Yes it does take about 45 - 60 minutes to download an update and then every game takes about 15 - 20 minutes after that. If he's already had an Xbox he can use his username to sign in. If brand new to the Xbox, you can set up a Microsoft account so he can go straight on Christmas morning.
Slides really easily back into the box so it will look like new
Hope he enjoys it and wishing you all a merry Christmas!
We set up ds' Xbox one S last weekend because I didn't want to have to do it on Christmas morning. It took about 2 hours all in, and that was setting up accounts and settings, downloading the two Minecraft games and an add on and - this was the bit that surprised me - the FIFA disc also needed to download? It never took anywhere near as long as I was expecting, the last Zelda game that we downloaded to the Wii U took about 7 hours!
May also be good to check electronics. My DM still comes across flustered whenever I mention games on Christmas Day - my poor DF was on the phone to Nintendo support at 8am Christmas morning one year and the next changing plugs in my PlayStation! Still kick themselves for not learning their lesson ;)
Thank you everyone! Set-up in advance it is then. I was hoping to avoid losing an evening to it, but it'll be worth not losing Christmas morning to it!
He doesn't have an Xbox, so I know nothing about Microsoft accounts etc. Should I set it up in his name or mine? We got into a huge pickle setting up minecraft on the computer a couple of years ago with accounts, so keen to avoid making that mistake again! (And the Xbox comes with minecraft).
I'm no expert on mine craft unfortunately but basically all a Microsoft account does on the Xbox is keep your scores / trophies etc. It will ask you when you load the Xbox to set up a new account. If you didn't set one up when you loaded minecraft on the computer and he hasn't got a current Microsoft (outlook / Hotmail) then I would set one up for him and just create an easy email / password that you can all remember. That way he can get playing straight away and prevents any delays. Hope that makes sense! Xbox is great in that it guides you all through easily...just a bit of waiting! Also have your WiFi password handy to connect to internet.
Sorry didn't answer your question - his name probably although it really doesn't matter. He can change it in future when the excitement of Christmas has passed and you've breathed a sigh of relief it all works!
xbox does let you change gamertag (your name on the console) which is better than playstation that locks it forever and ever. All bought digital games will be on that account, and while some games will have you set up a separate account and name online (final fantasy for example I access my account and payments online, Destiny just logs on as my gamertag)
But yes definitely set up first, look at parental controls, depending on age of DS make sure payments aren't accessible just as on mobile. Playing online requires a paid subscription on playstation so i think on xbox too so its worth looking into if that's needed, it does come with bonus free games every month but not necessary, just something to consider if needed.
Do it as close to Christmas as possible so you are less likely to have new updates on Christmas Day. Ours took forever when we got it and I think it had a lot to do with half the country's gamers setting up their new Christmas pressies at the same time as us.