Even online play requires patching!
I'll want to go nuts with my shiny, angular new PS4 right out of the box, but it looks like we'll have to get the launch day 300 megabyte patch (ver 1.50) out of the way first as it enables several key features. If you want to do any of the cool stuff like Remote Play and broadcasting, you'll have to patch. Hell, even online play requires patching.
What's wierd is that the PS4's suspend/resume low-power sleep state mode won't work at launch.
Here's what the launch day patch will get you:
One thing you can do to decrease day-one downloading is to grab the PlayStation App on November 13, two days before launch. This will come into play with the PS4's second screen functionality.