Going home earlier this week, my partner wanted to play Assassin's Creed: Origins. She'd been playing it for a few days - being a double history major, makes sense - and was just starting to get into a groove with the game.
So we went home. Powered up the Xbox One X. Tried to launch AC: Origins. But it wouldn't start. We quickly realised that was because it wanted an update.
A ~41GB update, to be exact.
One of the greatest annoyances with jumping from one console generation to another is that everything becomes bigger. Pixel counts. Graphics options in the menu. Bodies on screen. Lighting effects. Sharpness of shadows.
But mostly, download sizes.
To help combat this, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One X would have something called "Intelligent Delivery". It was basically an option for developers to segment bits of game data so that users didn't always have to download everything at once.
For instance, if you didn't want foreign language commentaries in FIFA, those files could be marked in a way so Australian gamers weren't downloading gigabytes of useless files.
Of course, the main use of this technology was for Xbox One/Xbox One S users. Developers can mark assets as being applicable for 4K or the Xbox One X. The console would then automatically recognise whether it needed those assets or not, letting users download games quicker, and get to playing faster.
But there's a small problem with how this plays out in practice.
Users don't have a choice. You want to keep playing the game you've been playing for days, and just want to download the patch in the background? Nope, too bad. Want to not download the patch at all? I hope you remembered to uncheck the box in the system settings then, because that's the only chance for you to have any input whatsoever.
And this is a problem that, over the next year, will continually happen. Not all games are Xbox One X ready at launch. Lots of developers are still working on updates, taking advantage of the raw power, refreshing their assets. So you might pop in a disc of something like, say, Dragon Age: Inquisition. Or any other game from a few years ago.
And it'll play a bit better, run a bit smoother. But when it becomes an Xbox One X enhanced title, that means a hefty update. Don't like it? Too bad.
I have plenty of gripes about the software on the PS4. The organisation of the store is astoundingly stupid. Why do I have to scroll down a vertical list of letters (that shrinks) to search for a product? Why are download speeds on PSN consistently so awful? Why can't I just have the one media streaming app I use frequently appear in the main rail, instead of having to go to a separate button, which opens up a separate window, just to launch the one thing I use all the time?
But something Sony does right is updates. When you go to launch a game that's updating, you get a prompt. You can launch the application without the update, but you can't access any online features if you do.
And that's fine. Sometimes you're playing a singleplayer game, like Final Fantasy XV or Horizon: Zero Dawn. Something that could benefit from an online connection, but isn't necessary to enjoy the full experience.
Like Assassin's Creed: Origins.
But the Xbox One X doesn't give you that option. Got the 4K console? Then you'd better be prepared for loads of 4K updates, because they're coming down your internet connection whether you like them or not.
And the kicker - and I can't believe someone at Microsoft approved this - is that once an update begins, you can't launch a game at all. It's a bit like Steam in that regard: once the patching process begins, the game or app is completely unusable.
At least Sony does the decent thing of downloading the update before installing it. With the Xbox One X, the process is basically one and the same.
Now, ordinarily, that wouldn't be too big of an issue. People have learned to live with gigabyte-size updates in this day and age. If you've got cable, NBN, or some form of fibre, it's fine. You'll get the update fast enough.
But what if you're waiting to be upgraded to the NBN? Or you're on 4G wireless? Or good old ADSL2, which most households in the country rely upon?
You're fucked, plain and simple.
And it doesn't matter whether you own a 4K TV. Maybe you wanted the Xbox One X for better load times, smoother frame rates, or better support backward compat titles. Or maybe because you're trading in your old Xbox One, and hell, you want the fastest goddamn console on the market.
Yes, the Xbox One X is the most powerful console you can buy today.
But with the standard of Aussie residential internet, the chances of you seeing that raw power are next to bugger all - because you'll be spending most of your time patching. And you don't have any choice in the matter.
It's a nightmare. Xbox needs to work out a better solution, and soon. Because this just isn't an Australian problem. There are plenty of countries and territories that don't have fibre, don't have high speed internet.
They might have 4K TV's.
But a 4K TV doesn't matter much when you're just looking at a dashboard.