Xbox offers power-saving “carbon-aware” game downloads

by Danny Craig  · 
Xbox offers power-saving “carbon-aware” game downloads
Microsoft

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.

The details:

  • 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?