Published on January 12th, 2023 | by Andrew Bistak

First Carbon Aware Console, Rolling Out Energy Saving Update

Overnight, an Xbox Wire blog announced that Xbox Insiders will notice that their Xbox Series X/S consoles will automatically update to the shutdown (energy saving) option. This one-time update to the power settings 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. It is the most sustainable power option for the Xbox and uses up to 20x less power than the Sleep power option.

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.

Xbox Insiders who use 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. 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).

Xbox is the first gaming console to offer carbon aware game downloads and updates. While only available to Xbox Insiders for now, all Xbox users will have the chance to update their consoles with this carbon aware update soon.

Additional points here:

  • 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.

Xbox encourages all players to learn more about the power setting options available to them. 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 will help conserve power and enable carbon aware updates on your Xbox.

For more information, please find the Xbox Wire blog here, and if you’re looking for information on what Xbox is doing for sustainability overall, click here.

About the Author

When he's not trying to save the world, Andrew enjoys travel (although loathes turbulence), going to the movies, reading and being a dad to his two dogs (and now twins) with his wife.

Back to Top ↑