Overnight, it was announced by Microsoft’s Xbox team that they had rolled out a one-time update to Xbox Series X|S consoles owned by those who are part of the Xbox Insiders program. This update automatically updates the console to the shutdown (energy saving) option, which they claim “will reduce power consumption while the console is off, and will not affect performance, gameplay, or the console’s ability to receive overnight updates to system, games or apps”. Furthermore, they claim that this is the “most sustainable power option for the Xbox and uses up to 20x less power than the Sleep power option”.
Insiders who use the shutdown (energy saving) as a power option and have their Xbox Series X/S consoles configured to support automatic updates, will also get an update that makes their console carbon aware. According to the Xbox team:
This means reducing the console’s carbon footprint by optimizing updates and download times to when the console can use the most renewable energy in your local energy grid. For every two Xbox consoles that switch to shutdown (energy saving), we will save the carbon equivalent of one tree planted and grown for a decade. (This is based on an average of Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles on shutdown (energy saving) for 20 hours per day for 1 year; actual energy savings varies by console and other factors using the EPA calculators).
All Xbox users will, in the near future, have the opportunity to update their console with the carbon update. Players who are not part of Xbox Insiders and want to adjust their settings to get the best energy saving option prior to the automatic update, can go to Settings > General > Power options.
This update is part of Xbox’s continued efforts to help reach Microsoft’s goal of being a carbon negative, water positive, and zero waste company by 2030. Therefore, Xbox is rethinking how it designs, builds, distributes and uses its products, and considering how to create opportunities for its global community of gamers to make decisions that can reduce environmental impact while gaming.