Xbox becomes first carbon aware console with new update

by on January 12, 2023

A new update is coming to Xbox Series X|S that’ll automatically implement an energy saving shut down update, making it the first carbon aware console. Detailed yesterday in an Xbox Wire blog post, this one-time update to the power settings will reduce power consumption while the console is off, however, it won’t affect the ability to receive overnight updates to the system, games, or apps, as well as having no impact on performance or gameplay.

The new update will use 20x less power than the Sleep power option, becoming the most sustainable power option for the Xbox. It is part of Microsoft’s goal to become a carbon negative, water positive, and zero waste company by 2030. Xbox is rethinking how it designs, builds, distributes and uses its products, as well as considering how to create opportunities for gamers across the world to make decisions that can reduce environmental impact while gaming.

Gamers who use shutdown as a power option and have their consoles configured to support automatic updates will also get an update making their console carbon aware. Essentially, it’ll reduce the carbon footprint of their console by optimising updates and download times to when it can use the most renewable energy in their local power grid. When two consoles switch to an energy saving shutdown, it’ll be the carbon equivalent of one tree planted and grown for a decade, based on an average of Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles on shutdown for 20 hours per day for a year.

It is currently only available to Xbox Insiders at present, but the carbon aware update will roll out to all players soon. Some additional points to the update are as follows:

  • Improved sustainability with “Active Hours” and Sleep. Another energy setting update that will start to roll out to Xbox Insiders today is the new “Active hours” setting. For those that select the “sleep” power option, you can now adjust your console’s active hours. Your Xbox will boot quickly and will be available for remote wake during your selected active hours.
  • Xbox is continuing to explore options for all players to reduce their environmental footprint. Xbox One consoles will begin to see new power mode options, including shutdown (energy saving) as early as today. Xbox One consoles will be flighting multiple options in order to test and inform players. This effort is to provide Xbox One console players an opportunity to provide feedback on their experience.
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