Get a new PS5, Xbox or Nintendo Switch for your kids? Here’s the best way to set it up

It’s no secret one of the hottest tech gifts is a video game console.

No matter what you retailer you visit, it’s likely product pages for Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X all feature a similar message: sold out. But some consumers have been lucky enough to snag a new video game console, whether through that well-timed Twitter follow, or a determined internet search testing your ability to quickly tap refresh on your browser.

If you bought a new video game console for your kids, don’t start wrapping just yet. You want to make sure it’s set up and ready so they can enjoy it right out of the box. Here’s how to set up each console so it’s ready for Christmas morning, a birthday, or any other time of year.

The first question you should consider is where is this device going to live. Your living room? A family room? A kid’s room? Wherever it resides, make sure it has enough space to prevent overheating. After you carefully remove it from its box, get it hooked up to a TV and connected to the internet. When you first boot up, the console should direct you to choose a Wi-Fi network and join.

You will also likely need to update the console’s system software. If not prompted, you can go to Settings, System, System Software, then go to update it. You may also need to hook up the system’s wireless controller, too, with the provided cord so they pair together. The PS5 controller has its own firmware, so you may need to connect it to update.

Once online, you’ll be asked to join the PlayStation Network, which lets users download games or play with friends online. If your kids already have an account, simply login. If not, you’ll be asked to join by providing your email and creating a password. Since PSN is a subscription service, you may also need to add a credit card (you can also opt to buy PlayStation gift cards to add funds).