Xbox offers power-saving “carbon-aware” game downloads
by Danny Craig ·
A new update to Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One consoles will be rolling out that aims to reduce carbon emissions by scheduling updates during a specific maintenance window.
- Xbox has announced that Xbox Insiders will begin receiving updates to their Xbox consoles to make them carbon-aware, similar to last year’s changes to Windows Update for Windows 11.
- As long as your Xbox is plugged in and connected to the internet, it will use regional carbon intensity data to schedule updates for games, apps, and the operating system when your local power grid is using more renewable energy rather than fossil fuels. The function is only available when the console is in shutdown (power saving) mode and, according to Microsoft, reduces power consumption by up to 20 times when compared to Sleep mode when the console is turned off.
- Microsoft has said that for every two consoles that switch to the new shutdown mode for a year, the equivalent amount of carbon removed by one tree planted and grown for a decade will be saved. This figure was calculated using a year's worth of Xbox consoles in shutdown mode, and other factors may have an impact on the overall savings and emissions figures.
- For those who still prefer the sleep mode for the remote wake and fast-boot features, Microsoft has added the ability to disable those features until a specific time of day, which means the console will power down and draw only 0.5W rather than 10-15W.
What else is going on with Microsoft and Xbox?
- Xbox is rumored to be hosting a Nintendo Direct-like showcase on January 25 called Developer_Direct. Games that will allegedly appear at the show include Redfall, Forza Motorsport, and Minecraft Legends, with Bethesda’s Starfield being absent. It’s not quite E3, but Microsoft intends the show to be held on a semi-regular basis to deliver smaller pieces of news.
- Microsoft is still seeking to acquire Activision-Blizzard, despite Sony and the FTC trying to block the purchase. Microsoft recently began running pro-union ads in The Washington Post, likely in response to Activision’s attempts to block union votes last year. The reasons behind the vote include a culture of overworking as well as lackluster wages, a problem that appears to still be an issue at the company.