Yes, you will have to download a 300MB day one update the first time you load your PlayStation 4. However, Sony is trying to make things as convenient as possible, so it will generously allow you to do other things while the update downloads.
According to Shuhei Yoshida, Sony’s president of Worldwide Studios, those “other things” include playing single-player games.
The update itself – v1.50 – is an important one, activating a number of PlayStation Vita tie-in features like Remote Play and second screen gaming via PS4 Link. It also adds the ability to record and share videos and screenshots, access to the Ustream and Twitch apps, the ability for four users to log into the console at the same time, facial recognition, voice commands, party chat, background music, online multiplayer through PlayStation Plus, the ability to play games as they are downloading, and software that will turn your console into a Blu-ray or DVD player.
So. Make a note. 300MB mandatory update… but your console will download it in the background while you settle in for some singleplayer. PlayStation 4 launches on November 15th in North America, and November 29th in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.