like the PS4, prospective Xbox One owners can download the system's day-one update early to a USB stick. The process is listed on Microsoft's support page as an "emergency offline update" procedure, and boils down to a few simple steps.
Those looking to update their systems offline will need a USB stick with at least two gigabytes of space on it, and will need to format it as NTFS on their computers. After checking their OS version on their Xbox One consoles, they can then download one of two compressed files to their computer from the Xbox support page, unzip them and copy the contents to the root of the USB stick. Given that the system isn't out yet and players can't check for their OS version, those looking to get a head start on the process will need to account for that missing nugget of information.
After setting up their USB stick, the next step is to power off and unplug your Xbox One, plug the power cord back in after 30 seconds then hold the bind and eject buttons while turning the system on. The console will emit two power-up tones after 10-15 seconds, at which point owners can release the two buttons and wait for the system to automatically restart, completing the update process. Microsoft says the button combination forces the console to search for a USB drive update, which isn't the default chain of operations when the Xbox One normally boots up.
Check out our living review of the Xbox One for more about the console ahead of its launch on Friday.