Microsoft: New And Last-Gen Xbox Consoles Are The First Carbon-Aware And Environmentally-Friendly Machines

Actually, it’s just energy-saving options.
(credit: Microsoft)

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Although Xbox doesn’t have an official presence in Malaysia, that doesn’t stop many gamers here from importing or buying one. If you feel like your Xbox is sucking too much juice from the wall, the Xbox team has good news for you.

Microsoft said that Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X are now carbon aware consoles because of the new updates that will be coming to Xbox Insiders first and to everyone else later.

Automatic Scheduling of Game Downloads and Updates

(credit: Microsoft)

When your console is plugged in, connected to the Internet and regional carbon intensity data is available, Xbox will schedule game, app, and OS updates for your console at specific times during the nightly maintenance window that may result in lower carbon emissions because a higher proportion of electricity is coming from lower-carbon sources on the electric grid.

For example, instead of your Xbox waking up during the nightly maintenance window at a random time between 2:00 AM – 6:00 AM, your console will wake up at a time when it can use the most renewable energy in your local energy grid. This decreases fossil fuel dependency and CO2 emissions, and could potentially save you money.

A New Energy Saving Option

Starting today, Xbox Insiders will notice that their Xbox Series S/X consoles automatically update to the Shutdown (energy saving) power option. This one-time update to your power settings will reduce your power consumption while your console is off, and will not affect performance, gameplay, or your console’s ability to receive overnight updates to system, games or apps.

Remote features are supported while the console is powered-on; however, remote wake is not supported while the console is shut down.

You can adjust your settings at any time, choosing what works best for you. Shutdown (energy saving) cuts power use by up to 20X when it’s off compared to Sleep.

Xbox One consoles will begin to see new power mode options, including shutdown (energy saving) as early as today.

Shutdown (energy saving) will allow Xbox One consoles to receive system, game or app downloads overnight, just like Xbox Series S/X. With Shutdown (energy saving) selected, Xbox One consoles will experience a slower boot time. Remote features are still supported while the console is powered on.

New “Active hours” Update

(credit: Microsoft)

Another energy setting update that will start to roll out 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. When your Xbox’s active hours are done for the day, it will fully shut down and will draw 0.5 W vs. 10-15 W while active.

  • Xbox Series S/X active hours will be automatically enabled and scheduled based on times when the console was previously used
  • Xbox One consoles will have the option to configure their active hours, which will default to “always active” unless changed

With this new approach, we wonder if Xbox will produce next-generation consoles that prioritise power-efficiency over performance.

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