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Buyer alert: Don't gift these console bundles without opening them, or ever

November 27, 2017 1 min read

A public service announcement for the casual holiday shopper: Do you mind that your video game gifts may not be playable that day? You might want to double-check that box.

It's age-old wisdom to connect a new game console on Wifi and update it before you give it to someone, that we all expect. What you might not be ready for is having to also download the entire games that you thought were physically there, and in some cases you can't even do that. Since digital games require logged in accounts, you can't pre-load a digital copy without knowing a person's private gamer login or tipping them off in advance. 

No pre-installed digital copy or physical copy inside

To be clear: there's nothing functionally wrong with these products, but the product packages are deceptively labelled. They are vastly misrepresented in how quickly they can be played off the shelf, and also don't disclose much hard drive space will remain following the install of the "bundled" hardware. That's a whole other outrage for a different day. Today we're dealing with making sure people can play their games on Christmas day.

My particular beef is a growing trend of misleading packaging when game consoles and "bundled" games are sold together. It would be one thing if they were digital and already on the hard drive. They're not. You'd have to be an eagle-faced Cumberbatch to notice:

Buyer alert: Don't gift these console bundles without opening them, or ever screenshot