbox One or PS4, but you can avoid hitting some hurdles that make it an all-day process.

First, unbox Xbox One and PS4 early. You’ll want to do this late at night and complete the setup process because both consoles require software updates for key features. That’s why it’s important to have an internet connection during the installation process. In a typical day, these software updates can take up to an hour. With everyone trying to update at the same time, it’s unclear how long they’ll last on Christmas morning. Getting these software updates out of the way now brings you one step closer to a peaceful Christmas morning.

Xbox One and PS4 both offer games that are on discs. You’ve probably seen them in a store and bought one. Each also supports digital games. These games work like apps on your smartphone, you enter a code or purchase with your credit card and they download directly to your console. All games, whether disc or digital, must be installed on PS4 and Xbox One. Here’s the trick, digital setup takes much longer. In most cases you’re looking at hours of download time. It is possible to play games during this download, but is very limited.

Many games are available on both PS4 and Xbox One.

Consider this if you’re planning to digitally purchase Xbox One or PS4 games for your family. Buy these games the night before and start the download process. Don’t wait until the day. Also note that every Xbox One and some PS4 bundles come with one or two digital games. You’ll want to go ahead and start downloading them.

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Add Required Accounts

Xbox Live and PlayStation Network are the lifeblood of their respective consoles. Microsoft’s Xbox Live service connects to Windows and Windows Phone. All you have to do is enter your Hotmail, MSN or Outlook account on Xbox One and you are ready. Don’t have an Xbox Live or PlayStation Network account? Relax, you will be able to create one during the installation process.

What you need to pay attention to is the details. You can create an Xbox Live or PlayStation Network account for the whole family if you want, but it’s a better idea to create an account for the whole family. This is important because you may want to restrict your children’s access to more violent games. Don’t miss out on this. Now do the necessary setup and it will pay dividends down the road. If you don’t, you can give your kids access to your credit card to download whatever they want.

I would use this opportunity to download apps from any video or music service you know your family will use as well. Both PS4 and Xbox One offer Netflix, Hulu Plus and music streaming services.

Players will need Xbox Live Gold ($60 per year) or PlayStation Plus ($50 per year) for the full experience.

Now let’s talk a little bit about Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus. Both PS4 and Xbox One require an online subscription to play online with other people. Redesigned for Xbox One, Xbox Live Gold unlocks multiplayer access, free trials, and allows users to download one game per month. Xbox Live Gold costs $9.99 per month or $60 per year and can be purchased directly from the console and made available to the family. PlayStation Plus costs just $50 a year and does the same for the PS4. It is also necessary to play online games with other people. Don’t worry, they both offer a free trial out of the box. This gives you some time to see what your family’s habits are and whether subscribing is worth it.

Good luck with your Xbox One or PS4 purchase this year. If you want to lay claim to some of that holiday morning magic, you can always back up your console after the installation process.

Moyens I/O Staff has motivated you, giving you tips on technology, personal development, lifestyle and strategies that will help you.