The gaming industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, and the launch of the Xbox series consoles has only furthered this trend. Microsoft has taken the initiative to make their consoles more energy efficient and environmentally friendly with the introduction of their power-saving shutdown mode. This setting allows users to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions while still enjoying their gaming experience. The new Xbox Insider update enables users to take advantage of this setting, as well as other features like active hours and remote wakeup, to ensure their consoles are running as efficiently as possible. With this update, Microsoft is demonstrating their commitment to creating a more sustainable gaming experience for their users.
Why this is important: Participants in the Xbox Early Access Program may soon notice that their consoles’ power settings have been changed to a power-saving shutdown mode. Microsoft’s latest Xbox Insider update made changes to encourage users to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This setting does not affect performance, but will affect remote playback and download times. Users can override the setting if they want.
Microsoft introduced updates to Xbox taking carbon dioxide emissions into account in an Xbox Insider update this week. The new power-saving shutdown mode on Xbox series consoles will shift nightly game and operating system updates to when the user’s local power system is consuming the most renewable energy.
With this option, when an insider’s Internet-connected console shuts down at night, Microsoft will use the available online carbon intensity data in the region to determine the best time to turn on the Xbox to check for updates. By default, this happens at any time between 2:00 and 6:00.
Power saver mode won’t affect the console’s performance when it’s on, and users can still tell Xbox to download updates immediately. However, this setting disables the remote wakeup that users can normally use to remotely turn on their remote play console.
The latest generation of Xbox One consoles also received a new feature, although they may not switch automatically. As with the consoles in the series, this will not affect the performance of the Xbox One when it is turned on, although it may slow down loading times. Microsoft is still trying to find the best way to allow Xbox One owners know about this new option.
Microsoft says that compared to sleep mode, power saving mode consumes 20 times less power. The company also claims that every two consoles using an energy-saving shutdown mode for a year will save the amount of carbon removed from one tree per decade. Microsoft acknowledges that these statistics may vary from user to user.
The Windows 11 Insider preview received a similar setup last March. With it, computers can schedule updates for times of day when local power grids use a higher share of renewable energy, based on available data from electricMap and WattTime.
The new Xbox the update also adds the “active hours” option for Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles. Users who have set a “sleep mode” power mode for their consoles can specify the hours of the day that their system will boot into a mode where remote wakeup is available, consuming around 10-15 watts. After this period, the console will turn off completely, consuming only 0.5 watts. Series consoles initially choose a period based on previous activity, but Xbox One owners must manually adjust this setting.