Over the last decade, companies and organizations have begun to incorporate measures to reduce their carbon footprint on the environment, and Microsoft has been rolling out eco-friendly updates for its video gaming brand, Xbox, in recent months. This week, the trillion-dollar company claimed that the updates will make the Xbox series the first 'carbon aware' console.
Reporting on Xbox Wire, Microsoft said that these changes are all part of their goal to become a "carbon negative, water positive, and zero waste company by 2030."
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.
Microsoft claims that this new Shutdown feature will be able to reduce power usage by "up to 20X when it’s off compared to Sleep." Additionally, the one-time update won't change the console's performance, gameplay, or ability to get updates to the system, games, or apps overnight.
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 will allow Xbox One consoles to receive system, game or app downloads overnight, just like Xbox Series X|S. 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.
Microsoft will also roll out another energy setting update this week labeled 'Active Hours.' This new feature will allow Xbox users who select the Sleep power option to adjust their console’s active hours. This will effectively boot their consoles quickly and make them available for remote wake during their selected active hours. Once the active hours are over, the console will shut down and draw 0.5 W versus 10-15 W while active.
Xbox Series X|S active hours will be automatically enabled and scheduled based on when the console was used before, but Xbox One owners will be able to set their own active hours, which will be set to "always active" by default unless changed.