Don't let the 'Console Grinch' ruin Christmas

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The hottest gifts of the year could give parents the biggest headaches come Christmas morning.

If Santa is leaving a game console under the tree, we have a word of advice for all the "elves" out there.

Parents know just how hard it is to find a PS5 or XBox Series X this year.

If you are lucky enough to have one wrapped up, you might want to go through the set-up process on the devices well before Christmas morning.

The PS5 and the new XBox both have to be set up to your home internet connection and then the consoles will download updates before you can play them.

That takes time.

How much time?
Well, it depends.

We have a producer here at ABC13 who has both systems.

He says the PS5 took about half an hour to set up, but the XBox Series X took more than an hour to set up.

However, he set up his consoles on a random day of the week when internet demand was low.

On Christmas morning, Microsoft and Sony systems are sure to be inundated with new devices going through the set-up process at the same time.

If the past is any indicator, it could take many hours to actually get the consoles ready to play on Christmas Day.

Trust me, kids do not have the patience for this, and tears are not what Mom and Dad want to see on Christmas morning!

So if you can, go through the set-up process this weekend, rather than waiting to do it Christmas Day.

Also, do not rely on WiFi during the set-up phase. Use an ethernet cable connected directly to your router or internet source.

"If you want to get it done quickly, you're probably going to want to use an ethernet cable to just make sure you have the fastest internet speed," said console owner and ABC13 producer Markus Garcia.

But the download "fun" is only beginning. The games need to be put in the console and then a download from the internet usually follows, even if you have the disc.

The game downloads can take anywhere from half an hour to a full hour, as well.

So, set up both the console and the game if you want your kids to be able to play right away.

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