Microsoft is rolling out an energy-saving software update to Xbox consoles

Xbox energy saving

Anyone with an Xbox Series X or S can expect to see a software update from Microsoft in the near future that will change the way their console uses energy-saving power modes.

The company has announced that it is rolling out an update that should dramatically reduce power consumption when an Xbox is not in use. The update will switch consoles to using Shutdown (energy saving) mode, which Microsoft says can cut power usage by up to 20 times.

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The update will bring older Xbox consoles in line with those sold since March last year. These more recent devices shipped with Shutdown (energy saving) mode enabled by default. As is the case with the newer consoles with the setting in place already, anyone whose settings change because of the update will be able to revert back if they prefer.

Announcing the rollout on Xbox Wire, Microsoft says:

Starting today, Xbox Insiders will notice that their Xbox Series X|S consoles automatically update to the Shutdown (energy saving) power option. This one-time update to your power settings will reduce your power consumption while your console is off, and will not affect performance, gameplay, or your console’s ability to receive overnight updates to system, games or apps. 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 (energy saving) cuts power use by up to 20X when it's off compared to Sleep.

The announcement comes as part of Microsoft's drive to reduce the carbon footprint of its Xbox consoles, with the company saying that it is "the first gaming console to offer carbon aware game downloads and updates":

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 has more information here.

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